Weed stocks are sliding as Canada becomes the 2nd country to legalise marijuana

David McNew/GettyA budtender at a medical-marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles in 2012.
  • Canada on Wednesday became the second country to officially legalise marijuana.
  • Marijuana stocks were trading down by 2% to 7% ahead of the opening bell.
  • Watch Canopy Growth, Tilray, and Cronos trade in real time.

Weed stocks were set to slide at Wednesday’s opening bell after Canada become the second country to officially legalise marijuana. Three of the largest marijuana producers by market cap – Canopy Growth, Tilray, and Cronos– were trading down by 2% to 7%.

Here’s the scoreboard:

On Wednesday, Canada became the first G7 country – and second country in the world after Uruguay – to legalise marijuana for all adults. Each Canadian province has set its own age limit and rules on how to sell the drug – with some opting for storefronts and others pushing business online.

And while many Canadians may be celebrating their ability to freely use the drug, the coming legalization had been a boon for producers operating in the country as their market values exploded amid increasing interest from investors.

Canopy Growth, for example, has seen its market capitalisation grow 128% to $US12.2 billion after Constellation Brands – the beverage giant behind Corona beer and Svedka vodka – announced a $US4 billion investment. Its rival Tilray has seen its market value explode by 555% over that time after making various supply deals.

On Tuesday, analysts at Benchmark said Canada’s recreational cannabis market could reach 10.5 billion Canadian dollars by 2023 and suggested that Tilray would continue to lead the pack.

“We expect Tilray to acquire a meaningful share of the Canadian cannabis market based on initial supply agreements and through its first mover advantage in building production scale and strengthening national brands and products across a broad and expanding category,” the analyst Mike Hickey said. He has a $US200 price target for the stock – 26% above where shares settled Tuesday.

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