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Opinion
Tara Lachapelle

When Will U.S. Pot Stocks Catch Fire?

State-by-state wins in legalizing marijuana haven’t yet translated into large stock-price gains for U.S. cannabis companies, but that may be about to change. 

Lifting profit barriers and easing the way for U.S. public offerings of pot stocks would drive a flood of investment. 

Lifting profit barriers and easing the way for U.S. public offerings of pot stocks would drive a flood of investment. 

Photographer: Yuri Cortez/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. cannabis market reached some major milestones in the last few months, with gains that stretched both geographically and politically from New York to South Dakota. Even where there have been hiccups — for example, Mississippi, where voters overwhelmingly approved a medical marijuana plan last year that’s now facing legal hurdles — there would seem to be no reversing this tide. Ticking the state-by-state wins hasn’t yet translated into large stock-price gains for U.S. companies, but that may be about to change. 

Recent incremental progress on the cannabis front points to a larger moment on the horizon: a comprehensive marijuana reform bill. It’s an effort led by Democrat Senators Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden and Cory Booker. Lest this be considered a partisan endeavor, though, Americans for Prosperity — a conservative political advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers — notably just endorsed the legalization of marijuana. Plus, 91% of Americans say pot should be legal in some form, including large numbers of Republicans, according to Pew Research Center.