By Dan Nicholls
The North American Marijuana Index, a stock index that tracks the top performing cannabis stocks in the United States and Canada, decreased 2% in March as losses in Canada overtook modest gains in the U.S. The Index was driven largely by news in Canada as the Canadian government announced that it will introduce its new recreational legalization laws in the second week of April.
The North American Marijuana Index is a combination of the U.S. Marijuana Index and the Canadian Marijuana Index.
U.S. Marijuana Index
The U.S. Marijuana Index had a relatively quiet March, increasing 3% for the month. Early losses were erased after the index increased 8% in the last six days of the month following the Canadian government’s major legalization announcement on March 27, 2017.
The broader U.S. market saw slight losses with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000 ending the month down 0.7% and 0.1%, respectively. Overall, the U.S. Marijuana Index ended the first quarter of 2017 down 6% after it saw a 12% loss in February.
The U.S. Marijuana Index’s gains in March were led primarily by two companies, Axim Biotechnologies (OTCQB:AXIM) and Kush Bottles (OTCQB:KSHB), with each gaining more than 30% over the month. Ten of the 17 companies on the U.S. Index experienced losses during the month.
Canadian Marijuana Index
The Canadian Marijuana Index got off to a rough start in March, decreasing by nearly 17% in the first three weeks of the month after Bill Blair, the lawmaker overseeing the Canadian government’s cannabis legalization initiative, tempered industry optimism on March 7 by stating the government still had substantial work left in its legalization plans.
The index recovered with a 9% gain on March 27 after the government announced its target date of July 1, 2018 for cannabis legalization nationwide, with laws set to be introduced the week of April 10, 2017.
The Canadian Marijuana Index ended the month down 8%, which compares to a 0.2% decrease in the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index, Canada’s leading small-cap index. Nonetheless, the Index finished the first quarter of 2017 up 7% after it posted gains in January and February.
For more information on March’s results, please click the link below for a downloadable PDF: Marijuana Index – March 2017 Summary Report.