Cannabis Stocks Tumble Despite N.J. and Arizona Votes to Legalize Pot

Voters in New Jersey and Arizona pass measures that legalize recreational marijuana for adults age 21 and older.
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Cannabis stocks fell Wednesday after voters in New Jersey and Arizona passed measures that legalized recreational marijuana for adults age 21 and older but the possibility that a Republican-controlled Senate could delay federal legalization was considered a headwind.

In New Jersey, the ballot question passed by a wide margin, according to Associated Press.

The Legislature in the state now will have to pass another measure setting up the new marijuana marketplace.

New Jersey is the biggest state on the East Coast to legalize marijuana.

Lawmakers in the state tried last year to reach an agreement on legalizing marijuana but came up just shy of the votes necessary and left the decision up to New Jersey voters.

Gov. Phil Murphy made legalizing recreational pot a cornerstone of his gubernatorial campaign in 2017.

Approval of the marijuana measure in Arizona came four years after voters narrowly defeated a proposal to legalize recreational pot. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and fellow Republicans in the Legislature had refused to change Arizona’s tough marijuana laws, the AP noted.

“This shows they’ve been out of step on this issue in two ways in terms of people’s opinions about the product itself and the personal use of this product and, secondly, just the need for criminal justice reform in Arizona,” Chad Campbell, chairman of the committee that backed the measure, told the Associated Press.

Voters in Mississippi, meanwhile, legalized medical marijuana on Tuesday.

Shares of Canopy Growth  (CGC) - Get Report, the largest marijuana stock, dropped 10% to $18.40. The company announced Tuesday it would be shifting its U.S. stock exchange listing to the Nasdaq from the New York Stock Exchange. It will begin trading on the Nasdaq on Nov. 16.

Cronos  (CRON) - Get Report was down 8.2% and Tilray  (TLRY) - Get Report fell 7.85%.