Pot Stocks Gain After Tilray Gets U.S. Approval to Import Medical Marijuana

(Bloomberg) -- Tilray Inc. is setting a record high -- again.

Shares rose as much as 28 percent to $153.88 as of 1:35 p.m. in New York after the British Columbia-based cannabis company received approval from the U.S. government to import medical cannabis into the country for a clinical trial. The gain added nearly $3 billion to Tilray’s valuation, pushing it above $14 billion to top peer Canopy Growth Corp. and making it the largest cannabis company.

Pot Stocks Gain After Tilray Gets U.S. Approval to Import Medical Marijuana

The news signals yet “another encouraging sign of improved government support for cannabis research,” Cowen analyst Vivien Azer writes in a note, and the increased medical applications “add another domino to future legalization in the U.S.” The move also puts Tilray in a better competitive position against peer Canopy Growth Corp., which has 39 U.S. patents and 15 clinical trials, said Azer, who rates both stocks outperform.

Shares of other cannabis-related stocks are also trading higher, with the ETFMG Alternative Harvest fund, which trades under ticker MJ, climbing 7.2 percent. Canopy Growth gained 6.3 percent, Organigram Holdings rose 5.5 percent, Cronos Group climbed 16 percent. Aurora Cannabis Inc., which was halted earlier, gained 6.9 percent. The company said that while it engages in talks with potential industry partners, it doesn’t have an active agreement with a beverage maker.

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