Marijuana stocks boom with new hopes for legalization as Democrats take power

How will New Jersey’s decision to legalize marijuana impact the cannabis industry?

New Jersey is now the largest state on the East Coast to go through the legalization process of marijuana. What does this mean for future of the cannabis industry? FOX Business’ Kristina Partsinevelos with more.

Marijuana stocks are booming this week following the victories of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia's Senate election runoffs, which will give Democrats control of the presidency and both chambers of Congress.

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Canopy Growth, the first marijuana stock to ever be publicly traded in North America, is up 13.2% since the election Tuesday.

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With Warnock and Ossoff's victories, Democrats will have 50 seats in the Senate, giving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaker vote. It's a narrow majority, but Canopy Growth is hopeful that the new administration will be able to usher legalization through Congress.

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"This new slate of leadership presents an incredible opportunity for national cannabis reform in the United States—the beginning of the end for the long-outdated prohibition on cannabis," David Culver, U.S. Vice President of Government Relations at Canopy Growth, told FOX Business. "We feel confident that Congress, with the support of the incoming Biden Administration, and particularly Vice President-elect Kamala Harris who was an original sponsor of the MORE Act, can achieve full federal legalization in the very near future."

The MORE Act, which is the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, was passed by the Democratic-controlled House last month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., quickly shot down any chance of it coming up for a vote in the Senate, but that could change under the Biden administration.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was against legalization as district attorney of San Francisco and attorney general of California but adjusted her position in the Senate to co-sponsor the MORE Act

Biden also has a mixed past with marijuana legalization, but came out in favor of decriminalizing weed on the 2020 campaign trail.

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Green Thumb Founder and CEO Ben Kovler predicts that a fully legalized marijuana market in the United States could be an $80 to $100 billion industry.

"Consumers are choosing, they’re replacing alcohol," Kovler told FOX Business. "Consumers 35 and under are choosing cannabis over alcohol. We’re seeing seniors, 60 and over, choose this to replace things like Ambien, or pain meds [for] arthritis. There are all kinds of different uses for the plants, as we turn the plants into consumer products.

Shares of Green Thumb stock have risen more than 10% in the last two days.

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Tilray is up 19.24%, Cronos Group is up 17%, and Aurora is up 5.3% since the election Tuesday.

"This electoral outcome could truly unlock the vast economic benefits cannabis promises, both in terms of job creation and tax revenues, and catalyze a post-COVID recovery for years to come," Culver said.

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Even if full legalization runs into some roadblocks, incremental reform could help boost marijuana companies in the near term. The SAFE Banking Act, for instance, would give banking access to all marijuana companies in the states where it is legal.

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