On Tuesday, Amazon announced that it would no longer test most prospective employees for marijuana before hiring. The company, which is the second-largest private employer in the U.S., also stated that it was in favour of legalising marijuana at the federal level. The news, along with recent legislation introduced to decriminalise marijuana, may have helped send several cannabis stocks and indices soaring on Wednesday. The Cannabis Stock Index (BGCANG) was trading 6.7% higher yesterday.
Amazon’s policy change comes as more states and cities act to legalise marijuana for recreational use. Amazon’s home state of Washington made the drug legal back in 2012, and the company is currently building an East Coast headquarters in Virginia, where marijuana becomes legal on July 1. Amazon was sued in March by a job applicant in New York City, where there has been a ban on pre-employment drug testing for cannabis since 2019. The man claimed that Amazon had illegally rescinded a job offer after he tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
On the federal level, House Representative Jerry Nadler reintroduced the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act on Friday. The Act would remove marijuana from a list of controlled substances and would also have previous convictions for marijuana use reassessed. While the prospects for passage of the Act in the Senate are unclear, the resulting media coverage may have gained the attention of retail investors. For example, Tilray was the seventh most mentioned stock on the Reddit investment forum WallStreetBets on Tuesday. Tilray (TLRY) stock rose 11.9% and Aurora Cannabis (ACB) climbed 7.4% at the close of trading on Wednesday.
Amazon Sets Prime Days for June 21-22
Amazon (AMZN) continued making news this week when it announced this year’s Amazon Prime shopping days on Wednesday. Amazon Prime days, which have taken place since 2015, are meant to increase loyalty and boost sales of Amazon Prime memberships. Prime Days make up about 1% to 2% of the company’s annual sales. Amazon stock was up by almost 0.5% as the market closed after the announcement.
The June dates mark a return to the typical summer scheduling after the event was postponed until October in 2020, due to uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The company still plans to delay Amazon Prime days in India and Canada due to the impact of Coronavirus in those regions. Amazon noted that the event was being held earlier than usual, so as not to conflict with the Olympics which are scheduled to begin on July 23rd.
Amazon carries a lot of weight in the U.S. political sphere. Will its support for the legalisation of marijuana be successful or will the existing laws remain in place?