When the second-largest employer in the U.S. publicly supports cannabis reform, stakeholders take notice. So do the stock markets.
In a statement to U.S. operations employees on Tuesday, Amazon’s Dave Clark, CEO of its Worldwide Consumer business, said the company will be eliminating its drug testing policy for many workers—notably for any positions not regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use,” Clark said. “However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course. We will no longer include marijuana in our comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation and will instead treat it the same as alcohol use. We will continue to do impairment checks on the job and will test for all drugs and alcohol after any incident.”
Clark went on to say that Amazon supports passage of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, legislation that aims to legalize cannabis at the federal level while also expunging criminal records and investing in communities most impacted by prohibition. The MORE Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House on May 28.
In the wake of that Amazon statement, Canadian cannabis companies Tilray Inc. and Sundial Growers Inc. embarked on a two-day rally on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
When the market opened Tuesday—the day of the Amazon statement—Sundial’s shares (SNDL) were valued $1.06. Since then, the stock surged more than 38% at its highest point of $1.47 Thursday morning.
And Tilray (TLRY), which opened at $17.45 Tuesday, peaked at $21.27 Thursday morning—a 21.9% increase.
According to HypeEquity data, Tilray and Sundial were two of the top talked-about companies Wednesday among a group of 18 stocks, including AMC Entertainment Holdings, Bed Bath & Beyond and GameStop, as reported by Markets Insider. In particular, AMC attracted attention in late January and early February, when non-professional traders started squeezing long-held short positions on several unsuspecting stocks.
But since their Thursday morning peaks, the momentum behind the cannabis stock rallies slowed. Sundial dipped to $1.32 at Tilray to $19.80 by noon EST—still up 19.7% and 13.5%, respectively, from where they opened Tuesday.