Tue Nov 8, 2016, 08:12 AM

Nasdaq Cannabis Stocks Spike in Volume Ahead of Election for Recreational and Medical Use

The volume of cannabis stocks listed on the Nasdaq have spiked ahead of the election with some stocks rising as much as 12% on Monday as voters decide tomorrow whether five states will allow recreational use of marijuana while four other states could approve medical use.

Interest in cannabis-related stocks has risen from micro cap to Nasdaq-listed equities, said Jason Spatafora, co-founder of and a Miami-based trader and investor known as @WolfofWeedST on Twitter. The market is predicting that voters in California and Nevada will approve legislation for recreational use and anticipates that Florida will legalize medical use.

"Should more states adopt laws to legalize either recreational or medicine use of marijuana, we can see a continued run going into the new year," he said.

Some of the stocks have been undervalued as investors were skittish and the use of drugs produced by major cannabis-focused biopharmaceutical companies have not been widely adopted. The current options for mainstream investors in this budding sector are limited to a handful of companies listed on the Nasdaq, including GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) , a U.K.-based biotech company with a cannabis-based epilepsy drug; Insys Therapeutics (INSY) , a Phoenix company known for its cancer pain management drug but is developing a cannabis-based drug for the treatment of epilepsy; Cara Therapeutics (CARA) , a Shelton, Conn.-based clinical state biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes pain relief drugs; and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (ZYNE) , a Devon, Pa.-based company focused on developing and commercializing synthetic cannabinoid therapeutics.

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