Did You Just Miss the Launch of the US-Listed Marijuana ETF?

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The first trading session after Christmas is almost always a quiet one, and the market is likely to remain quiet until after the start of 2018. The news flow from companies just is not usually that strong. One exception has been in the legalization of marijuana, where, ahead of the California legalization efforts, a U.S.-listed exchange traded fund has quietly begun trading.

ETF Managers Group announced that the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSEAMERICAN: MJX) is now live and available for trading.

Before reading more, investors should note a message straight form the company itself:

Effective December 26, 2017 the name, underlying index, investment objective, principal investment strategy and investment policies of the Tierra XP Latin America Real Estate ETF (LARE) has changed to ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJX).

While some grouped investments have become available of late, this fund is one of the first of its kind for U.S. investors to more easily access a group of companies related to the cannabis industry. The “MJX” is designed to replicate the Prime Alternative Harvest Index. The index tracks companies that are expected to be likely beneficiaries from the increasing global acceptance of various uses of the cannabis plant.

The release noted that it will track companies expected to win in treatments from innovative medicinal breakthroughs. The company’s index description was listed as follows:

The Prime Alternative Harvest Index has been created to provide investors with a product that enables them to take advantage of both event-driven news and long-term trends in the cannabis industry as well as the industries likely to be influenced by the medicinal and recreational cannabis legalization initiatives taking place in many locations globally.

The Prime Indexes website showed a breakdown of 30 companies that make up the index. Some of them are straight tobacco companies and some ones that most investors will not have heard of. The breakdown of the index was listed as follows (name, ticker, weight):

  • HUABAO INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LTD (336)  3.08%
  • JAPAN TOBACCO (2914)  2.76%
  • AURORA CANNABIS INC. (ACB)  4.94%
  • ARENA PHARMACEUTICALS INC (ARNA)  2.76%
  • BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO PLC (BATS)  2.79%
  • CARA THERAPEUTICS INC (CARA)  2.51%
  • CANNIMED THERAPEUTICS INC. (CMED)  3.49%
  • CORBUS PHARMACEUTICALS HOLDINGS. INC. (CRBP)  2.51%
  • EMERALD HEALTH THERAPEUTICS (EMH)  3.07%
  • SUPREME PHARMACEUTICALS INC. (FIRE)  2.99%
  • GIMA TT SPA (GIMA)  2.87%
  • GW PHARMACEUTICALS (GWPH)  5.27%
  • IMPERIAL BRANDS PLC (IMB)  2.81%
  • INSYS THERAPEUTICS INC. (INSY)  3.24%
  • ISODIOL INTERNATIONAL INC. (ISOL)  2.10%
  • MEDRELEAF CORP. (LEAF)  5.12%
  • CRONOS GROUP INC. (MJN)  6.10%
  • ALTRIA GROUP INC. (MO)  2.80%
  • ORGANIGRAM HOLDINGS INC. (OGI)  2.77%
  • PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL (PM)  2.72%
  • SCOTTS MIRACLE  (SMG)  2.80%
  • SCANDINAVIAN TOBACCO GROUP (STG)  2.84%
  • SCHWEITZER-MAUDUIT INTERNATIONAL INC. (SWM)  2.85%
  • SWEDISH MATCH AB (SWMA)  2.74%
  • TURNING POINT BRANDS INC (TPB)  2.89%
  • CANNTRUST HOLDINGS INC. (TRST)  5.26%
  • UNIVERSAL CORP/VA (UVV)  2.70%
  • VECTOR GROUP LTD (VGR)  2.70%
  • CANOPY GROWTH CORP. (WEED)  5.78%
  • 22ND CENTURY GROUP INC. (XXII)  2.74%

Investors may recall that a marijuana-focused ETF launched earlier in 2017 in Canada. That was the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF, and it was up over 50% locally.

The MJX was last seen up almost 5% at $30.18 late on Tuesday afternoon, right before the closing bell. The ETF had traded 263,000 shares shortly ahead of the close.