Curaleaf chairman on the global expansion of cannabis availability

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Curaleaf executive chairman Boris Jordan joins “Squawk on the Street” to discuss the company’s expansion into Europe. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO:

For stocks with names such as Curaleaf Holdings, GrowGeneration and Aurora Cannabis, the buzz appears to be wearing off.

As part of the market sell-off that hammered technology and other growth areas over the past couple of weeks, investors also dumped cannabis producers and distributors, which had been huge outperformers during the pandemic months.

The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF, which consists of growers and developers of cannabinoid-based medicines, dropped 8.5%, following a 9.4% decline last week. The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF is down 20% over the past two weeks, its biggest drop since March of last year.

Most of the top cannabis companies are based in Canada, where the plant has been legal for recreational ingestion since 2018. The U.S. has almost 10 times as many people as Canada, and distributors are anxiously awaiting their opportunity to expand to the south.

For a while, things were looking good.

Weed stocks rallied after Joe Biden was elected president in November, and then again in January after Democrats secured the Senate majority with two victories in the Georgia runoff election. Investors cheered the results, believing that Democrats would take actions to legalize cannabis at a federal level, following votes in November to allow recreational weed in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota. They joined 11 other states that had already legalized pot.

Senate Democrats promised sweeping legislation that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana and an end to the war on drugs.

“Ending the federal marijuana prohibition is necessary to right the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of harm inflicted on communities of color across the country,” wrote Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, along with Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ron Wyden of Oregon, in a statement on Feb. 1.

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