By Dean Seal

U.S. cannabis stocks pulled back after The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that some federal officials have concerns about loosening restrictions on marijuana.

AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis, a popular exchange-traded fund tracking marijuana stocks, was down 5.5% at $7.66 in late trading.

Shares of Curaleaf, the biggest U.S. cannabis company by revenue, were down 5.4% at $4.01.

The stocks of Green Thumb Industries, Verano Holdings and Trulieve Cannabis, three major operators in the U.S., pulled back 4% to 6%. Canadian cannabis stocks declined as well.

Citing anonymous sources, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday morning that some federal officials are at odds over President Biden's push to ease restrictions around cannabis.

The unnamed officials are reportedly concerned about the potency of modern cannabis and a lack of research on its long-term health effects.

The Drug Enforcement Agency is currently reviewing a recommendation from the Department of Health and Human Services to remove cannabis from the most restrictive category of drugs, where it has sat for decades alongside heroin and LSD.

In a research note on Monday morning, Alliance Global Partners analyst Aaron Grey said there is still a high probability that the DEA will adopt the rescheduling recommendation despite the concerns cited in the WSJ report, given the extensive number of studies in the Health and Human Services Department's recommendation that justify moving cannabis to a less-restrictive category.

Write to Dean Seal at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-11-24 1536ET