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The Problem with the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (TSX: HMMJ)

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted October 30, 2017

As reported by the Associated Press, the CEO of INSYS Therapeutics (NASDAQ: INSY) has been accused of giving doctors kickbacks to prescribe opioids.

Not surprising at all, coming from a company that spent a half million dollars to fund an anti-legalization campaign in Arizona.

INSYS started to make the rounds a few years ago when investors starting getting giddy over cannabis stocks. You see, the company produces a synthetic cannabis drug called Syndros. And because most analysts could really give a shit about the socially-responsible benefits that come with investing in cannabis companies (ending the war on drugs, allowing sick people to get their medicine), the company was lumped into the basket of “cannabis stocks.”

INSYS is NOT a cannabis company. It’s a pharmaceutical company run by a guy who would love nothing more than to see cannabis remain illegal. After all, that would be good for business.

While this behavior doesn’t surprise me at all, it still blows my mind that the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (TSX: HMMJ) includes INSYS as a key holding, representing 11% of its total holdings. If I were an HMMJ shareholder, I’d be on the phone, demanding some answers. If you are an HMMJ shareholder, I would suggest you do just that.

In an effort to end the war on drugs and help our vets get access to cannabis to help treat their PTSD symptoms, it’s beyond offensive for HMMJ to include INSYS in its portfolio. Hell, just in an effort to maintain some credibility, I’d love to see HMMJ also consider the possibility that INSYS has contributed to the opioid epidemic.

Bottom line: I don’t know a single cannabis investor who would ever invest directly in a company like INSYS, yet many have by way of the HMMJ ETF.

While my intention here is not to trash talk HMMJ (although I call bullshit on the Scotts Miracle-Gro holding, too), those who invest in cannabis stocks through HMMJ as a way to not only make a few bucks, but also to end the vile, racist, trillion-dollar war on drugs, should know that some of their hard-earned cash is helping to support a bunch of shithead prohibitionists who would love nothing more than to see this war continue for another fifty years.

The only bright side is that the stock has been getting crushed …