December 26, 2017 / 7:27 PM / in 8 months

BUZZ-U.S. marijuana ETF debuts to strong buzz

** A U.S.-listed fund tracking the nascent marijuana industry attracted strong buzz in its first day of trading on Tuesday

** Investors traded shares in the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF worth $5.9 million so far on Tuesday during an otherwise low-volume holiday week

** The fund tracks an index that includes companies that produce pharmaceuticals or other products connected with cannabis as well as tobacco manufacturers and makers of fertilizers, plant foods, pesticides and growing equipment used to cultivate marijuana

** ETF’s top holdings include Canadian weed producers Cronos Group Inc and Canopy Growth Corp as well as GW Pharmaceuticals plc, which is trying to develop an epilepsy drug using a chemical compound found within the plant

** Marijuana growers can be added to the index if their activities become legal under U.S. federal law, according to the fund’s prospectus

** A marijuana-focused ETF that launched earlier this year in Canada, Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF, has delivered a total return including dividends of nearly 58 percent, in local-currency terms, since its April debut

** MJX was converted from a previous ETF that invested in Latin American real estate and is already close to quadrupling that previous fund’s record daily volume

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