b'Update on Securities Litigation Against Cannabis CompaniesAt risk of stating the obvious, 2020 was anDespite the fears of a global market crash, one unprecedented and unsettled year, in large part dueindustry that survivedand thrivedamidst to the global COVID-19 pandemic and its wide-rangingall of the uncertainty was the cannabis industry. effects. In mid-March, the United States abruptlyCannabis companies saw sales surge as they went into lockdown as coronavirus cases began towere deemed essential businesses and allowed spike. A national emergency was declared; travelto remain operational during the shutdown as bans and gathering restrictions were imposed;many states loosened restrictions on access to schools, workplaces, and restaurants were closedcannabis, including allowing retailers to provide and professional and college sports seasons weredelivery and curbside pickup. The demand for cancelled. The United States and the world came tomedical and recreational cannabis products soared recognize COVID-19 as a potential global catastrophe,to unprecedented levels during the pandemic. a realization that nearly broke the financial markets.1Stock prices for cannabis issuers also soared following On March 16, 2020, the Dow Jones Industrial Averageexperiencing an initial dip due to the pandemic-related plunged nearly 13% (3,000 points)the largestuncertainty. After falling to an all-time low of $16.65 one-day drop in U.S. historywhile the S&P 500on March 18, 2020, the Global Cannabis Stock Index plummeted 12%, its worst day since 1987. Meanwhile, assteadily climbed throughout the remainder of 2020 to coronavirus fears ripped through Wall Street, the VIX,finish at $44.39an increase of 269%.4 That trend has a gauge of stock market volatility, spiked 43%, breakingcontinued in the first quarter of 2021.5 the record set at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.2After securities class actions brought against cannabis CNNs index of market sentiment was flashing extremecompanies doubled in 2019, the number of new cases fear, while the Wall Street Journals so-called feardeclined by nearly 50% in 2020 to the same level as gauge (the Cboe Volatility Index) closed above 80 forobserved in 2018. only the third time in history (the first two occasions occurring during the 2008 financial crisis).31Justin Baer, The Day Coronavirus Nearly Broke the Financial Markets, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (May 20, 2020), https://www.wsj.com/ articles/the-day-coronavirus-nearly-broke-the-financial-markets-11589982288.2CNN, Market Volatility Spikes to Record High, Taking Out 2008 Crisis Peak (Mar. 16, 2020), available at https://www.cnn.com/business/live- news/stock-market-news-today-031620/index.html; CNBC, S&P Fell More Than 11 CNBC, Stock Market Live Monday: Dow Drops 13%, Trump Says Recession Possible, Trading Halted At Open (Mar. 16, 2020), available at https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/stock-market-today-live.html.3Id.4[cite new cannabis ventures: Global Cannabis Stock Index Slides 6% in March to End Q1 Up 41%New Cannabis Ventures].5Id.4'