Cannabis stock is so hot it's smoking

Tilray dethrones Canopy Growth as the most valuable marijuana stock

The shares, which closed at more than $214 for the day, then continued to lose ground in after-hours trading.

Shares rose as much as 28 percent to $153.88 as of 1:35 p.m.in NY after the British Columbia-based cannabis company received approval from the US government to import medical cannabis into the country for a clinical trial.

The company and a researcher at the University of California San Diego believe this is the first export of a cannabis product from a Canadian company to the US, where marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. The one-year trial is scheduled to begin in 2019.

The stock is up another 40% in pre-market trading Wednesday after CEO Brendan Kennedy appeared on CNBC's "Mad Money" Tuesday evening.

The news signals yet "another encouraging sign of improved government support for cannabis research", Cowen analyst Vivien Azer writes in a note, and the increased medical applications "add another domino to future legalization in the U.S".

The company's valuation briefly topped US$20 billion, making it larger than some more mainstream stocks including American Airlines and Clorox.

However, by late afternoon, surged to US$300, up 94 per cent from its previous close of US$154.98. The share price was boosted by bullish comments from its chief executive and news that America's drugs regulator would allow the company to export a cannabis-based drug to the United States.

Tilray completed its initial public offering in July with its shares priced at US$17 per share.

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