Short interest in cannabis stock Tilray surged in past week: Ortex

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FILE PHOTO: Cannabis plants grow inside the Tilray factory in Cantanhede

LONDON (Reuters) - Short interest in cannabis producer Tilray Inc increased in the past week, with 36.6% of its freefloat out on loan, according to estimates from financial analytics firm Ortex on Wednesday.

Tilray shares surged 51% on Wednesday amid signs the Reddit community behind the recent retail trading frenzy and the GameStop short squeeze is now talking up the cannabis sector.

Shares in other cannabis companies also surged.

The Tilray shares out on loan amounted to 41 million shares, Ortex said, comparing this to stock exchange data for Jan. 29 which showed 30.8 million shares or 27% of the freefloat on loan.

S3 Partners, another financial analytics firm, put Tilray's short interest at 31 million shares as of Tuesday.

Estimated short interest in video game retailer GameStop, meanwhile, declined to 39% of freefloat versus exchange estimates of 46% at the end of January, according to Ortex.

S3 Partners' data indicated short selling in GameStop on Tuesday was at 26 million shares, equivalent to $1.3 billion.

GameStop's stock on Wednesday closed 1.8% higher at $51.20 after dropping in recent sessions from an intraday high of almost $500 during the January short squeeze.

(Reporting by Sujata Rao, Additional reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Bill Berkrot)