How to Indirectly Play the "Weed Rush"
Like it or not, the times are a-changing...and with those times comes a new wave of openness and appreciation of the usefulness of marijuana as both a medicine and an activity. While I am VERY disappointed with the Trump administration's stance on the legalization of marijuana on a federal level, I am still optimistic that the states will ignore this and more states will legalize marijuana for recreational use. If you want to read my thoughts on the cannabis market, check out my earlier post by clicking here.
I remain optimistic that the states will continue to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons when it comes to the legalization of cannabis. However, in the meantime, there are tons of marijuana companies that trade in the OTC markets, but what if you want to avoid that great risk associated with these penny stocks? There are some creative ways to indirectly benefit from the weed rush across the U.S.
The richest man in the California Gold Rush was not a mine owner, but it was the one guy who sold shovels and picks to the miners. Looking at ways to indirectly play and industry is hard to do, but fortunately, I found a few stocks that you can use to play the "weed rush" and all of them trade on the New York Stock Exchange:
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG)
It seems logical, because it is! Just like you boost the health of your flowers every summer, cannabis farms use massive amounts of fertilizers to ensure their crop yields produce more buds. A larger plant can mean the difference of thousands of dollars for some growers. As many of you may know, Scotts manufactures, markets, and sells lawn and garden products, and in 2013 the company's CEO announced that they would be actively marketing to cannabis growers in states where the drug was made legal. In fact, the company is currently in the process of developing a line of pesticides and fertilizers specifically for cannabis plants. Some analysts now expect SMG to post earnings growth of 13% and sales growth of 5% in 2017 alone. DISCLOSURE: I personally own shares of SMG.
AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)
This is a lesser-known pharmaceutical company that has one of the few FDA approved cannabis-based drugs in production. This drug is called "Marinol" and is designed to relieve nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients, and also used to treat appetite issues in patients with AIDS. Wall Street analysts are expecting the company to post earnings growth of 12% in 2017.
GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH)
Like Abbvie, GW is a bio-pharmaceutical company that works to discover, develop and commercialize cannabis prescription medicines. Most notably, the company has created a drug called "Epidiolex" which has been successful in its trails so far in treating patients who suffer from seizures, specifically those with Dravet syndrome, which is a rare form of epilepsy that affects infants and young children. The company has a history of majorly surprising on earnings results, with expectations that are nearly 42% higher than analyst expectations.
Philip Morris International Inc. (PM)
This last one is slightly controversial, but worth including in the mix. Of course, you know that Philip Morris is one of the largest tobacco and nicotine-producing companies in the world and the shift by many smokers into vape and electronic cigarettes has pushed their growth back in recent years. However, think of how easy it would be for them to sell pre-rolled joints, or to replace the nicotine liquid in their electronic cigarettes with THC liquid instead? Interestingly enough, Philip Morris is a notable investor in the Israeli company, Syqe, which patented a cannabis inhaler. Regardless of how Philip Morris handled cigarette controversy in the past, they have a real opportunity to turn around and embrace the cannabis movement. For this quarter alone, the company expects to post earnings over 40% higher than the same time frame a year ago.