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4 Stocks to Ride the Wave of Cannabis Legalization

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In early December, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that decriminalizes marijuana in the United States at the federal level. The house voted 228-164 in favor of passing the bill. This was the first time in history that a body of the U.S. Congress supported the legalization of marijuana.

Notably, this came approximately a month after five U.S. states — New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and Mississippi — voted to decriminalize the recreational and medical usage of cannabis. Moreover, this should come as no surprise as pot is sold legally, albeit in controlled amounts, in a few states in America.

While the bill would legalize cannabis at the federal level, every state in the country would be free to decide whether marijuana could be sold there at all.

Termed as The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, the bill seeks to remove marijuana from the federal drug scheduling system as well as eliminate “criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.”

Moreover, those with prior marijuana-related federal convictions can now heave a sigh of relief as this bill would expunge all records for such people. Furthermore, the bill plans to impose a 5% tax on all marijuana products and deposit such revenues into the trust fund that seeks to support individuals or businesses in those communities that were impacted by the crackdown on drugs in the past.

Terms of the bill also seek to provide federal loans to marijuana businesses as well as prevent officials from denying federal public benefits to individuals who have prior marijuana convictions, among a plethora of other changes.

SAFE Banking Act to Boost Cannabis in 2021

To the dismay of investors following the U.S. cannabis industry closely, provisions regarding the Safe Banking Act were left out in the $900 billion Coronavirus relief bill, passed recently by the U.S. Congress.

Despite enjoying support from a group of bipartisan Attorneys General, state treasurers, and a majority of the members of the House, the legislation failed to find a place in the relief package.

However, the cannabis industry as along with those financial institutions considering providing financing to the cannabis industry remains optimistic that the Safe Banking Act may be turned into law in 2021.

If the bill is signed into law, which many believe is a possibility in the near term, the marijuana industry in the country would undergo a revolution as it will overcome the biggest hurdle in its path to becoming a top performer, which is the lack of banking services.

Passed by the House Financial Services Committee last year, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act or the SAFE Banking Act, opens up avenues for legal and effective financing for marijuana companies in the United States.

The bill seeks to safeguard the process of financial lending to cannabis companies in the country. This would not only protect the industry’s credit lines but also aid cannabis ancillary industries in the country. The ancillary sector has been suffering from financial uncertainties associated with the legal status of marijuana in the past.

4 Stocks That Stand to Gain the Most

2020 proved to be a marquee year for America’s pot industry as four states — Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota — legalized adult-use in this year’s general election, setting the stage for more states in the country to follow suit next year.

Increasing tolerance, financial protection, credit availability and legal votes have shaped America’s hemp industry lately. Such a development has more to do with growing awareness of its commercial and medicinal values.

In this context, we have selected four stocks that are expected to gain from these factors. These four stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIPR - Free Report)  is focused on the acquisition, ownership and management of specialized properties leased to experienced, state-licensed operators for their regulated medical-use cannabis facilities.

The company is based out of San Diego, CA and carries a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 5.8% over the past 60 days.

Cronos Group Inc. (CRON - Free Report)  manufactures, markets and distributes hemp-derived supplements and cosmetic products.

The company is based out of Toronto, Canada and has a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved more than 100% over the past 60 days.

Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC - Free Report) is engaged in the production, distribution and sale of cannabis for recreational and medical purposes primarily in Canada, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The company is based out of Smiths Falls, Canada and carries a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 3.4% over the past 60 days.

Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ - Free Report) is an alcohol giant with significant stakes in cannabis ventures.

The company is based out of Victor, NY and has a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 3.4% over the past 60 days.

Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2021

In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top tickers for the entirety of 2021?

These 10 are painstakingly hand-picked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. They are our primary picks to buy and hold. Start Your Access to the New Zacks Top 10 Stocks >>