Many investors may refrain from adding marijuana stocks to their portfolio on apprehensions that pot companies are indulged in scams, but, let’s not forget that this market has turned into a staggering money-making potential. Not only is it one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S, it is also poised to receive a major boost from the upcoming elections on Nov 8, when marijuana might be declared legal for both medical and recreational purposes in several U.S. states.
This is reminiscent of 1933, when drinking cold beer after work was made legal. That had set the stage for churning billions of dollars, eventually giving birth to global leaders like Anheuser-Busch InBev SA NV (BUD - Free Report) and Brown-Forman Corporation (BF.B - Free Report) . So, if you haven’t cashed in then, it’s time to do now.
Marijuana sales will add to the government’s exchequer, while it will be immensely helpful for widespread medical use. It is also, nowadays, easier for the banks to provide services for legal marijuana businesses. Banking on this optimism, we have selected the largest, most stable and legal cannabis related companies that will rake in high returns for you.
Focus on Legalization
Americans are set to head to the polls, when nine states will vote on the Cannabis initiatives. Public favor, after a decade long embargo, is turning toward the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana. Gallup polls showed that Americans backing full legalization soared from a meagre 12% in 1969 to 60% in recent times.
In fact, the number of states legalizing marijuana has been rising at a steady pace since 2000. Prior to 2000, three states including California, Oregon and Maine had made medical cannabis legal. But, in the last six years, around 15 states have officially authorized medical marijuana. Also, about 25 states have adopted medical marijuana programs, including the District of Columbia. This year alone, medical marijuana has been legalized in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada are positioned to vote for the legalization of the drug for recreational purposes. Alaska, Oregon, Colorado and Washington are the ones that already permit recreational marijuana use.
Tax Revenue to Improve
The government will definitely want to legalize marijuana as its sales will boost tax revenues significantly. In states such as Colorado and Washington, the government had collected around $70 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales in 2014, according to Time Magazine and CNN. This is almost twice as much revenues generated from alcohol taxes in such areas, according to ArcView Group.
Financial behemoth, Bank of America Corporation (BAC) had said that the U.S. marijuana market could reach a worth of around $30 billion annually by 2020, almost thrice the yearly revenue of the National Football League.
Extensive Medical Use
Research has also shown that cannabis can cure a wide range of diseases. Some of them include schizophrenia, Type 2 diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder and even some types of cancer. Cannabis-derived drugs are already approved in the U.K., Germany and Spain.
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, meantime, is trying to get marijuana approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. In a poll conducted by ABC News in 2010, almost 81% of the Americans believed that medical marijuana should be legalized completely in the U.S.
The legal marijuana industry is already growing at a rapid pace. The industry grew 24% to $5.7 billion last year, which makes it the fastest paced industry in the U.S., according to ArcView Group.
The market research firm added that the industry is expected to grow by $7.1 billion this year. ArcView also said that legal cannabis industry sales will grow more than 200% to $22.8 billion in the next four years.
4 Marijuana Stocks to Buy Now
Given such bullish trends, the movement to legalize marijuana, the country’s most popular illicit drug, has picked up steam. Recent polls also favor legalization of this business. To top it, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has made it easier for the banks to finance legal marijuana business, which used to operate in cash.
We have selected four such cannabis linked stocks that are poised to benefit from the legalization of marijuana. These stocks also boast a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). The favorable Zacks Rank should help these stocks gain further. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
GW Pharmaceuticals plc (GWPH - Free Report) , a biopharmaceutical company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in discovering, developing, and commercializing cannabinoid prescription medicines.
GW Pharmaceuticals has a Zacks Rank #1. The company’s stock soared 60.5% on a year-to-date basis. GW Pharmaceuticals has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings jump 7.2% over the last 90 days.
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG - Free Report) manufactures, markets, and sells consumer lawn and garden products worldwide. In 2013, the company’s CEO Jim Hagedorn made a call to go after an emerging market—cannabis growers. The company is presently researching a line of branded pesticides designed for pot.
Scotts Miracle-Gro has a Zacks Rank #2. The stock surged 37.4% on a year-to-date basis. The company has also seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings advance 0.2% over the last one month period.
Pepsico, Inc. (PEP - Free Report) operates as a food and beverage company worldwide. Its Frito-Lay North America segment offers snack foods including Doritos, which has THC the main chemical in marijuana. With pot getting legalized, sales of such products are expected to improve further.
Pepsico has a Zacks Rank #2. The company’s stock has gained 6.7% on a year-to-date basis. Also, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current year earnings inched up 0.8% over the last 60 days.
Philip Morris International, Inc. (PM - Free Report) manufactures and sells cigarettes, other tobacco products, and other nicotine-containing products. Imagine how easy it will be for the company to simply replace nicotine liquid in e-cigs with THC liquid, or substitute tobacco in cigarettes with marijuana. Philip Morris had also invested $20 million in Syqe, an Israeli company that patented a unique cannabis inhaler.
Philip Morris has a Zacks Rank #2. The company has rallied 9.4% on a year-to-date basis. Further, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current year earnings rose 0.8% over the last 60 days.
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