A New High for Marijuana
Over the past decade, the public has become increasingly supportive of legalizing cannabis. Fifteen states (and Washington DC) have legalized recreational use for adults. Medical use of marijuana is also legal in most other states.
Cannabis, marijuana, pot, weed, or whatever name you want to call it, is still illegal federally. But eventual legalization seems to be a matter of time. The optimism has never been this high.
In December, the House of Representatives passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana. The Senate did not vote on the bill and now with a new session of Congress coming in, the bill will have to be voted on again.
Now that Democrats control the effective majority in the Senate, there is a higher chance for passage. The new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has stated that he expects to have a vote in the next two years. Democrats still don’t have the 60-vote majority to prevent Republicans from filibustering any major attempts to reform marijuana law, so there are still hurdles for federal decriminalization, but there’s no doubt that as time passes, winds are blowing increasingly in favor.
Globally, only Canada and Uruguay have legalized recreational use of cannabis on a national basis, but medical use is allowed in dozens of countries.
Recreational users enjoy the feeling of relaxation and contentment (the high) produced by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major active ingredient in marijuana. Medically, cannabis has many benefits.
Officially, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one drug derived from cannabis to treat a rare form of epilepsy. It’s also approved a few synthetic cannabis-related drugs to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and AIDS-induced appetite loss. Doctors, however, have prescribed marijuana to treat a number of conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, cancer pain, and others. In addition, medical researchers are studying cannabis for a long list of conditions, including even Alzheimer’s.
A Growing Industry
According to Grand View Research, a market research firm, the legal marijuana market will grow at an annual rate of about 18% per year through 2027. Besides sales, marijuana legalization will create many thousands of jobs and opportunities all along the supply chain. You will need more growers, manufacturers, dispensaries, and deliverers and labs.
The cannabis products come in multiple forms. The marijuana buds are the most dominant form. They are usually smoked. Cannabis oils are more expensive. They are extracted from the plant. Users ingest them, sometimes mixed with foods. Like oils, tinctures are liquids, but they are mixed with alcohol and presented in dropper bottles.
Before cannabis was made illegal across the U.S. in the 1930s, tinctures were the primary form of cannabis-related medicine. From the consumer perspective, they can also consume cannabis derivatives in the form of edibles, beverages, vapes, and topicals.
The expansion of the cannabis market, of course, presents investors with opportunities and questions. So far, for the cannabis industry, profitability has been difficult to achieve. There are many competitors and legal suppliers still have to compete with the black market. Most of the biggest publicly traded marijuana stocks are Canadian (since pot is legal on the federal level in Canada), but there are also U.S. companies that operate in states where marijuana is legal. They are typically not exchange-listed.
Many marijuana companies are expected to go into the black in 2021 and hopefully become increasingly profitable. In a highly competitive field, not all cannabis companies will do well. If you are interested in investing in cannabis, it’s important to be discriminant in the stocks you buy. You want the best ones in the bunch.
Editor’s Note: As Scott Chan just made clear, cannabis investments confer market-beating potential and they’re a must for your portfolio. But the key is finding the right pot stocks. You need to conduct due diligence.
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