2024 Will Be The Breakout Year for Marijuana Stocks (No…Really!)
During this past Thanksgiving week, my wife Carole and I re-watched several episodes of The Sopranos. The iconic series is our go-to viewing on the indolent holidays. At one point, mob boss Tony Soprano said something that struck me as relevant to investing:
“It’s good to be in something from the ground floor. I came too late for that, and I know. But lately I’m getting the feeling that I came in at the end. The best is over.”
It occurred to me that a lot of investors feel just like Tony. They think they’ve missed the boat on millionaire-making opportunities. But it’s never too late to find an emerging trend that’s worthy of a ground-floor investment.
Which brings me to the marijuana industry’s prospects in 2024.
The coming year is shaping up to be a milestone for the cannabis industry. Major recreational-use state markets in the U.S. are poised to accelerate in growth, notably Minnesota, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia, and political factors are highly favorable for recreational legalization in Europe, with Germany as the marijuana “growth engine.”
Around the world, interest in applying the medicinal uses for marijuana is getting more intense. For recreational purposes, consumers have a broadening array of colorfully marketed pot products to choose from.
Another catalyst is the increasing involvement of celebrity entrepreneurs who are lending their cache to marijuana. Case in point: there’s a cable television series called “Growing Belushi,” about marijuana-cultivation at James Belushi’s family farm.
In addition to Belushi, celebrities who recently launched marijuana businesses include Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, John Legend. Seth Rogen, Whoopi Goldberg, Willie Nelson, Mike Tyson, Tommy Chong, Melissa Etheridge, Montel Williams, Chelsea Handler, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rob Gronkowski, and Anita Thompson (widow of Hunter S. Thompson).
Tailwinds in Europe…
I expect the most exciting marijuana opportunities in 2024 to emerge in Europe, as the region attracts new investment capital and marijuana companies avidly seek out partners for European-based ventures. The Old World is positioned this year to become a powerful magnet for marijuana investment from the New World.
The recent vow by Germany’s new coalition government to create a regulated recreational market changes the industry’s equation for not just Europe but for the world. With a population of over 80 million and a highly affluent middle class, Germany will be a larger consumer market for marijuana than California, New York, New Jersey, and Washington state combined.
Research firm New Frontier Data stated in a report on Europe’s marijuana market:
“With the EU having some of the world’s most favorable conditions for international expansion, Germany will be a strategic launchpad for international expansion as other countries follow suit in cannabis reform.
Additionally, with Germany receiving 40 million mostly European international tourists each year (pre-pandemic), successful brands in the country will have a brand-building head start among the millions of expected canna-tourists that will visit the country’s operational markets.”
Rising in the East…
In the United States, legalization at the state level gained traction in 2023 and shows no signs of slowing, despite occasional pockets of resistance in socially conservative states.
The West Coast, with its socially tolerant mores, has historically dominated marijuana legalization efforts and the national conversation about pot. Next year, that dynamic will change.
In 2024 (and into 2025), the fast growth of legal markets along the Eastern Seaboard in the “mega-states” of Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Florida will significantly alter the industry’s power balance (see chart).
Source: New Frontier Data
Bills pending in Congress to legalize marijuana on the federal level have hit a speed bump. Sparring between the two political parties has devolved into a cage match. It’s not just marijuana-related legislation. Almost nothing can pass. Even a budget resolution to keep the government open is a dicey proposition. But the states aren’t waiting for federal action. They’re jumping into the breach.
Cannabis is now legal in much of the Northeast, which is the country’s most populous region. The subsequent generation of copious sales and tax revenue will step up the pressure on other states to embrace legalization.
A parallel trend will be greater consolidation among marijuana companies, as they race for efficiencies, new markets, and economies of scale.
Mergers and acquisitions in the marijuana sector are poised to pick up steam. Venture capitalists, hedge funds, and global consumer goods companies can read the writing on the wall; they’re flush with cash and they’re looking for greater exposure to the cannabis sector. The key is to pinpoint takeover targets and invest proactively.
The developments I’ve just described underscore the appeal of the marijuana industry as an investment in 2024 and beyond. Looking for the best pot stocks in the new year? I suggest you read my book: The Wide World of Weed and Psychedelics.
This concise, clear, easy-to-read book reveals everything you need to know about the wide world of legal weed and psychedelics.
My book is your definitive guide for making money in the psychotropic revolution. This megatrend is poised for a breakout year in 2024; the time to get aboard is now. Click here for your copy.
John Persinos is the editorial director of Investing Daily.