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Top Marijuana Stocks for April 2021

CLIQ.TO, CARA, and GRWG are top for value, growth, and momentum, respectively

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The marijuana industry is made up of companies that either support or are engaged in the research, development, distribution, and sale of medical and recreational marijuana. Cannabis has begun to gain wider acceptance and has been legalized in a growing number of nations, states, and other jurisdictions for recreational, medicinal, and other uses. Some of the biggest companies in the marijuana industry include Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC), Cronos Group Inc. (CRON), and Tilray Inc. (TLRY). Many big marijuana companies have continued to post sizable net losses as they focus on investing in equipment to speed up revenue growth, which remains strong despite the economic disruption spurred by the pandemic.

Marijuana stocks, as represented by the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ), have dramatically outperformed the broader market. MJ has provided a total return of 122.1% over the past 12 months, nearly double the Russell 1000’s total return of 66.1%. These market performance numbers and all statistics in the tables below are as of March 24, 2021.

Here are the top 5 marijuana stocks with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum.

On March 31, 2021, New York passed a law legalizing recreational cannabis, expanding medical use, and decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, among other measures. Not all of these provisions will go into effect immediately and there is not yet a timeline by which all these measures will be fully implemented.

Best Value Marijuana Stocks

Value investing is a factor-based investing strategy in which you pick stocks that you believe are trading for less than what they are intrinsically worth, usually by measuring the ratio of the stock’s price to one or more fundamental business metrics. A widely accepted value metric is the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E Ratio). Value investors believe that if a business is cheap compared to its intrinsic value, in this case as measured by its P/E ratio, the stock price may rise faster than others as the price comes back in line with the worth of the company. These are the marijuana stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio.

Best Value Marijuana Stocks
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Alcanna Inc. ( CLIQ.TO) CA$7.90 CA$0.3 21.4
NIC Inc. ( EGOV) 33.81 2.3 33.5
Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. ( IIPR) 172.84 4.1 53.7
Village Farms International Inc. ( VFF.TO) CA$15.96 CA$1.3 61.2
Trulieve Cannabis Corp. ( TRUL.CX) CA$60.21 CA$7.2 85.9
  • Alcanna Inc.: Alcanna is a Canada-based retailer of alcoholic beverages and cannabis. The company operates liquor stores that sell wines, beers, and spirts, and retail cannabis stores. Alcanna employs about 1,800 people and operates 250 liquor and cannabis retail outlets.
  • NIC Inc.: NIC offers services to help governments use the Internet to provide services to citizens and businesses. The company is the nation’s largest provider of digital government services, sites, and secure payment processing. NIC also offers a platform for government licensing and regulation of the cannabis industry. The company serves more than 7,000 federal, state, and local government agencies throughout the U.S. NIC announced on February 10 that it has agreed to be acquired by Tyler Technologies Inc. (TYL) in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $2.3 billion. Tyler Technologies is a provider of integrated software and technology services to local, state, and federal government entities. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.
  • Innovative Industrial Properties Inc.: Innovative Industrial Properties is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that engages in the acquisition, disposition, development, and management of industrial facilities leased to tenants in the medical cannabis industry. The company’s portfolio consists of specialized industrial and greenhouse buildings leased to state-licensed medical-use cannabis cultivators across the U.S.
  • Village Farms International Inc.: Village Farms International is a Canada-based agricultural producer. In addition to growing vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers, the company also produces cannabis. The company distributes fresh produce from over nine million square feet of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) greenhouses in Canada and the U.S., as well as from partner greenhouses in Canada and Mexico.
  • Trulieve Cannabis Corp.: Trulieve Cannabis is a holding company that, through its subsidiaries, engages in the cultivation, possession, sale, and distribution of medical cannabis. Its products are designed to alleviate seizures, muscle spasms, pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and other symptoms associated with serious medical conditions such as cancer. The company operates 83 stores across the U.S., 78 of which are located in Florida, where it serves more than 450,000 patients. Trulieve recently announced that is has agreed to acquire Mountaineer Holding LLC, providing Trulieve with an additional cultivation permit and two additional dispensary permits. Trulieve agreed to acquire Mountaineer for an upfront payment of $6 million. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2021.

Fastest Growing Marijuana Stocks

These are the top marijuana stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly year-over-year (YOY) percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings-per-share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of over 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest Growing Marijuana Stocks
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%) Revenue Growth (%)
Cara Therapeutics Inc. ( CARA) 19.44 1.0 N/A 2,380
GrowGeneration Corp. ( GRWG) 45.81 2.5 100.0 152.6
NIC Inc. (EGOV) 33.81 2.3 73.3% 62.1
Jushi Holdings Inc. ( JUSH.CX) CA$8.23 CA$0.9 N/A 600.0
Cresco Labs Inc. ( CL.CX) CA$16.46 CA$3.6 N/A 314.9
  • Cara Therapeutics Inc.: Cara Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies primarily for the treatment of pruritus, a skin condition causing severe itchiness. The company owns several patents, one of which has claims to certain cannabinoid compounds. Cara Therapeutics has a number of drugs under development that are in various stages of clinical trials. The company’s EPS growth is not recorded in the table above because its earnings changed from negative in Q4 2019 to positive in Q4 2020, its most recent reported quarter and which ended December 31, 2020.
  • GrowGeneration Corp.: GrowGeneration is a distributor of agricultural products. The company operates retail hydroponic and organic specialty gardening retail outlets. It offers thousands of products, including plant nutrition, farming soils, advanced lighting technology, hydroponic and aquaponic equipment, and more. As one of the largest hydroponics suppliers in the country it owns and operates 52 retail and distribution centers. GrowGeneration recently announced the appointment of Jeffrey Lasher to the role of chief financial officer (CFO), effective April 15, 2021. Mr. Lasher has previously served as CFO at several other companies, including West Marine Inc. and Crocs Inc. (CROX).
  • NIC Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Jushi Holdings Inc.: Jushi Holdings is a holding company focused on building a portfolio of branded cannabis and hemp-based assets. The company is engaged in retail, distribution, cultivation, and processing operations. Its brands include: The Bank, focused on plant genetics and cultivation; The Lab, specializing in vape products and concentrates; Nira, maker of hemp-based CBD products that are physician formulated; Nira+, producer of medicinal THC products; Seche, offering various branded ground and flower cannabis products; and Tasteology, a provider of THC-infused products. Jushi’s EPS growth is not recorded in the table above because its earnings changed from positive in Q3 2019 to negative in Q3 2020, its most recent reported quarter and which ended September 30, 2020.
  • Cresco Labs Inc.: Cresco Labs is a consumer-packaged cannabis products company involved in growing, manufacturing, and distribution. The company operates in nine states, owns production facilities and dispensaries, and holds 29 retail licenses. Its brands include Cresco, Reserve, Remedi, Mindy’s, Good News, High Supply, Wonder Wellness Co., and FloraCal Farms. Cresco’s EPS growth is not recorded in the table above because its earnings changed from negative in Q3 2019 to positive in Q3 2020, its most recent reported quarter as of March 24, 2021 and which ended September 30, 2020. The company recently announced that it has agreed to acquire Cultivate Licensing LLC and BL Real Estate LLC (collectively known as Cultivate), a Massachusetts-based vertically integrated operator, for upfront consideration of $90 million and an earnout of up to $68 million. The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2021.

Marijuana Stocks with the Most Momentum

Momentum investing is a factor-based investing strategy in which you invest in a stock whose price has risen faster than the market as a whole. Momentum investors believe that stocks which have outperformed the market will often continue to do so, because the factors that caused them to outperform will not suddenly disappear. In addition, other investors, seeking to benefit from the stock’s outperformance, will often purchase the stock, further bidding its price higher and pushing the stock higher still. These are the stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Marijuana Stocks with the Most Momentum
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
GrowGeneration Corp. (GRWG) 45.81 2.5 1,180
Amyris Inc. ( AMRS) 18.76 5.0 772.6
Jushi Holdings Inc. (JUSH.CX) CA$8.23 CA$0.9 648.2
Aphria Inc. ( APHA) 17.45 5.5 546.3
TerrAscend Corp. ( TER.CX) CA$13.15 CA$2.3 517.4
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 66.1
ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ) N/A N/A 122.1
  • GrowGeneration Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Amyris Inc.: Amyris produces and distributes products that serve markets for specialty and performance chemicals, flavors and fragrances, cosmetics ingredients, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. The company is also working on developing and producing cannabinoid products. Amyris announced in the second half of February positive pre-clinical results for its RNA COVID-19 vaccine platform. The company announced in October 2020 that it had entered into a collaboration agreement and exclusive license with the Infectious Disease Research Institute to advance a novel RNA vaccine platform and develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Jushi Holdings Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Aphria Inc.: Aphria is a Canada-based licensed producer of medical cannabis products. Its medical cannabis is 100% greenhouse grown, allowing its plants to benefit from natural sunlight. The company’s products include oils, softgels, oral sprays, and cartridges. Aphria has scheduled a special meeting of shareholders on April 14, 2021 to approve a previously announced business combination with Tilray. Tilray is scheduled to hold its own special meeting of stockholders on April 16, 2021 to approve the merger. The agreement to combine the two companies was announced in December. The combined company would operate under the Tilray name and would be worth approximately $3.9 billion, based on the companies’ share prices on December 15, 2020. The merger agreement is expected to close during the second quarter of 2021.
  • TerrAscend Corp.: TerrAscend is a Canada-based integrated cannabis company offering a range of products, brands, and services for the global medical- and adult-use cannabis markets. Its portfolio of businesses include: The Apothecarium, a cannabis dispensary; Arise Bioscience Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of hemp-derived products; Ilera Healthcare, a medical marijuana cultivator, processor, and dispenser; Valhalla Confections, a manufacturer of cannabis-infused edibles; and more. TerrAscend recently announced that Jason Ackerman was stepping down from his roles as chief executive officer (CEO) and executive chairman, effective March 23, 2021. Jason Wild, the company’s chairman, assumed the executive chairman position. Wild said that differences over management style and culture led the board to decide to part ways with Ackerman. TerrAscend is looking for a new CEO.

The comments, opinions and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or to adopt any investment strategy. While we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described on our content may not be suitable for all investors. Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions, and analyses contained within our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment, or strategy.

These are the marijuana stocks with the best value, fastest growth, and most momentum for April 2021.

Investing in Marijuana Stocks

The marijuana industry is expected to triple in the next five years — and many investors are looking to profit. As states and entire countries decriminalize or legalize cannabis and/or its components, there are loads of opportunities for entrepreneurs and existing companies.

But as in any nascent industry, there are also loads of risks and bad actors. Whether you’re a first-time investor or a seasoned veteran, it pays to understand all of the moving parts. This guide will get you up to speed quickly, and we’ll share a couple of the marijuana companies that we watch closely.

Best marijuana stocks in 2021

Company Description
Green Thumb Industries (OTC:GTBIF) Marijuana grower and retailer
Trulieve Cannabis (OTC:TCNNF) Marijuana grower and retailer
Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) Ancillary provider
GrowGeneration (NASDAQ:GRWG) Ancillary provider
Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG) Ancillary provider
GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) Biotech

Source: Yahoo Finance.

Green Thumb Industries

Green Thumb Industries (OTC:GTBIF) benefited from tremendous growth in its home state of Illinois throughout much of 2020. Illinois’ legal adult-use recreational marijuana market opened for business at the beginning of the year.

The company owns retail cannabis stores in 12 states across the U.S. and operates 13 manufacturing facilities. Green Thumb holds licenses for 96 retail cannabis locations but has opened only a little over half that many stores. That, along with the opportunity to expand into additional states (especially New Jersey, with its new recreational marijuana market), gives the company a significant growth runway.

Trulieve Cannabis

Trulieve Cannabis (OTC:TCNNF) focuses primarily on the Florida medical cannabis market. And it dominates in the Sunshine State with roughly 50% of total sales.

The cannabis grower and retailer has been consistently profitable since 2017, an achievement few other marijuana companies can claim. Its sales and earnings continue to soar. Trulieve’s next big growth opportunity is in Massachusetts, where it expects to enter the state’s recreational marijuana market in 2021.

Innovative Industrial Properties

There’s one big downside to marijuana being illegal at the federal level in the U.S.: Cannabis companies can’t easily secure capital from banks or financial institutions. However, that creates a big opportunity for Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR), which buys properties from U.S. medical cannabis operators and then leases the properties back to them. This gives the cannabis operator much-needed cash. And being in the landlord business gives IIP a steady revenue stream.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted IIP’s business a little, though, with three tenants receiving temporary rent deferrals due to coronavirus-related financial headwinds. But the company has still been able to deliver phenomenal growth during the pandemic. It’s highly profitable. Also, because the company is organized as a real estate investment trust (REIT), IIP must return at least 90% of its taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends.

GrowGeneration

While much of GrowGeneration’s business is catering to cannabis growers, the company also sells to other types of gardeners. GrowGeneration has seen a surge in customers who have jumped into organic gardening at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scotts Miracle-Gro

Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG) is another company benefiting from the same trends that have boosted GrowGeneration’s sales. The company’s Hawthorne Gardening subsidiary ranks as a leading supplier of hydroponic gardening products to the cannabis industry.

Although Hawthorne is the primary growth driver for Scotts, the company still makes well over half of its total revenue from sales of its consumer lawn and garden products. This business has also benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic.

GW Pharmaceuticals

In 2018, GW Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:GWPH) Epidiolex became the first drug made from a cannabis plant to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Sales of Epidiolex routinely surpassed expectations in its initial approved indications, treating Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, both of which are rare forms of childhood epilepsy. The cannabis-focused biotech saw new patient starts for Epidiolex slow slightly with the COVID-19 pandemic, but it continued to deliver strong revenue growth.

In August 2020, GW won FDA approval for Epidiolex in treating tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a rare disease whereby benign tumors grow in vital body organs. This opens up a significant new market to the company, as around 50,000 people in the U.S. and roughly 1 million people worldwide have the disease.

Related topics

This huge industry holds opportunities for long-term investors, but there are risks too.

Scientific advances are opening up new possibilities for the treatment and prevention of diseases.

Healthcare is a growing industry, and cannabis investors may benefit from getting acquainted with it.

Learn about other stocks in this sector and how consumer staples have traditionally performed.

3 key things to know about marijuana stocks

Let’s first cover some of the most important things you need to know to get started with investing in marijuana stocks:

1. There are three broad categories of marijuana stocks.

  • Marijuana growers and retailers cultivate and package cannabis products and sell them to consumers.
  • Ancillary providers provide products and services to cannabis companies.
  • Biotechs develop and market cannabis-based drugs.

2. There are two primary cannabis markets.

  • Medical cannabis is for patients who use cannabis or cannabis extracts to treat health conditions. These patients must have recommendations from physicians, or in some cases prescriptions, to purchase medical cannabis.
  • Recreational cannabis is for customers who use marijuana or cannabis extracts for enjoyment rather than for health benefits. This market is sometimes referred to as the adult-use market because only people 18 and older are allowed to use cannabis (in areas where it’s legal).

3. Geography is tremendously important.

  • Many more countries have legalized medical cannabis is legal in than recreational cannabis. In the U.S., cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. However, a growing number of states have legalized medical cannabis and recreational cannabis. The geographical locations where a given company operates is tremendously important for its growth prospects. For example, the larger and faster-growing U.S. market has enabled several U.S.-based cannabis companies to deliver stronger financial performances than their Canadian counterparts. We cover this topic in depth in our review of marijuana legalization around the world.

Fresh green marijuana leaf lies atop a loose pile of cash.

Image source: Getty Images

Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every part of the global economy, including the cannabis industry. In many U.S. states, cannabis dispensaries have been designated as essential businesses. Cannabis sales boomed in some states during the first few months of the coronavirus outbreak as people sought ways to cope with the anxiety caused by lockdowns and the resulting economic chaos.

This trend boosted business for marijuana growers and retailers serving these states. It also helped ancillary providers supplying gardening and other products to these companies.

However, some cannabis companies were hit hard by the pandemic. For example, recreational cannabis retailers in tourist destinations such as Las Vegas saw their customer traffic dwindle as people avoided travel. Some of these companies started focusing on home delivery to generate revenue.

The top cannabis-focused biotech experienced challenges promoting its products to healthcare professionals. Many sales calls had to be conducted virtually, and new patient starts slipped as people delayed doctor visits.

But, Really, Should I Buy Marijuana Stocks?

We just went step-by-step through how to invest in cannabis, but just because there’s a trendy new sector with lots of press and potential growth doesn’t mean you need to put your hard-earned money in it. After all, if you buy broad index funds, you’re covered no matter what sector of the stock market does well.

Think through the pros and cons as you read on: Should You Invest in Marijuana Stocks?

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