Marijuana stocks, as represented by the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ), have dramatically underperformed the broader market. MJ has provided a total return of -28.6% over the past 12 months, well below the Russell 1000’s total return of 25.2%. These market performance numbers and all statistics in the tables below are as of Jan. 6, 2022.
Momentum investing is a factor-based investing strategy in which you invest in a stock whose price has risen faster than the market has as a whole. Momentum investors believe that stocks that 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 past 12 months.
GRWG, VRNO.CX, and IIPR are top for value, growth, and momentum, respectively
Below we look at the top five marijuana stocks with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum.
Fastest Growing Marijuana Stocks
These are the marijuana stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-sales (P/S) ratio. For companies in the early stages of development or industries suffering from major shocks, this can be substituted as a rough measure of a business’s value. A business with higher sales could eventually produce more profit when it achieves (or returns to) profitability. The P/S ratio shows how much you’re paying for the stock for each dollar of sales generated.
• Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (CNBS). Like most of this sector’s ETFs, CNBS is short on history—inception date: 2019—which gives investors little to go on for historical performance. However, with a low NAV in the $20 per share range, inventors can get a taste for the industry without risking a positive drug test at the workplace. Shares of CNBS are up more than 72% year over year, although the ETF is well off its it February 2021 highs near $40, making now a great time to jump in. Like other ETFs in the cannabis sector, the expense ratio is high at 0.75%.
• AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (YOLO). Actively managed ETFs are hard to come by, but here’s one for the cannabis sector. If you’re looking to dip a toe into cannabis, this ETF can help you get all the benefits of an actively managed mutual fund with the real-time liquidity of an ETF. A relatively new fund, it invests in mid-cap industry firms in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and even Israel. As an active ETF, the expense ratio is high, clocking in at 0.75%.
• ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ). Providing a YTD return of 34% as of early September 2021, this ETF that tracks the Alternative Harvest Index is no slouch. With an at-present highly accessible cost-per-share 0f around $16, investors wanting to try the cannabis industry on for size can do so at a low price of entry. Shares come with a steep expense ratio for a passively managed ETF, though: 0.75%.
The Best Pure Play Cannabis ETFs
• Altria Group Inc. (MO). You’ll know this stock best as the maker of Marlboro and one of the behemoths in the tobacco sector (along with its dabblings in the adult beverage industry). Because of that, for ESG investors, Altria’s likely not an option. For those who don’t mind the vice, the company’s making a play for cannabis, holding a substantial stake in Cronos Group, detailed above. While the stock took a substantial hit from its investment in JUUL, share prices have been near their one-year highs. Analysts have noticed and the stock comes complete with several Buy and Strong Buy ratings and a dividend yield that only stocks in this sector can bear: 7.2%.
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The Best Large-Cap Stocks with Cannabis Exposure
As always, you should ensure any potential investment choice aligns with your personal goals and risk tolerance. And please note, stocks and funds are listed below in alphabetical order only, by category.
To help you choose the best cannabis investments, we take a closer look at stocks and funds, as well as a few less dank offerings it’s perhaps better to avoid. There are both pure plays—firms that specialize exclusively in bud—and large-cap names that also have some pot industry exposure.