U.S. election: The marijuana ballots

Hillary or Donald for president?

That’s the big question in the U.S. election on Nov. 8 — and many in the Wall Street investment community see U.S. stocks falling hard on Nov. 9 if Trump and family become the next occupants of the White House.

But investors in marijuana stocks may not be quite as concerned about the outcome of the presidential vote. They’re looking to the nine states where the legalization of marijuana will be a ballot question. Five of those states — California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts — could see recreational pot legalized, while North Dakota, Arkansas, Montana and Florida are considering medical marijuana legalization.

California, in particular, is seen as the jackpot state, where sales of both recreational and medicinal pot are expected to be over $22 billion a year in just a few years.

Canada, meanwhile has already legalized medical pot and — if the Trudeau Liberals live up to their promise — will legalize recreational marijuana next year.

Marijuana stocks in Canada have been defying all the normal investing principles. They’re soaring, even though earnings are still low. They are trading at ridiculously high multiples to their book values — because, of course, there is great promise for the future. It has all the potential to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, speculative bubbles ever seen in stock markets, and savvy investors are hopping aboard now.

Like Snoop Dogg. He has put a lot of money into a Canadian company called Canopy Growth Corp., which is the current leader in the Canadian marijuana industry both in sales and share price.

But the smaller players are seeing big stock gains, too, and stand to benefit after the ballot votes in the United States next week. One company, Maple Leaf Green World, is seeking a cultivation licence in San Diego County — and you know if they get it, their share price will rocket.

Of course, once pot is fully legalized, there is bound to be a shakeout in the industry as the speculative bubble bursts and normal investing principles are used to evaluate stocks. Some companies will merge, some will die, and stock prices will better reflect earnings and book value.

But for now, the sky appears to be the limit for marijuana stocks — and I suspect many more investors will be hopping aboard the bandwagon in the weeks to come in the U.S. and Canada. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some of the stocks trading in the triple-digit range within a year.

Disclosure: I own stock in four Canadian marijuana companies, including Canopy Growth and Maple Leaf Green World, and will be adding to them.

— Jillian

Photo: Field of dreams for marijuana investors. (Photo by Aleks on Wikimedia Commons)

5 thoughts on “U.S. election: The marijuana ballots

  1. It will be interesting to watch if Massachusetts does legalize pot. Right now the polls show it neck in neck. They’ve already had a rocky road with the roll-out of medical marijuana here, so considerable skepticism.

    In my homestate, Vermont, the Legislature decides such matters and decided to wait a bit longer. It’s been said this was one issue where it was better not to be so pioneering and be first, rather wait, watch and learn from states like Colorado as they grapple with their situation. Lots of practical concerns, more than moral ones. And, legalization hasn’t eliminated drug dealers. The states have taxed legal marijuana so much that it’s allowed dealers to undercut the legal market and still make a profit.

    Yup, bubble seems a very good term for marijuana stocks. Investors should actively watch their holdings. This may be a volatile market. I’m reminded of the legalization of swingers clubs in Canada when lots of new clubs proliferated, at first, but now I think there may be fewer than there were before the court ruling. One of the original club owners predicted the market wouldn’t hold up, (and, I think his club was one of the casualties.)

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    1. I’m thinking the legalization of pot in all of the U.S. is inevitable

      Interesting point about dealers undercutting the legal market. I think Canadian law will allow people to grown their own, so I can see that being stretched beyond the legal limits.

      But there is no doubt there is a huge market for pot, as opposed to swingers clubs. Should be interesting — but i wouldn’t bet the proverbial farm on marijuana stocks.

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  2. Recreational use will be legal in Massachusetts on December 15th. Not sure just why they chose that date. It won’t actually be all that noticeable because it was decriminalized, for small amounts, a couple years ago, so there has been smoking on the streets for a while now.

    The retail shops won’t be set-up for a while, it’s set for sometime in 2018, but state officials are already requesting more time to prepare for this. So, buying the edibles won’t happen for some time.

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