What’s your view on marijuana stocks? My investment-management firm has a great front-row view of the marijuana industry, as Colorado was one of the earlier U.S. states to legalize marijuana. Here’s our opinion: Making money on marijuana (cannabis with high content of intoxicating THC) and hemp (cannabis that contains low content of THC) will be extremely difficult — except perhaps in one specific area.
You don’t want to own growers. There is a good reason why pot is called weed — it is a weed. You cannot name us a single company that is the best and most profitable parsley, basil, or cilantro grower, and for good reason — these are commodities. So is marijuana. Though there are temporary abnormal profits to be captured when growing cannabis, it is restricted and tightly zoned. Once marijuana is more widely legalized and zoning laws are relaxed, capitalism kicks into high gear and excess profits get squeezed out of the system. There is no competitive advantage that can be achieved and then sustained in growing cannabis.
Then there are the medical applications — the stories we hear make you want to consume CBD (hemp extract) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But handicapping winners and losers in this space is difficult — a few listed companies currently trade at astronomical, dot-com-like valuations.