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Top Marijuana Stocks for September 2020

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), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB), 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 pandemic-spurred economic downturn.

Marijuana stocks, as represented by the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ), have dramatically underperformed the broader market, providing investors with a total return of -47.2% compared to the S&P 500’s total return of 23.9% over the past 12 months. These market performance numbers and the statistics in the tables below are as of August 26.

Here are the top 3 marijuana stocks with the best value, the fastest sales growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Marijuana Stocks 

These are the marijuana stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-sales (P/S) ratio. For young companies that have not reached profitability, this can provide an idea of how much business you’re getting for each dollar invested.

Best Value Marijuana Stocks
 Price ($)Market Cap ($M)12-Month Trailing P/S Ratio
Village Farms International Inc. (VFF.TO)CA$7.53CA$425.32.0
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (HARV.CX)CA$1.57CA$576.12.1
Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO)CA$6.05CA$1,7432.9

Source: YCharts

  • Village Farms International Inc.: Village Farms International is a Canada-based agricultural producer. In addition to growing standard vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers, the company now produces cannabis. Village Farms International reported a 15.1% increase in produce sales for Q2 2020, which ended June 30, 2020. However, the company also posted a net loss of $119,000, a significant deterioration from net income of $3.7 million in the year-ago quarter.
  • Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.: Harvest Health & Recreation is a Canada-based cannabis company that specializes in cultivation, dispensaries, and production facilities for medicinal and recreational marijuana. The company announced in late June the appointment of Deborah Keeley to the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective immediately. Keeley replaced Leo Jaschke, who resigned from his post.
  • Aphria Inc.: Aphria is a Canada-based company engaged in the production and sale of medical and recreational cannabis. The company announced earlier this month that it had entered into a Strategic Supply Agreement with Canndoc Ltd., a subsidiary of InterCure Ltd., a leading Israel-based medical cannabis producer. Aphria will supply Canndoc with dried bulk flower over a two-year period under the terms of the contract.

Fastest Growing Marijuana Stocks 

These are the marijuana stocks with the highest year over year (YOY) sales growth for the most recent quarter. Rising sales show that a company’s business is growing. This is often used to measure growth of young companies that have not yet reached profitability.

Fastest Growing Marijuana Stocks
 Price ($)Market Cap ($M)Revenue Growth (%)
Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NEPT.TO)CA$3.39CA$378.2389.9
4Front Ventures Corp. (FFNT.CX)CA$0.84CA$425.4348.9
Cresco Labs Inc. (CL.CX)CA$9.14CA$1,899226.7

Source: YCharts

  • Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc.: Neptune Wellness Solutions is a Canada-based integrated health and wellness company. The company is focused on building a portfolio of natural, plant-based consumer products, including cannabis and hemp. Neptune reported revenue growth of 389.9% for Q1 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), which ended June 30, 2020. The company announced in mid-June the launch of Neptune Halo, an electronic pulse oximeter device that detects oxygen saturation levels in the body and could be used as an important tool in the battle against COVID-19.
  • 4Front Ventures Corp.: 4Front Ventures owns and operates a group of cannabis cultivation and production facilities. The company also packages, distributes, and retails cannabis products.
  • Cresco Labs Inc.: Cresco Labs is a consumer-packaged cannabis products company involved in growing, manufacturing, and distribution. The company announced in late June the appointment of Dennis Olis as CFO. He will replace Ken Amann, who will be retiring at the end of the year.

Marijuana Stocks with the Most Momentum 

These are the marijuana 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 (%)
Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (TRUL.CX)CA$27.45CA$3.1154.6
Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (PLTH.CX)CA$4.82CA$0.694.4
Green Thumb Industries Inc. (GTII.CX)CA$19.00CA$4.080.1
S&P 500N/AN/A23.9
ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ)N/AN/A-47.2

Source: YCharts

  • Trulieve Cannabis Corp.: Trulieve Cannabis is a Canada-based holding company that, through its subsidiaries, engages in the cultivation, possession, sale, and distribution of medical cannabis.
  • Planet 13 Holdings Inc.: Planet 13 is a holding company that, through its subsidiaries, develops cannabis-based products. The company’s products include cannabis, cannabis extracts, infused products, vapes, edibles, and more.
  • Green Thumb Industries Inc.: Green Thumb Industries operates as a pharmaceutical company that manufactures and distributes medical marijuana and cannabis products.


Advice to California immigrants seeking to stay in US: Don’t work with pot

Photo: Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle 2017

Workers sweep cannabis leaves at Harborside Farms in Salinas in 2017. The federal government considers employment in the marijuana industry a strike against immigrants seeking permanent residency.

Bob Egelko | on August 10, 2019

The headline of a sign that a San Francisco immigration clinic is distributing to marijuana growers and dispensers in California, where personal use by adults has been legal since 2016, gives some dire advice:

Warning: If you are not a U.S. citizen, it may be legally dangerous for you to work in the marijuana industry.

Undocumented immigrants fighting deportation can also be affected. Those who have lived in the United States for more than 10 years can avoid removal by showing that it would cause hardship to family members who are U.S. citizens, but not if the immigrant lacks “good moral character.”

And under the federal policy, proof of disqualifying “marijuana-related activities” doesn’t require federal prosecution and conviction. Instead, immigrants can be snared by their own statements to federal officers.

“You are asked, ‘Have you ever used illegal drugs,’ and you say, ‘No, just marijuana,’” said San Francisco immigration attorney Zachary Nightingale, describing a typical interrogation of a legal resident seeking citizenship. “Did you possess marijuana in the state? If you say ‘yes,’ you’re automatically disqualified for five years.”

Nightingale said he advises noncitizens who work in marijuana-related businesses to find a new line of work for at least five years before applying for citizenship.

“Immigrants are caught in the middle, often unknowingly,” said Bill Hing, a University of San Francisco law professor and co-director of the school’s Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic. “They think, ‘I have permission to work, here’s a job that’s legal in California,’ and they take it. They could very well be falling into a federal trap.”

Asked about the policy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services responded, “Federal law does not recognize the decriminalization of marijuana for any purpose, even in places where state or local law does.”

Hing’s clinic has been providing pot businesses with the warning signs it obtained from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit advocacy group in San Francisco. The state Employment Development Department issued its own warning in February, saying noncitizens “who work in the cannabis industry may suffer negative immigration consequences,” including deportation.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center went further in an advisory notice to potential clients in January 2018.

“Stay away from marijuana until you are a U.S. citizen,” the notice said.

It advised against carrying cannabis, a medical marijuana card or stickers and T-shirts with marijuana messages. It also recommended removing pot-related texts and photos from cell phones and social media. And it said anyone who needs medical marijuana, or who faces questioning by federal agents about the drug, should first consult a lawyer.

As those messages suggest, the federal policy was in place long before the April 19 announcement.

“Perhaps this administration takes a more aggressive posture, but it was the same policy in prior administrations,” said Joe Rogoway, a Santa Rosa attorney specializing in marijuana cases.

He said he has had clients for the past decade who faced immigration penalties because of marijuana. Some, Rogoway said, had been granted political asylum because of persecution in their homeland, but were sent back when they ignored legal advice to steer clear of the cannabis industry. Others, he said, were charged with illegal cultivation under pre-2016 California law, but avoided immigration problems by reaching plea agreements that did not implicate them in federal crimes.

Nightingale, the San Francisco attorney, said immigration officers started asking citizenship applicants last year whether they had used illegal drugs, but the document containing that question had been approved for use in December 2016, a month before President Trump took office.

USF’s Hing said reports of stepped-up immigration penalties are coming mostly from Colorado and Washington, which were also the first states, in 2012, to legalize personal marijuana use. A Colorado resident, Oswaldo Barrientos, told the Associated Press he was denied U.S. citizenship late last year because he worked for a state-licensed marijuana grower.

“I was shocked, appalled, sad,” said Barrientos, 30, who was brought to the U.S. from El Salvador as an infant and received a green card at age 13. “I had no idea I was going to be in this situation.”

The impact is also being felt in Florida, whose voters legalized medical use of marijuana in 2016.

“People are calling me and asking, ‘Should I naturalize?’ and I say, ‘You may not want to’” because of employment in the marijuana industry, said Elizabeth Ricci, an attorney in the state capital of Tallahassee. “Or they may want to go visit Mom and Dad at home, and then they might not be able to come back.

“I think it’s laughable,” Ricci said. “We have people working in pharmacological labs, producing opioids, and they’re not considered controlled substances (under federal law). Here, people working legally want to be U.S. citizens, and yet they’re told, ‘Poor moral character.’”

Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: begelko@sfchronicle.comTwitter:@BobEgelko



Can CBD help supercharge athletic performance?

     In recent years, more people are searching for alternatives to traditional pharmaceutical painkillers and opiate drugs. Now, they are reaching for natural, non-pharmaceutical products like CBD, the non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis.

One of the greatest supposed benefits of CBD is its potential to manage pain. For world-class athletes, this is proving to be a game-changer.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 120 compounds called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. CBD works within your body’s endocannabinoid system to help to regulate functions such as reducing pain and inflammation, heal injured bones, promoting better sleep and serving as an overall neuroprotectant.

It was these benefits and more that inspired Mike Kolb to found Xwerks, a health and wellness-focused brand dedicated to providing top-notch hemp-derived oils to supercharge athletic recovery.

“It started with wanting to create products that I wanted to use,” said Kolb. “I had a background in the supplement space but had not yet worked on the type of products I personally wanted to use. I started out creating a pre-workout product and we are now at seven products and plan to add more.”

Like many others, Kolb first learned about CBD through its ability to reduce seizures.

After CBD was removed from the banned substances list of both the U.S. and World Anti-Doping Agencies, it was clear to Kolb that CBD was the way of the future for optimal athlete recovery.

“It became pretty clear it could be greatly beneficial for athletes and once WADA cleared CBD for use in Olympic athletes, I knew I wanted to pursue launching our own CBD products.” Kolb said.

Elite CrossFit athlete like Xwerks brand ambassador Alex Anderson are living proof of how top-quality CBD products can positively impact performance and boost recovery.

While Xwerks is great for young, athletic and active people, that’s far from the only use someone could get from their line of CBD products.

“Our customers are typically 25-35 very active individuals looking to better recover from their workouts, but we do see some older/elderly customers using our CBD products for various reasons,” said Kolb. “My father and uncle, for example, both use it to help their arthritis.”

With study after study proving the effectiveness of CBD to help manage pain from issues like arthritis while improving bone health, quality of sleep and deterring neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis, the cannabinoid can be a great choice for people of any age.

Another key part of the rise of CBD is its position as a non-addictive alternative to oft-prescribed opiates. Former pro athletes like retired NHL player Ryan VandenBussche, retired NFL linebacker David Ahrens and former NHL winger Riley Cote all advocate for CBD use for recovery and as an alternative to opiates, swearing by its healing effects and health benefits.

And that’s the key for Kolb. Despite some commonly held misconceptions about CBD, like that it’ll get you high or that it’s addictive, Kolb wants the public to know that his top-quality Xwerks products are more than just some “magic weed pill,” he said.

“It’s not a scary drug that will get you high and addicted,” said Kolb. “I have seen some push back from people associating it with marijuana and getting high or they think it might be dangerous like prescription pills.”

In addition to stand alone orders, Xwerks products are available wholesale to fitness enthusiasts interested in carrying them in their gym or store.

“Wholesale has been a big part of our growth,” said Kolb. “We have many new CBD wholesale customers but it’s also exciting that our existing wholesale customers selling our other products are now adding CBD to their lineup.”

As more research emerges about the benefits and uses for CBD, the sky’s the limit for what Kolb and his company can do in the coming years.