Beyond the Bong
Marijuana’s March Madness
The skies have been gray and gloomy here at my home in Maryland.
Recently, the temperatures have dipped to an icy 20 degrees.
But to fight back – at least psychologically – my wife has filled our kitchen with fresh-cut orange and pink flowers. Seeing them, you can’t help but think of spring.
And spring represents the start of a major shift for cannabis.
It’s the beginning of what I call “weed season.”
I’ve spotted a pronounced trend in Colorado’s monthly marijuana sales over the last several years. And this is often seen in other states as well.
From October through February, monthly cannabis sales decline. Winter isn’t a strong market period for pot.
But in March, new shoots of green are born…
Each March, we see a big spike in Colorado cannabis revenue. And this “March Madness” always sets record sales for the industry. That is, until it’s eventually topped in July, August or September.
For instance, in March 2019, Colorado reported $142.415 million in total pot sales – a new monthly record. Then, in August, the state reported peak sales of $173.219 million. Per the trend, we’ve since seen sales dip again.
Even in Nevada, where “weed season” lasts until December, this March Madness moment for cannabis is apparent…
Since the state legalized adult-use, March has set a record for sales. But like Colorado, it’s ultimately surpassed a couple of months later.
I would also like to point out that even though pot’s international holiday – 420 – is in April, sales aren’t blazing high that month.
We’ve got strong momentum in cannabis shares to start 2020. And we have the March Madness moment ahead for the industry. That could help reawaken a bull run.
The High Five
Below are our High Five, where each Monday I cover the five pot stocks I believe will make major moves – up or down – in the week ahead.
1) Charlotte’s Web Holdings (OTC: CWBHF) is the largest hemp-derived CBD product maker by market share with more than 10,000 retailers carrying its products.
The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and sparked the CBD boom. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been skeptical about adding CBD to products, claiming more research needs to be done. And that’s weighed on CBD producers.
In mid-January, HR 5587 was introduced to remove the FDA’s stance. The bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research and is awaiting further action.
2) Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE: IIPR) has long been my favorite dividend-paying cannabis play. The real estate investment trust currently offers a 5% yield with revenue growth of 200%. Shares dipped on Friday when it announced a secondary offering of 2.97 million shares at $73.25.
The company will use the proceeds to purchase more industrial real estate to convert into grow operations. And 100% of Innovative Industrial’s properties are leased.
3) Valens GroWorks (OTC: VLNCF) is the largest extractor for the cannabis sector with a capacity of more than 425,000 kilograms. As more CBD and THC products come online, third-party extractors like Valens are essential for the industry. Last week, the company secured Depository Trust Company eligibility. This will help with liquidity and also help rein in volatility.
When Valens reports fourth quarter results, 2019 revenue is expected to increase more than 104,000%! So its business is just beginning to ramp up.
4) Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG) will report first quarter earnings on Wednesday before the opening bell. Expectations are for $342.4 million in revenue with a loss of $1.28 per share. Over the past three years, Scotts’ shares have dropped an average of 6% on the date of this report.
5) MPX International (OTC: MPXOF) will announce full-year 2019 results on Tuesday after the market closes. The company sold its U.S. assets last year and has since expanded into Australia, Europe and South Africa. In the third quarter, revenue was $675,000 and shares jumped 10.5%.
This week’s High Five have been all over the map so far in 2020. But they’re all underperforming our benchmark, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF).
The hemp-derived CBD products were up nearly 20% in January but have since pulled back. MPX International was doing even better in 2020 but is now negative for the year. Much of that is due to a 15% loss last week.
We have a lot of positives on the horizon. Congress may take action to remove the FDA’s skeptical stance on CBD products. And the start of “weed season” is a little more than a month away.
Some marijuana March Madness might be just what we need to spring shares back to life.
If you have a pot stock in mind that you’d like me to discuss here, leave a comment below.
Here’s to high returns,
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