Burgeoning US Cannabis Industry Presents Opportunities

Michael Volpe

After spending a decade in finance, Michael Volpe has been a freelance investigative journalist since 2009. His work has been published locally in the Chicago Reader, Chicago Crusader, Chicago Heights Patch, and New City. Nationally, Volpe's work has appeared in a wide variety of publications including the Washington Examiner, the Daily Caller, Crime Magazine, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Newsletter, and Counter Punch. Volpe has been recognized by whistleblowers as leading the charge in getting their stories out. His first book Prosecutors Gone Wild was published in October 2012, his second book The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers was published in February 2013 and his third book Bullied to Death was published in August 2015.

Burgeoning US Cannabis Industry Presents Opportunities

January 14, 2020

On January 1, 2020, Illinois became the eleventh of fifty US states to legalize recreational marijuana and cannabis use.

The State of Illinois recorded $3.2 million in legal sales on January 1, 2020, and sales have continued strongly with dispensaries experiencing massive lines where customers have waited as long as seven hours to make a purchase.

Thirty-three states along with the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana use.

Technically, marijuana still illegal on the federal level but starting with then President Barack Obama and continuing under President Trump, the federal government has not prosecuted any marijuana dispensaries which sell marijuana in states where it is legal.

This decriminalization on the federal level even as more and more states legalize it has opened up a burgeoning industry.

One beneficiary might be Cresco, a cannabis company out of Chicago, Illinois.

It currently has five dispensaries approved for sale in Illinois; three more are on the way, and they have thirty-three dispensaries in seven states total, according to its website.

“We are on a mission to normalize, professionalize and revolutionize cannabis,” the company says on its website.

Cresco was founded in 2013 and currently trades under the symbol CL on the Canadian Stock Exchange.

The stock closed at $7.60 on Friday January 10, 2020, with a market cap of $2.34 billion.

Cannabidiol or CBD Oil is a chance to take advantage of the cannabis industry without an illegal product.

CBD Oil is often used as a pain remedy and it does not have the psychotropic elements of cannabis.

The website Health Line explained more.

“Better known as CBD, it is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa.

“Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and causes the sensation of getting ‘high’ that’s often associated with marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.

“This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.”

One person who has promoted the product is Rob Gronkowski, the former tight end of the New England Patriots, a three-time Super Bowl winner and sure fire first ballot hall of famer.

Gronkowski retired after the 2018 season.

Gronkowski has been promoting CBDMedic Partners since 2019.

“I wish I had been able to use CBDMEDIC while I was playing. It would have made a huge difference in my pain management during my career and I know it can help many others who are looking for safe, pill-free solutions to managing pain,” Gronkowski said in a promotional video.

CBDMedic is owned by Abacus Health Products which states it is, “engaged in the development and commercialization of over-the-counter (OTC) topical medications which contain active pharmaceutical ingredients combined with organic and natural ingredients, including hemp extract and oil from the Cannabis sativa L. plant.”

The company trades under the symbol ABCS on the CSE, and it also trades on the OTCQX under the symbol ABAHF.

The OTCQX, “is the top tier of the three marketplaces for the over-the-counter trading of stocks. The OTCQX is provided and operated by the OTC Markets Group. Stocks that trade on this forum must meet more stringent qualification criteria compared to the other tiers,” according to Investopedia.

Cannabis exists in the mainstream exchanges.

The Motley Fool recently published its ten biggest marijuana stocks and that included Canopy Growth which trades under the symbol CGC on the NYSE.

Canopy Growth has a market cap of $6.99 billion, according to the article.

The list also included GW Pharmaceuticals which trades under the symbol GWPH on the NASDAQ.

There is even a growing number of cannabis related exchange traded funds.

The website Hemp Cloud lists some of the emerging cannabis ETFs.

That includes ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF which trades under the symbol MJ on the NYSE.

The ETFMG, “seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the total return performance of the Prime Alternative Harvest Index. The Index tracks the performance of companies across the globe, including US, that are engaged exclusively in legal activities of cannabis for medical or non-medical purposes,” according to Hemp Cloud.

The Advisors Shares Vice, “is an actively managed fund that invests in US companies involved in alcohol, cannabis, or tobacco-related activities.”

That ETF trades under the symbol ACT on the NYSE.

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