[Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect a recent development.]
For the new year, the shares of cannabis producer Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) have made up some ground, going from $29 to $39. Yet they are still well off their recent highs. Consider that Canopy Growth stock is down about 32% since mid-October.
Yes, it’s been a wild trip, so to speak, and the fall off has also been more than just about the market correction. After all, there was some excess in the cannabis stocks, as valuations got to stratospheric levels.
Besides, the market has been getting more crowded, which could weigh on the pricing of cannabis. What’s more, investors have more publicly traded stocks to choose from nowadays, such as Cronos (NASDAQ:CRON) and Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY).
So it’s reasonable that CGC stock has been quite volatile. But despite this, I think it still represents a pretty solid way to play the cannabis market – especially for those with a long-term perspective.
Here’s a look at three factors to consider for the bull case:
CGC Stock: Strong Platform
Canopy Growth is one of the best positioned companies to benefit from the cannabis market. First of all, the company has a global footprint, with operations across 12 countries. Consider there are 4.3 million square feet of licensed locations and 1.3 million that are being built.
Next, CGC is assembling an impressive line of brands that span areas like retail, medical and adult-use offerings. They include names like Tweed, Vert, Doja, Spectrum Cannabis and Main Street Shop.
CGC has also been building up its IP portfolio, which will be crucial for differentiating itself from the competition. There are currently over 120 patent applications.
And finally, CGC has been making progress with its healthcare investments. To this end, the company has 15 human clinical trials and four for animals. CGC has also developed a certification program and learning system for pharmacies.
CGC Stock and Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands’s (NYSE:STZ) $4 billion investment in CGC has been a game-changer. Let’s face it, when it comes to early-stage markets, there needs to be substantial resources. In the case of CGC, it will need to ramp up its infrastructure, boost marketing and pour money into R&D.
But money is just one of the benefits. STZ should be a critical strategic partner that will help propel the growth of CGC.
The company will provide a tremendous distribution footprint in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Keep in mind that STZ owns brands like Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico.
What’s more, the company has a proven team that understands M&A, brand building, marketing and production.
CGC Stock: Secular Growth Opportunity
The latest earnings report for CGC was a bit of a letdown, as there was actually a sequential decline on the top line. Note that the company was expected to see a lift from the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada. But unfortunately, there were shortages and logistical issues with the launch.
But such things should be temporary. For the most part, cannabis is likely to be a massive growth opportunity. Canada will certainly be a factor but the U.S. is also rapidly moving toward legalization (a recent positive was the passage of the farm bill, which took industrial hemp off the controlled substance list).
Indeed, Canopy Growth stock is surging Monday as news is breaking that CGC has been granted a license to produce hemp in New York state. Specifically, CGC will establish a “Hemp Industrial Park” for the extraction and production of the now-legal substance. Here’s what Chairman and Co-CEO of Canopy Growth, Bruce Linton, had to say:
“Canopy Growth was founded to drive innovation within the cannabis and hemp industries. In New York we see an opportunity to create products that improve people’s lives. In the process, we will create jobs in an exciting, highly profitable new industry. I applaud the political leadership at the federal and state level that has allowed today’s announcement to become reality.”
As of this writing, CGC stock is up 9% on the news.
So how big will the market get? Well, according to Cowen analyst Vivien Azer, it will reach a whopping $80 billion in the U.S. by 2030. Oh, and she also believes that CGC will see acceleration on the top line.
Her forecast for fiscal 2019 is that revenues will soar by over 200% to $778 million.
Tom Taulli is the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies, All About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.