October 17 was arguably the most important day in the history of the marijuana industry. Canada became the first industrialized nation to legalize recreational weed on a national level.
That date had been circled on many calendars – mine included! – and now that the day has come and gone, many investors are wondering what’s next. That’s especially true because marijuana stocks have sold off since October 17.
As frustrating as that is, we see this happen all the time in the stock market. It’s referred to as “buy the rumor, sell the news.”
Stocks run up ahead of a big catalyst and then pull back as traders lock in profits and take their money off the table. That’s fine for day traders, but the opportunity here is enormous, and we are investing for the HUGE gains to be made over the long haul.
Even so, I do expect the selling to be short-lived. The big-picture outlook for the marijuana sector could not be more bullish, and over time there will be plenty of additional catalysts to propel the industry higher.
And we won’t have to wait long. The next date circled on my marijuana calendar is Tuesday, November 6. That’s only six days from today.
November 6 is midterm Election Day in the United States, and this year’s vote will be extremely important. Not only will citizens elect new officials in both the House and Senate, several states will also decide whether to legalize marijuana recreationally or medically.
I expect these votes will set the stage for new marijuana-related bills in the future, bringing the United States closer to following Canada’s path to federal legalization.
We are on the cusp of huge wealth generation, similar to opportunities in internet stocks in 1994… or bitcoin in 2015. Those who got in early made fortunes over the years.
Steadily Increasing Support
Back in 1970, support for the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. was a mere 12%. That doubled by the late 1970s when marijuana usage became more mainstream.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the level of support for legalization did not change much due in large part to former first lady Nancy Reagan’s “say no to drugs” campaign. The war on drugs in the U.S. and abroad was also a major political focus.
Support for the legalization of weed began to increase around the turn of the century, and it has been on an upward trajectory since. The most recent Gallup poll shows 64% of adult Americans now favor a change in marijuana laws.
There are a number of factors behind the increasing support. One is the changing society, which is more liberal on a social level. There are also studies and real-life experiences of the benefits of marijuana that have altered people’s views.
Most of the focus recently has been on Canada, but when the U.S. finally joins the party, so to speak, it will be the ultimate game changer.
My prediction is that medical marijuana will become fully legal in the United States within the next five years. Recreational use will follow a few years later.
The next step in getting there is the midterm election.
Over the years, more and more U.S. states have joined the trend toward legal weed. Each time that occurs it puts pressure on a neighboring state to consider legalization. Think about the potential tax dollars that would go across state lines.
As of today, 30 states have legalized medical marijuana and nine states have legalized it for recreational use. Several states are pushing for further legalization in the coming years, and four are set to vote on marijuana-related bills in next week’s midterm elections – Michigan, North Dakota, Utah, and Missouri.
Michigan legalized medical marijuana in 2008. Ten years later, it will now vote to also legalize it recreationally.
A poll conducted by Victory Phones in May found that 48% of respondents support the move. Another poll done by Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research showed support closer to 61%. A September poll conducted by WDIV/Detroit News pegged support at 56%, so odds are pretty good that more than half the population is in favor.
Marijuana sales in the state could grow more than 75%, from just under $500 million in 2016 to nearly $884 million by 2025, according to Statista.
North Dakota voters will also decide whether recreational marijuana should be legalized just two years after authorizing it for medical purposes. Various polls put support between 38% and 46%, so not as high as Michigan, but there has been limited funding for marketing or voter-outreach efforts.
Utah has a measure on the ballot to legalize medical marijuana. Support is generally strong, with market research firm Dan Jones & Associates reporting 76% support in February and 65% support in late August. The latter poll with reduced support was taken just after the Mormon Church publicly opposed the move.
Missouri has three initiatives on the ballot, all of which relate to medical marijuana. These initiatives have raised more than $1 million each, and there has been no public opposition to the move. An August survey conducted by Missouri Scout found general public support at more than 50%.
I mentioned tax dollars earlier. There is a petition that calls for a 15% tax on medical marijuana, and according to one estimate, the state could bring in $56 million annually if the measures are approved.
Getting the Right People in Office
Whether you are right, left, or center, the bottom line is that politicians care about one thing – getting elected and reelected. To achieve that, they need to go with the masses. The majority of Americans support legalization, so we can expect to see more politicians sharing that view.
For years I have said that one of the key political topics in the next decade will be marijuana. In the past, it was an afterthought when you considered which politician to vote for. Today and going forward, it could be one of the deciding factors between a candidate winning or losing.
As this topic becomes a bigger part of the national conversation and political landscape, candidates will be pushed to pick a side. With the polling results showing increasing support for legalization, you better believe the politicians will go along with the consensus.
More Catalysts to Come
The upcoming vote is the first in a longer list of catalysts in place to drive the marijuana industry and stocks higher over the long term. These catalysts are both big and small. Some won’t take place for another couple of years while others could be hit at any moment. All make the opportunity in front of us huge.
Let’s look at a few upcoming marijuana catalysts.
Weed Becoming Legal in the United States
October 17 was a huge day with Canada’s legalization, but the day that weed becomes legal on a federal basis in the United States will be even bigger. I believe it’s coming sooner than many people think.
There is so much room for growth here that I believe one of the biggest opportunities today is U.S. marijuana stocks that are currently in Canada’s shadow.
Many U.S. marijuana stocks are trading with market caps well below those of their Canadian peers. In fact, as a whole their valuations are only about a tenth of the valuations of their Canadian counterparts.
That means U.S. marijuana stocks have the potential to grow 10-fold once weed is legal on a federal level.
When marijuana becomes legal in the United States, the leading companies will trade at much higher valuations simply based on market potential. That is an opportunity you cannot afford to ignore.
The DEA Reclassifying Marijuana
The marijuana industry has faced many hurdles over the years, but its biggest issue has always been the plant’s classification. Not only is it still illegal at the federal level, marijuana also remains a Schedule 1 drug according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Schedule 1 drugs are considered highly addictive with zero medical use. Heroin and LSD are in this category. Cocaine is one step below as a Schedule 2 drug.
It’s crazy that marijuana is still viewed that way, and there are plenty of indications it will be reclassified soon. In the meantime, that longstanding view on the drug has created issues for companies approved to do business on a state level.
I’m certain that is going to change. The latest buzz over Tilray (TLRY), a Canadian company that took off after going public, has already sparked calls that the Justice Department allow U.S. companies to also research medical uses of marijuana.
FDA Approval of Other Cannabis-Related Drugs
This summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug derived from the marijuana plant for the first time ever. The drug is Epidiolex, and it was developed by UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH).
The distribution of Epidiolex was hindered in its first few months because of what we just talked about. It was classified as a Schedule 1 drug. But on September 27, the DEA made the decision to reclassify it as Schedule 5, which means low potential for abuse. While this was expected, it was still unprecedented, and the company’s shares shot up to a new all-time high as a result.
As I mentioned, I am confident that we will see a rescheduling of both hemp and marijuana in the relatively near future. And in the meantime, I expect to see more cannabis-derived drugs receive FDA and DEA approval.
The race to be a leader in the marijuana biotech space is on, and as it continues to heat up I suspect it will boost the entire sector.
The Farm Bill Becoming Law
Medical and legal establishments are slowly coming around to the benefits of CBD oil, which is derived from both cannabis and hemp. Both are Schedule 1 drugs, so it is technically still illegal under federal law.
This could also change very soon. Senator Mitch McConnell’s proposal of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 (also known as the Farm Bill) could be a multi-billion-dollar game changer for the CBD industry. If it becomes law, it would legalize hemp at the federal level and remove it from Schedule 1.
Details on the final bill are still being worked out in Congress, but the vote should take place soon as the previous Farm Bill recently expired. There appears to be enough bipartisan support for the bill to pass.
Marijuana Legalization Spreading Globally
Legal weed isn’t just a North American story. It’s much, much bigger than that.
Sales of legal marijuana in North America were about $10 billion in 2017. Outside of North America, legal marijuana sales were a paltry $52 million, less than 1% of North American sales.
In other words, there is huge room for growth here.
The move by Canada and some U.S. states will show the rest of the world how much money businesses and governments can generate from legal marijuana. This will be a huge driver in getting other countries on board. There is too much money in the marijuana industry for nations to sit back and watch their peers and enemies profits.
In Europe, the upside for medical marijuana is enormous. The leader, Germany, passed medical marijuana legislation in 2016. The European Cannabis Report said the European market could be worth $65.4 billion annually if every country were to legalize marijuana.
The budget for the European government-subsidized healthcare systems is $1.3 trillion. Imagine if marijuana was able to get legal status for just medicinal purposes on the continent. It would be a giant market.
Given this outlook, the roughly $10 billion global market for marijuana could grow to $57 billion by 2027, according to Arcview Market Research.
There are even more aggressive forecasts out there. Ameri Research sees global marijuana sales hitting $63.5 billion by 2024. The basis of the prediction is that more countries will legalize marijuana at the recreational level.
Here are expectations in other countries:• Australia will grow into the fifth-largest legal cannabis market by 2027, from an estimated $52 million in 2018 to $1.2 billion in 2017.
- Italy is expected to be the number two European market (behind Germany) by 2027, with sales of $1.2 billion
- Spain is expected to legalize recreational marijuana in the next two years and generate sales of $206 million by 2021
- Last by not least, there is South America. Marijuana is fully legal in Uruguay, and the market there could increase from $125 million in 2018 to $775 million by 2027.
More to Come
I could go on, but those are just a few catalysts that are already happening or are very likely to in the coming months and years. This is typical of the early stages of a mega-trend, and the big money is made owning stocks before the major catalysts hit.
Marijuana offers some of the biggest potential I’ve seen in years, and there is still time to set yourself up for huge and possibly life-changing profits.
Note: Mark your calendar for Tuesday, December 4th. I don’t know what you have planned for this day right now … But whatever you’re doing, I suggest you rearrange your schedule, because you’ve got the chance to make a heck of a lot of money, beginning on this exact day.
All thanks to the red-hot cannabis industry …
Even if you don’t know a thing about the marijuana markets …
Even if you’ve never bought a stock before …
Even if you have just a small amount of cash, you could multiply your money many times over beginning just a few weeks from today. What’s going on exactly and how can you cash in?