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This week we look at the higher side of finance….. This weeks blog we take a deep dive into the world of investments, M&A and personal finance and how some major corporations are going green for 2019.

Probably the biggest canna-news in the past week has been about tobacco company Altria’s $1.8 billion investment in cannabis producer company Cronos Group. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a non-canna giant invest in the cannabis industry in hopes of leveraging the budding market.

Large companies making headlines and repositioning themselves in the market as canna-friendly companies, but even on the individual scale are there important news and insights in the market we can all find beneficial and lucrative.

  1. Marijuana Stocks: The stock market has definitely had its ups and downs, but several people have continued to invest in cannabis stocks. While most have looked to our neighbors up north to invest into, others have been vocal about focusing on the U.S. market instead because of its growth potential. Most notable stocks in the U.S. market include Cronos Group Inc, GW Pharmaceuticals PLC-ADR, Canopy Growth, CannTrustHoldings, Green Thumb Industries, and iAnthus Capital Holdings. These stocks aren’t for every investor – these are very high-risk, high-reward buys, but definitely deserve a mention here for their potential.
  2. Marijuana ETFs: An Exchange Trade Fund is a form of bundled investment, like a mutual fund, and many players are investing in some major marijuana ETFs because of the risk mitigation associated with it. Some major ETFs include Teucrium Emerging Medical Agriculture Index Fund, Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF and the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF.
  3. Marijuana-Focused Finance Companies: Still confused on where to even begin when it comes to investing in marijuana stocks? Companies like Stash have you covered – companies are now profiting off of educating beginners and offering incentives such as a $5 sign-up credit to start investing in cannabis. Yahoo Finance also created their own “watchlist” that is canna specific and user-friendly for beginners and advanced users alike.
  4. Marijuana Investments and Acquisitions:
    • Altria To Buy Cronos Group – Just last Friday, reports surfaced about one of the largest producers and makers of tobacco and cigarettes, Altria (probably most well-known for their Marlboro cigarettes), confirmed to invest in cannabis company Cronos Group. Altria bought a 45% ($1.8 billion) stake in this Canadian cannabis producer. As tobacco sale volumes drastically drop, Altria’s strategy to move into new growth markets can be the answer to it’s growth problems. Altria also has a 10% stake in beer maker Anheuser-Busch InBev, and with the boom of canna-infused beverages (check out my blog from last week), it wouldn’t be a surprise if Altria leveraged it’s beer brand into the cannabis industry as well.
    • Earlier this year, Constellation Brands, probably most well known as the maker of Corona, invested $4 billion dollars in Canopy Growth, a Canadian pot producer. Constellation Brands will own 38% of Canopy.
    • MedMen acquired PharmaCann, the medical-marijuana dispensary chain for $682 million dollars and reached a valuation closed to $1.9 billion in 2019.
    • Back in October, iHeartMedia made headlines for investing in High Times Magazine. “Cannabis at the end of the day is mainstream,” said High Times Chief Executive Adam Levin. “And iHeart has a huge mainstream appeal.” For iHeartMedia there is also major appeal – the media giant can jump into the market with caution and play in the cannabis sector without directly doing it on its own.

Will there be a time where cannabis related items are as commonplace as Advil or Gatorade? Perhaps…. The reality is that these big money enterprises can shape what and how we consume (to a degree) and as more institutional players venture into this industry and governmental prohibition is loosened, cannabis will continue and intensify its crusade into the mainstream.