Cannabis: The Investment of the Future?

There’s a dispensary at the corner of Wolff Street and 38th Avenue in North Denver. When recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2014, the boomer husband-and-wife duo who owned the joint (pun heavily intended) ran it out of a tiny, slightly dilapidated white house.

Today, that small white house is no longer. It is now a sleek, stucco, dark gray house with lime-green accents. The business swiftly expanded to include the large neighboring brick building, which had been abandoned for many years. The entire block has been transformed and beautified by the booming business.

The marijuana industry is among the fastest-growing job markets, according to CNBC, and consumption doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Usage is growing among baby boomers, GenXers and millennials. Bloomberg reports that the Gen Z cohort (those born after 1998) will be the “ultimate pot consumers” with their $143 billion in buying power (according to Forbes).

Sales Projected to Increase

Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics found that legal cannabis sales totaled $11 billion in 2018 and they are projected to grow 350 percent over the next 10 years. To put that in perspective, U.S. beer sales (domestic premium brands), totaled $12.6 billion in 2018.

Clients Are Asking About It

For the first time this year, the Journal asked about cannabis investments in our annual Trends in Investing Survey. More than half (55 percent) of respondents said that clients have inquired about investing in marijuana or cannabis stocks/companies in the past six months (see key results of the survey on page 18).

Various Opportunities to Invest

Marijuana Business Daily reports that retail and cultivation continues to lead the pack in terms of cannabis investment, but other opportunities exist. The Motley Fool reported that investors should keep an eye on the companies that have product differentiation, such as cannabis alternatives. Also, keep an eye on the international demand for medical marijuana. Canada will decide this year whether to legalize products other than dried cannabis and cannabis oils.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the June issue of the Journal of Financial Planning in the Observer section. The Journal of Financial Planning is a member benefit for Financial Planning Association members. Not a member yet? Become one today.

Ana Trujillo Limón is senior editor of the Journal of Financial Planning and the editor of the FPA Practice Management Blog. Email her at [email protected], or connect with her on LinkedIn. 

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