By Carlo Versano
Cannabis stocks continued their run Monday on renewed speculation that more big-name companies will add pot to their recreation portfolios.
The latest deal ー Canada's Nova Scotia Liquor inking an initial purchase order with pharmaceutical company Tilray ー sent shares of the latter up as much as 30 percent the day before its first earnings report as a public company. The stocks of Cronos and Canopy Growth, which earlier this month earned an investment from Corona-maker Constellation Brands, rose too.
Sam Masucci, CEO and co-founder of ETF Managers Group, is trying to give investors a chance to capitalize on such gains.
He joined Cheddar Monday after ringing the opening bell at the NYSE to detail the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF, which launched in 2017. The fund tracks nearly 40 foreign and domestic companies that Masucci said may benefit from the production and sale of cannabis, both medicinal and recreational.
The ETF includes companies as varied as Scotts Miracle-Gro (which is developing hydroponics), Canopy Growth, and tobacco giant Phillip Morris.
Companies in Canada, where marijuana will be legalized for recreational sale in October, make up 40 percent of the basket of stocks, with 20 percent coming from the U.S.
While marijuana remains a Schedule I drug at the federal level in this U.S., legalization has gained serious momentum on a state basis.
Masucci said this fund is intended to capture some of that growing bipartisan acceptance and make a bet that medicinal marijuana will be legalized nationally.
"I think the federal government is starting to come around," he said.
A market report released Monday predicts medicinal marijuana sales will hit $19 billion domestically within the next decade, with worldwide legal spending on cannabis reaching $57 billion.
That's the kind of upside exposure Masucci said he wanted to deliver to investors with the creation of the first "pure play" cannabis ETF.
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