The webinar was recorded February 15, 2022.
You can find the slides here.
My Favorite Cannabis Stocks for the Next Uptrend.mp4
Speaker 1 [00:00:04] Hello and welcome to today’s Cabot Wealth webinar. My favorite cannabis stocks for the next uptrend. I’m your host, Chris Preston, Vice President of content here at Cabot Wealth Network. With me today is Tim Lutts, Chief Analyst of our Cabot Stock of the Week and Sector Express Cannabis Advisor newsletters. Today, Tim’s here to talk about the ever expanding marijuana industry, why stocks in the sector have struggled for the past year despite that growth, and why Tim feels of their long overdue for a major turnaround in the coming year. I’ll also give you some of his favorite cannabis stocks to buy now. This is an interactive webinar, which means we will be fielding your questions after Tim’s presentation concludes. So if you have a question, feel free to ask at any time and we’ll try and get to as many of them as time allows once Tim wraps up. Just keep in mind that we cannot offer advice in regards to your own personal investing situation or portfolio. First, to introduce Tim. But Tim is chairman and chief investment strategist of Cabot Wealth Network, leading a dedicated team of professionals who serve individual investors with high quality investment advice based on time tested Cabot systems. Tim is also Chief Analyst of Cabot Stock of the Week in Sector Express Cannabis Advisor and under his leadership, Cabot Advisories have been honored numerous times by Hulbert, Financial Digest, Dow Jones, MarketWatch and Timer Digest as the top investment newsletters in the industry. Tim has appeared on numerous podiums as investing experts, including Bloomberg TV in the World Money Show led investors, business daily discussion groups and been interviewed by Dow Jones, MarketWatch, top stock analysts, Dot Com Voice America America, AOL Finance and numerous other business news organizations. Since he founded Sector Express Cannabis Advisor in late 2017, it has been the North American Marijuana Index every year. Bottom line, Tim knows what he knows a thing or two about both growth, investing in marijuana investing in particular. So let him take it from here, Tim. The floor is yours.
Speaker 2 [00:02:12] Thank you, Chris. Welcome everybody. A year ago, I did this webinar. February 18th, to be exact. It was six days after the sector attacked a roughly 10 six trading days after February 10th. And at the time, I showed you this chart. Canopy (CGC), which at the time was the most well-known, the most highly value, the most popular cannabis stock in the world. A canadian company. And in that time from the pandemic bottom in March to the top had gone from five from 10 to 15. So five fold increase in less than a year. Pretty good. And really, if you only start, didn’t really get roll until October, when the market blasted off strong. So it was a good run, but it was very extended. And sentiment was very bullish among not just cannabis stocks, but the market as a whole. We come out of the pandemic and investors are feeling pretty good. That money came right back. And so the day after cannabis news report, 10 of my 11 stocks had hit record highs that week. February 10th, the charts are really parabolic. You look at this trend here, you see really volume growing and just getting past the old. Two year old high, and that’s when I thought that the kind of gone far enough and so. On February 10th happened to be a tough day, I moved almost 45 percent of cash in my portfolio and in this advisory sold partial positions of 10 of 11 stocks in the portfolio. And what I said a year ago was long term, this is a great sector to invest in. Legalization is coming and changing the world, but short term, a downside potential is far greater than upside potential. And I said I would tell you when to buy again. Now, since then, this is what Canopy (CGC) has done from fifty five there or briefly in February a year ago, down to the sevens, the sixes even briefly in the past few weeks. Of course, in the early parts of that, it was the sector as broad market, it was pretty healthy. This is the sector itself falling apart. More recently, the past couple of months, the whole market growth stocks in particular have fallen apart. And this has really put the end to the trend the end of the downtrend, I should say. And we’ve seen a base building in recent weeks. Now, part of the problem in Canada, in particular, is oversupply, because Canada went legal nationwide back in twenty eighteen. And that’s a great, sounds great. But the fact is that in the companies, they all overestimated demand. They all geared up for overproduction. And then when the gates opened up. Supply exceeded, demand, prices fell. Companies had to write off assets that are cut back. Sell properties and so it’s been rough in Canada, in part because of the way they opened up. And so while we may like. We all thought that national legalization here in the US actually good, that we’re opening up state by state. It’s good for these companies to open up slowly. And of course, one of Canopy’s (CGC) problems is that being the most highly valued, most highly visible, most famous, most popular stock, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. And so Canopy (CGC) has really hit the skids. So let’s talk about market timing. California peaked back in January 2018. That’s the one selling pot became legal in California. Officially, now the fact is that it was months ahead that we knew the day was coming. So investors looking forward to that day. Investors always look forward, of course they anticipate. They bought stocks in anticipation of that day, and the market peaked on the day. They opened something again in Canada in October 2018. Can it open up stocks picked and driven and in particular has been a downtrend most of the time since? So at the time, it is very, very important for the sector as a whole for the market in general, but especially for sectors. Any sector at all, whether it’s gold or health care stocks or small cap stocks or oil stocks, sectors come and go and you can ride them up. You’ve got to get up before they go back down. That’s my experience in sectors. And so that’s a key part of my approach to the end. And then to be out. And I would say that. It’s tempting to buy and hold a growth sector like this because you’re optimistic and confident maybe that the leaders will be the leaders for years to come, but in fact, many, many marijuana companies are failing. We’re seeing lots of consolidation. We’re seeing the big guys get bigger, but the little guys are failing and getting eaten up. And so the fact is that this sector as a whole, the index such as is declining and ETFs in particular have this problem where a lot of the companies that hold are losing value and ETFs in general, that it’s terrible investment in the sector. So I don’t recommend them at all. I will say that I had been very lucky to pick a couple of tops I took this October 2018 top. I picked last year’s 20 February twenty twenty one top. As far as bottoms go, it’s been trickier. More recently, I bought two early state in April last year started back then that was premature. I’m an optimist, but I do think we’re a base building period now and this will pay off for forward. And so the long term record looks like this. As Chris said, we started in twenty seventeen in August, actually. And so from August twenty seventeen to the end of the year. The portfolio was up one hundred and twenty percent pretty good. The index is up one hundred fifty percent. But then, of course, end of the year rolled around in twenty eighteen. You see the results with the index every year since then. Mainly by market timing. Invest on the upside potential, the downside. And it’s still working, we’re still ahead this year. So. Is it time to buy it? That’s the big question everyone wants to know. I want to know what to buy, of course, to valuations are much better than previously a year ago. This is a price to sales ratio. You take the value of the stock. If I buy the annual revenues or sales price sales ratio, so a year ago, they were up 10 or higher. That’s that’s nosebleed territory now they’ve been cut way down and so much better values. By that measure. By comparison, for example, Amazon, which is also a company in the mass market, consumer business trades at around a three price sales ratio. So that’s reasonable for a good growth company. You might ask how much bigger can Amazon get? I don’t know. These companies can get a lot bigger. And so this potential from this low level. Growth rates are still healthy, but slowing. These are the top six. Vertically integrated multistate operators, they operate in multiple states. To growing, producing and marketing, retail, both recreational and medical. So these do it from top to bottom. That’s where the growth is on the whole, the whole chain, the value chain and a year ago, they were all growing triple digit rates, not 100 percent. Now they’re slowing, which is natural, as you can think. Verano is the last one left grow 100 percent, and that will slow some more. We’re seeing our fourth quarter results come in in the weeks ahead and we’ll learn a lot not come out. And getting more profitable, too, which is great. Of those four, although six for a positive earnings. That’s terrific. You can also start looking at PE ratios. I haven’t done that. Well, you can. It’s it’s early and they’ll kind of fluctuate, obviously, but the trends are very clear and they will all be profitable in time once they slow down their expansion efforts and their acquisition efforts. So the good news is that. Legalization to spread state by state, and as I said, that’s better than opening up to us all at once, which can be disruptive. The three states going medical likely Rhode Island is small, but it matters recreational coming in positive trends in other states as well. So trends are good and a lot of trends, both in charts and movements like this. So the sector bottom last year. You know, tax selling. The base building. But they’re not strong yet. They might be soon, but not quite yet. So to review our system and here is since retired Paul Goodwin coined this, coined this acronym snack system. Story numbers and chart. A story is very clear. Marijuana is becoming legal and accepted, and these leading companies are growing acquisition and the numbers refers to the revenues, the earnings. We’ll see more soon in the charts. Well, let’s take a look at them. Here’s Cresco(CRLBF). One of the top five, this in Chicago, it’s in 10 states today. It’s big in Illinois and it’s big in Pennsylvania. And this chart above its 50 day moving average, which is a key reference point, but that moving average is still trending down now for the record, these stocks, these charts were done last Friday, so the two days old. It’s been a little better. It should turn up soon if all goes well. Now, Cresco has grown a little slow on the revenue side 41 percent year over year, but it’s also the cheapest on a PSR basis, so that’s attractive as a combination. It’s below 10, I’ll talk about that later. Still, low price stock by some measures. Curaleaf (CURLF), also in the same region. Similar chart above its 50 day moving average, not quite as high, but the moving average looks to be a little closer to turning up, and that’s encouraging. Really, first in Massachusetts, it’s the revenue king so far. But maybe it truly will come and beat it in the months ahead based on acquisitions and more. Third quarter revenues are up four percent, so that’s good growth. It’s big and it’s still growing fast. Operates in twenty three states, which I think is the biggest number of all. Recently announced the acquisition of Bloom Dispensaries of Arizona. So they’re to expand the country. And they have. I’m looking for them. I’m looking for the Marlboro of cannabis, and it might be their brand select, which has great distribution. There’s a big in the wholesale business still, so select gets out there across the country. However, Curaleaf(CURLF) is kind of expensive on a personal basis, so there’s no there’s no perfect combination. Green Thumb(GTBIF), also based in Chicago. Because in 15 states, most recently about two licenses, and they bought one or two licenses in Minnesota. So that’s that’s a limited license state and. Third quarter revenue is up 48 percent from the prior year. They have five quarters of positive earnings, which is good. I like earnings. You see the moving average flattened out. And this one is trading at 20 bucks, so by some measures, it’s a it’s a well-priced stock and that’s more attractive to institutions who don’t like to play with television prices. Fourth quarter that’s coming up March 1st, so that’s maybe the first company to report fourth quarter results. TerrAscend(TRSSF) is the smallest of these six and looking at. Fourth quarter revenues are just forty nine million, so. Pros and cons to that. It’s not a leader by sales, but it can grow faster, think acquisitions small, grows faster. It’s in only four states. In Pennsylvania. But third quarter just grew 29 percent, so a little slow growth makes me worry a little that it may not survive to become one of the leaders. And it’s below its 50 day moving average, and that’s a little concerning as well. Compared to the previous two of which are three, which are well above that line. Late last year and ask that question of Gilded Age, which would get up there at Michigan. The lowest price tag on portfolio gone up five bucks. So at five dollars, there’s a double edged sword. The more volatile thing got passed and go down fast. Institutions prefer not to play with them. Even if they are legal, which is the whole question of the cannabis industry, and occasionally you get short attacks too, because there’s no institutional holding up, they are more at risk of being pushed down by unscrupulous short sellers. Now, way back, we started this advisory back in twenty seventeen. All the stocks were down there, they’re between a dollar and five dollars likely to get one finally hit $10. So we’ve come a long way since then, but it’s still a risk to play in this low priced area relative to the 20s. 30S are stocks that traded in the three digits, like so many business, and TerrAscend(TRSSF) is relatively expensive based on PSR, so it’s not a great set up and they may. I may cool off on this going forward unless it looks better. Finally, Trulieve(TCNNF). They must be the market cheerleader in Florida, were concentrated solely for the first years in forests or just medical only. But eventually recreational will come. Truly has probably half the market in Florida. In October last year, they acquired Health and Harvest Health and Recreation, which had a great strength in the western US based in Arizona. And so now Trulieve(TCNNF) has what they call hubs. The Florida Georgia hub, Arizona hub, the Pennsylvania heads of the Northeast, and so that they work out to be a smart strategy, but we have to see how interstate commerce is allowed to evolve in this industry. It’s interesting to watch that. Right now, it really, in 11 states, seven quarters of positive earnings, which is very impressive because we’re focusing on Florida only. Wanted lead in their efforts across the country. And the chart bounced strongly from below 20 up to mid 20s now. And the chart in the 50 day moving average flattened out or maybe turn it up just about now, so that’s quite encouraging. The fundamentals are very strong there, and so I think in situations like that. Verano(VRNOF). Is again, the smallest of the top five, but not down in the little terrascend. Territory, either different chart because it actually bottom will be back in October, November , it’s been sold based all along here and did not dissipate as growth stocks fell apart in January. And but it hasn’t broken out, either, but it doesn’t actually move moving up. And that’s the best by that measure. Verano (VRNOF) is in 15 states last week announced the acquisition of goodness growth. Which includes one of the 10 licenses in New York, very important property and one of two in Minnesota. Is the last major companies to be going at triple digit rates of revenues, so that’s encouraging and combined with a chart moving up. I like it. And I like the fact that it’s not it’s also young stock just came public middle of last year, and so it’s not as well or not as well known. And so. What potential buyers there? What we need to see from here is breakouts on good volume. Follow through action. Ideally, pullbacks that see support and see good buying on those pullbacks and the moving averages moving, turning up. So today, my three. That I’m most slightly warmer about. Cresco Labs because of value and chart health. Cureleaf because of size and speed of growth. And, Verano (VRNOF), because I’ve seen a drop in chart health, there’s no perfect combination. Is a trade off in every way. And for me, chart health is always the most important metric I look at every day. But the other factors matter, too, and we’re going to see for some numbers coming out soon, we’re going to see which ones are slowing down, which ones are still growing fast. We’ll see more acquisitions. And finally, I want to repeat where I started, what market timing. We need to see a strong sector before we can count on profits. Next time, sector stocks must have a sector tops. We want to get out and avoid the downturn because it’s an up and down sector. And I think that covers it. And I’ll turn it over to Chris.
Speaker 1 [00:22:09] Yeah. Thanks, Tim. And I’ll give you a chance to catch your breath and have some water first while you do that. Let me just talk about if those of you were interested and want to hear more from Tim or read more from Tim. I’ll tell you how you can sign up for his Cabot Sector Express Cannabis Advisor newsletter. You can visit the website on your screen Cabot Wealth dot com slash webinar special for today, we have an offer for listeners of today’s webinar. That’s half price, half off the normal price, and what you get in exchange is in addition to the service, you get a special report from TIM three American cannabis companies to own before legalization of same TIM talked about a lot earlier in today’s webinar, and you’ll receive monthly issues and regular updates access to Tim’s entire portfolio of market beating cannabis stocks and online library of back issues, plus email access to TIM with any marijuana related questions you might have. So if you want to subscribe to Sector Express Cannabis Advisor to hear more from Tim and get his market beating cannabis stock next, please visit Cabot Wealth dot com slash webinar special for a special half price offer, and you’ll also receive an email with the offer in your inbox shortly. OK, now we will shift to questions. Don’t be shy about sending them in. We’re still waiting on some, but we can get to a few to start. So what are your feelings on marijuana ETFs? Are there any that you like in particular?
Speaker 2 [00:23:55] I wish there were, but there aren’t. I’ve written about this recently. There are several out there and there are attempting because it’s so like any ETFs better than trying to pick the one winning stock on their own. But the fact is that the history of this ETFs is bad and the main trends are down as so many small cannabis companies fail as they get eaten up by the big ones. And so the trends of the ETFs are not good. The trends in the indexes aren’t good, either. And it’s really through our individual individual stocks and all of them at the right time that it pays off.
Speaker 1 [00:24:37] Question from Parish. I hope I’m pronouncing that right. What are your thoughts on G.R.W.G. Grove Generation?
Speaker 2 [00:24:46] Good question. Grow Generation was a great start to own past couple of years there in the hydroponics business, retail and targeting the professional growers nationwide. They’ve been growing rapidly through our acquisition, buying up a little hydroponic supply houses, garden supply stores, if you will, with the stock really cut over owned and overvalued. And as I said, the bigger they are the harder they fall. And so it’s been a rough downside for Grow Generation at some point. I do think they will bottom, but these things, these things tend to take longer than expected. And so I really wouldn’t be in a hurry. I’m assuming all people still own it because I was a great winner and we did very well with it. But it’s hard to sell winners that are that big, and yet sometimes you have to. And so I really think given that the pure marijuana, pure cannabis companies like the ones I’ve talked about, as such better prospects going forward, I think Grow Generation. So when I’m not in a hurry to own the near future anymore.
Speaker 1 [00:25:56] Another stock specific question from Mark, another stock that you’re familiar with. What are you currently think about Jushi Holdings?
Speaker 2 [00:26:04] U.S. is one of the smaller ones, and I have to confess, I haven’t looked at it recently. Just hasn’t been on my radar, so I can’t answer more intelligent than that, I would look at it, and as I said, watch the chart look at those 50 day moving average and see if it gets some strength
Speaker 1 [00:26:22] formally in the portfolio, right? Just a while back,
Speaker 2 [00:26:25] yeah, it was. It’s gone.
Speaker 1 [00:26:27] Yeah, right? Let’s see. Question from Kenneth. Tim, I know you’re more a fan of US MSOs stocks over Canadian stocks, but was wondering between Canopy (CGC) Growth and Tilray (TLRY), which stock do you like better?
Speaker 2 [00:26:51] That’s that’s kind of a poison question. While Tilray(TLRY) was the most overvalued of all, I singled out a singled out Canopy(CGC) because it actually had what I thought was good operational practices, and I think Tilray(TLRY) went a bit overboard. Growing international spirits are really a thing. But having said that? I can’t favor either one. I really if I were a Canadian, I’d buy U.S. stocks. And if I were American, I would stick with the U.S. stocks right now. The Canadian. Population is the same population as California just won’t be a big market, and so I don’t see a real big need to it only to one of them anymore. So great in twenty eighteen, but not since.
Speaker 1 [00:27:51] OK. Question from Gail Gail asks, what is your timeline for the next sector up or what factors need to be there for it to happen?
Speaker 2 [00:28:02] Good question. Like any cycle, you need to see people. Give up on it for a while, and I think they have in this sector in the past few months, the selling sort of petered out in October and November. For the most part, we saw a few stocks get hit in January, selling the transfers basis, but the best ones didn’t. So that’s a very good sign. Need to see the trend turn up. We need to see enthusiasm start growing. And so ideally, I think. Look at look back at the last cycle. It peaked as the Democrats took power in late 2020 and and and then it peaked as it became clear that Biden was not going to do anything on cannabis in February 2021 is still one of the bigger problems, and it’s been down a year since, and so we need to see some optimism about legalization. You just see some like, say, good numbers from all these companies, I’m sure we’ll find some. And eventually, we’ll see the next top come at some decomposition of that. But I don’t know when that will be.
Speaker 1 [00:29:15] OK. Question from Lloyd Lloyd asks, what’s your take on the chances of the safe bill passing this time? And does the bill include an end of 280E provisions for cannabis companies?
Speaker 2 [00:29:30] Good question, I don’t know the answer. The safe is the act that would make banking more legal for the industry, which is a great thing. It’s probably a good first step toward total legalization. I don’t know about the 380 the details. I watch the stocks more than than the laws because the stocks are really where the rubber meets the road. That’s what matters. Keep an eye on the legal limit background, but it’s not my main focus by any means at all.
Speaker 1 [00:30:03] Question from George. George asks. on fundamentals and revenue growth has been strong. Surprised why was it not on your top three list? Again, when do you think the regulations may pass in the US?
Speaker 2 [00:30:20] Yeah, it’s not my top three list. And I would say. I’m trying to remember. We’ll look at those factors. Look at the chart. Look at the. Revenue growth. Look at the profitability which they’re great at. I would say I think the chart was a major factor that didn’t make the top three because it did break down strongly in the latest growth stock wave and sell in January February. And I think that reflects how it was still over owned by too many people, that was one of the most well-known because fundamentals are so strong in the company, and yet people hang on, hang on, hang on. And then finally, when it came to January. Too many people bailed out and the stock fell down through the support, so. With that gone, maybe I can get back to strength again, but right now it’s not one of my top three. It’s close. They’re all close. There’s no clear defining tough line between all three and the three. Just in climbing
Speaker 1 [00:31:34] It’s a stock you mentioned earlier, you can’t be too far off. OK, a question from Edee. Do you see the industry solving the cash problem in retail?
Speaker 2 [00:31:48] The cash problem in retail, I’m not familiar what the problem is, except that they can’t take. Now, I don’t know what the problem is.
Speaker 1 [00:31:57] Yeah, she followed up with, how do you see the black market issue getting solved, that problem?
Speaker 2 [00:32:04] It’s very interesting because you got places like California where there’s plenty of supply people growing in the backyard. It’s a well-established black market. It’s high regulation among the big companies and therefore the black market. The illicit market is still two thirds of the total, and there’s no and it’s shifting slowly in the middle of the country of Oklahoma, where barriers to entry are very low, regulation is very low. Anybody can grow and open up a legal marijuana store and there’s plenty of the doing great. The profit margins in Oklahoma are very small then, and so don’t get these big companies. The companies I recommended are not going Oklahoma. There is no profit there for them. Then you have Massachusetts, New York, having regulated states limited to licenses in these states. They will do very well in these states. And there’s no black market. There’s much smaller right because you can’t grow easily in the Northeast. So it’s every states different. I think the solution comes in time as people learn to accept products they trust becomes easier. You get used to, you get repeatability, dependability, reliability with legal products. It takes time. But. I think California, the West Coast, may be the last one to leave behind the old ways.
Speaker 1 [00:33:36] OK. Question from Howard. Howard asks, what about IIPR and P.W. and there are companies that leased land to the pot growers. I know IIPR, Tim is something you’re quite familiar with.
Speaker 2 [00:33:48] Yes, IPR. We had for years and did very, very well as the landlord, to the landlord, to the cannabis industry. And fundamentally, the requirements are still great and I think to do very well as a company. But again, it’s thought like growth generation grew over on very overvalued. And one reason for this for both of those companies is that those are the companies that are legal to own institutions on them but can’t own the cannabis companies directly. And so they got over owned and now they’re cooling off. Fundamentally, I like IIPR a lot. Technically, not now. PW is much smaller, one so much smaller, but I’ve not read about it yet, but the chart actually looks pretty good. So I’m tempted to write about it. And but it’s certainly traded. It’s such a small property compared to IIPR. It’s really not a competitor on that basis or for someone taking a flier. It may be tempting. I know some investors in this sector. are happy to embrace risk. And so that might be one come forward.
Speaker 1 [00:35:02] OK. Let’s see. How confident are you that the bottom is finally in on marijuana stocks?
Speaker 2 [00:35:12] Eighty three percent.
Speaker 1 [00:35:15] It’s pretty good.
Speaker 2 [00:35:19] Always pick a prime number.
Speaker 1 [00:35:23] Evy, who asked the question about the cash problem, earlier clarified most retail requires cash only for purchase, adding a security risk. It’s this she was talking about, OK, we’ll do one or two more questions. What do you see as the next big catalyst on the horizon that people will be looking to?
Speaker 2 [00:35:47] The funny thing about investing is that surprises are what make things happen. It’s not what you expected happens, it’s what you don’t expect. The next things change. So. I don’t expect anything except an eventual federal legalization, but it will take time. In the meantime, I’ll take what comes.
Speaker 1 [00:36:08] And a follow up, do you think the sector can get going without any surprise catalysts?
Speaker 2 [00:36:15] Well, with the broad market, which always matters, the only kicked if it did a couple of months ago. We’ve had a correction of for months. It might be a correction that’s gone far enough and might not have gone far enough. We’ll see if the broader market strengthens from here. It could be a great help to get this system moving again. That’s probably my number one wish scenario. Most likely upside, of course, in the months ahead. But nothing is certain we could use a bigger correction for the broader market as a whole. The really cool things down of it, but I’m not going to call for it, and it can go either way. What makes sense, Paul, who does work look at micro-containment a lot for us, is looking hopeful that we’ve seen enough, but he’s not jumping back in yet either, he’s still playing rather cautious with the growth stocks and these are growth stocks.
Speaker 1 [00:37:18] Yep. OK, well, thanks, everyone, really good questions today, and thank you for for for answering all of them as best you can until you don’t mind advancing to the next slide. Just like close things out here, you can go back one to the to next month’s webinar, so we’ll be back next month with a webinar from our Kate Salter, who’s Chief Analyst of our brand new Cabot ETFs Strategists Advisory, it’s as my guests ETFs specific newsletter. Kate will be talking about her three winning ETFs and slowly diversify your portfolio diversification, allocation or big parts of her newsletter. That’ll be at 2:00 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, March 15th. So exactly a month from today. That does it for us, for Tim and the entire Cabot Wealth Network team. I’m Chris Preston and we’ll see you next time. Thank you.