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This Marijuana Stock Deserves a Gold Medal for Its Performance

By Motley Fool Staff - Feb 17, 2018 at 10:35AM

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If there were a marijuana Olympics, this company would bring home the gold this year.

After making big investments to support growth capacity ahead of the opening of recreational marijuana markets in Canada, Canopy Growth (CGC 4.72%) may be about to see its sales soar.

In this clip from The Motley Fool's Industry Focus: Healthcare, analyst Kristine Harjes and contributor Todd Campbell explain why Canopy Growth's effort to establish itself as a marijuana powerhouse deserves a gold medal.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Feb. 14, 2018.

Todd Campbell: The next gold medal I was going to give out is for best marijuana stock. This is maybe controversial, but I don't think so. I think anyone who's been paying attention to what's going on for the last few years knows that there have been significant shifts in America's view toward marijuana, and there's been a lot of different activities, both here in the U.S. and abroad to expand the access, particularly to medical marijuana. I think we have about 30 states here in the U.S. that now have some form of marijuana law on the books, eight of which have passed recreational marijuana laws. Then, if you look north of the border in Canada, they have a national medical marijuana program in place, and they're looking at a national program in recreational marijuana opening up in July.

So, as you can imagine, with tens of billions of dollars per year on black market sales potentially moving into the public sphere, there's been a lot of interest in marijuana stocks and companies that are likely to benefit from it. And while you might say, "Well, what U.S. stocks are best positioned to benefit?" You and I have talked on the show in the past, Kristine, about the U.S. market and some of the hiccups and headaches that people are still facing and enduring in this marketplace. Marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. You can't take the same kind of business deductions that other companies do if you run a marijuana business. There's other concerns with cross-border transactions and banking. So, the gold medal for me doesn't go to a U.S. company. Instead, it goes north of the border to Canada, where I selected Canopy Growth as the gold medal winner for marijuana stocks. I just think they have a significant opportunity to generate some very substantial growth over the course of the next year or two, just from the opening of those recreational markets. And I know, Kristine, you had a great interview with Canopy Growth's CEO recently on one of the podcasts, and I recommend that all of our listeners go check it out.

Kristine Harjes: Yeah, I really enjoyed that interview so much, because I think the company is super interesting. There are a handful of fairly large Canadian marijuana stocks, but I agree with you, Todd, that I think Canada is the place to look, No. 1, and No. 2, I do think that Canopy Growth is the cream of the crop.

Campbell: They have 30% market share right now in medical. And it's hard to imagine with all the investments they've made in production that they're not going to be able to maintain a very significant share once the Canadian market opens up. I think that on that interview that you did with him, he had mentioned that there's about 250,000 registered patients receiving medical marijuana in Canada today. And he speculates that we could go a year out, a year and a half out, and have the number of people who are purchasing marijuana climb to 400,000-450,000. If so, you're talking about what some industry analysts think will be a $5 billion market, and that's just in Canada.

Harjes: Meanwhile, if you look in the rest of the world, there's even more opportunity there. In Europe alone, it's estimated that there's a $67 billion market for cannabis. It's just insane how quickly this industry has already grown, and how much expectation there is of future growth. And of course, that expectation is priced into this stock. But, as a company, yeah, I absolutely agree that they are gold medal level.

Campbell: Yeah. For them to win the gold medal again in 2018, though, the proof will be in the profitability. I think that Linton has said that he was purposely delaying turning a profit until the second half of 2018, once those recreational markets open. So, it'll be very interesting to see what happens, especially in the second half of the year, with this company and this stock. But, again, gold medal winner for me.

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