I wouldn't touch most marijuana stocks with a 10-foot pole right now. There are simply too many uncertainties, including the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are few marijuana stocks that are worthy of consideration -- and one especially notable one.
1. Tremendous growth prospects
First and foremost, I think that Innovative Industrial Properties has tremendous growth prospects. The company has certainly delivered impressive growth so far. Over the last three years, IIP's trailing-12-month revenue has skyrocketed more than 900%. In its last quarter, the company posted year-over-year revenue growth of 269% with its profits more than quadrupling.
Can Innovative Industrial Properties keep its momentum going? I think so. The company continues to make more sale-leaseback deals, completing two significant transactions in April with existing customers.
IIP now owns 55 cannabis properties in 15 states. But there are 33 states that have already legalized medical cannabis with more potentially on the way, presenting a large untapped market for the company. I also think that IIP's real estate capital could be even more attractive to medical cannabis growers during an economic slowdown.
2. Fantastic dividend
Innovative Industrial Properties is organized as a real estate investment trust (REIT). One important requirement for REITs is that they must distribute at least 90% of taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. IIP has distributed a dividend to its shareholders since 2017.
It's not just an OK dividend, though. IIP's dividend is truly fantastic. It currently yields close to 5.5%. That level combined with IIP's growth prospects should enable the stock to deliver total returns that easily beat the overall market.
The obvious question is whether or not IIP will be able to keep paying dividends at current levels. Over the last three years, the company has grown its dividend by 567%. I think it's likely that more dividend hikes from IIP will be on the way as the company leases out more properties. However, I'm not sure that its dividend yield will necessarily rise, because I think the stock's appreciation will likely outpace its dividend growth.
3. The "vision thing"
No, I'm not referring to former President George H.W. Bush's reference in 1988 to the need to focus on a vision for his presidency. Instead, by "vision thing" I have in mind The Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner's advice to "make your portfolio represent your best vision for our future."
I personally know people whose medical conditions have improved as a result of using CBD. I've read about many more who have been helped by using medical cannabis. There's a reason why so many states, including some that have tough anti-drug laws, have chosen to legalize medical cannabis.
I'd be skittish about buying some stocks because of the harm their products cause -- tobacco stocks, for example. But I don't have such concerns with Innovative Industrial Properties. The company provides a much-needed service that helps medical cannabis growers, who, in turn, help a lot of patients across the country.
Granted, I didn't buy IIP stock only because of this. I am, after all, investing to make money and not just practice altruism. However, I like David's principle and think it's a good one for all investors to follow.
One key risk
I'd be remiss in not mentioning the one key risk that Innovative Industrial Properties faces. It's possible that the company's tenants could encounter financial difficulties and be unable to pay their rent. IIP has already experienced this issue with one tenant in California. While this risk is real, though, I don't think it's too worrisome at this point.
Investing in any stock comes with some risks. Before you buy, you have to be willing to accept those risks as a trade-off for the returns the stock could generate. I think that the odds that Innovative Industrial Properties will be able to deliver tremendous total returns over the long run clearly outweigh the risks it faces.