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Forget Tesla! Buy These 2 High-Growth Pot Stocks Instead

By Prosper Junior Bakiny – Sep 5, 2020 at 7:00AM

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These cannabis companies are outperforming the market this year and should continue to enjoy a wind at their backs.

Tesla's (TSLA -0.19%) stock has been scorching hot over the past year. Even amid a volatile coronavirus market, the company hasn't slowed down. Over the trailing 12-month period, shares of the electric car maker are up by 1,030%. While Tesla stands out as a leader in the electric vehicle industry and is set up for an exciting future following a meteoric rise, the company's stock isn't cheap -- not by a long shot. 

Tesla is currently trading at about 1,158 times past earnings, and its forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is 333.3. Tesla's valuation metrics are seriously steep, even for a growth stock. Investors looking for companies with strong growth potential that are priced more fairly should check out these two cannabis stocks that I think fit the bill: Trulieve Cannabis (TCNNF 0.19%) and Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR 1.86%). Here is why both of these companies are well-positioned to deliver market-beating returns. 


TCNNF data by YCharts

1. Trulieve Cannabis 

Trulieve Cannabis has chosen to focus its efforts in one area: Florida's medical cannabis market. The vertically integrated pot company currently operates 57 of its 59 total U.S. dispensaries in the Sunshine State. Trulieve Cannabis' decision to hone in on the state of Florida has had its perks. 

The company profits from a first-mover advantage in many parts of the state, having opened the first dispensary in 19 of the 29 municipalities where it operates. As a result, the company benefits from "brand recognition and media attention," two edges that attract customers. Trulieve Cannabis' financial results prove these advantages.

During the second quarter, which ended on June 30, the company reported $120.8 million in total revenue, representing a 26% sequential quarter-to-quarter increase and a 109% year-over-year increase. Trulieve Cannabis also reported adjusted earnings before taxes, expenses, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $60.5 million, 23% higher than the previous quarter, and 92% higher than the year-ago period. Moving forward, the company will probably continue this performance for one major reason. 

Two cannabis leaves on top of a $100 bill.

Image source: Getty Images.

Legal cannabis spending in the state of Florida is set to reach $2.5 billion by 2024, up from $659.6 million in 2019, according to the research firm BDS Analytics. Medical cannabis will account for $2.2 billion of this total spending, and Trulieve Cannabis is well-positioned to profit from this market expansion. 

Finally, the company is currently selling for 19.39 times past and about 21 times forward earnings. This is very reasonable considering that Trulieve has enjoyed 10 consecutive quarters of profitability and growth in an industry where that achievement is a pipe dream of most businesses. In my view, these factors make Trulieve Cannabis one of the most attractive and exciting pot stocks available.

2. Innovative Industrial Properties

Investors looking for pure-play cannabis stocks won't find what they are looking for in Innovative Industrial Properties, but it would be a grave mistake for them to ignore this company. With its shares up by 555% since its December 2016 IPO, this real estate investment trust (REIT) has consistently outperformed the broader market.

Innovative Industrial Properties has been able to perform well thanks in part to its winning business model. The company purchases real estate properties from medical-cannabis operators and leases these properties back under long-term agreements. Innovative Industrial Properties currently boasts 61 properties in 16 states, with an average lease length of 16.1 years.

Innovative Industrial Properties has made recording strong financial results a habit. During the second quarter that ended on June 30, the company recorded a revenue of $24.3 million, representing a 15.2% sequential increase and a 182.5% year-over-year increase. Innovative Industrial Properties also recorded a net income of about $13.3 million, compared to the $11.9 million it recorded during the first quarter and the $3.4 million it recorded during the year-prior second quarter.

And the company still has room to grow. Innovative Industrial Properties established itself as a leader in its field as the first publicly-traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to provide real estate capital to the medical cannabis industry. Medical uses of marijuana are now legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia, which means Innovative Industrial Properties is well-positioned continue expanding its operations throughout the country.

And while estimates of the growth of the medical marijuana market in the U.S. vary, most agree that it will increase rapidly in the coming years. Sales of medical cannabis products in the U.S. will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% through 2025 and reach $13.1 billion by 2025, up from $4.4 billion in 2018, according to data analytics firm New Frontier Data.

This means that the demand for Innovative Industrial Properties' services will likely increase. Also, investors who buy shares of Innovative Industrial Properties can enjoy a dividend yield of 3.11% -- compared to the average 1.82% of the S&P 500 -- and a reasonable cash payout ratio of 61.7%. The company has raised its dividends by 606.7% over the past three years, making it an attractive stock for income-oriented investors.

Strong growth prospects, consistent profitability, and a juicy dividend yield make this company a unicorn in the pot industry. For those reasons, Innovative Industrial Properties is well worth its valuation metrics. The company's P/E ratio is 44.4, while its forward P/E is 37.40. Investors looking to buy top cannabis stocks should consider adding Innovative Industrial Properties to their portfolios. 

Prosper Junior Bakiny has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Innovative Industrial Properties and Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Innovative Industrial Properties Stock Quote
Innovative Industrial Properties
$118.85 (1.86%) $2.17
Trulieve Cannabis Corp. Stock Quote
Trulieve Cannabis Corp.
$13.03 (0.19%) $0.03
Tesla Stock Quote
$182.86 (-0.19%) $0.34

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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