You might think that tripling your money in just 10 years is next to impossible. The reality, though, is that quite a few stocks tripled their returns over the last decade. All of the so-called "FAANG" stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) generated even more impressive gains.

Identifying the stocks that could be such huge winners over the next 10 years is a lot easier said than done. However, here are three stocks that I think could realistically triple by 2030 -- and just might do so a lot sooner than that.

Three dollar signs drawn on a chalkboard

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Innovative Industrial Properties

Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR 2.02%) stock has more than tripled in value over the last two years. And the company has made it look easy.

More U.S. states have legalized medical cannabis than haven't. As a result, the country's medical cannabis market has exploded. IIP is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on this market. The company has grown like a weed (pun fully intended) by buying properties then leasing them back to medical cannabis operators.

I think that IIP could triple again by 2030, at the latest, by continuing to execute on the same strategy that has made it successful so far. As a REIT, the company must distribute at least 90% of its taxable income back to shareholders as dividends. These dividends make it even easier for investors' total returns to triple.

It's quite possible that the results from the U.S. elections in November could set the stage for federal legalization of medical cannabis throughout the U.S. While this would likely attract even more competition for IIP, it would also expand the market. My hunch is that you won't have to wait until the end of the decade for this hot stock to triple your initial investment.

2. Novavax

Buying shares of Novavax (NVAX 0.14%) presents considerably more risk than buying IIP does. But the biotech stock could be a risk worth taking for aggressive investors.

So far this year, Novavax's share price has skyrocketed more than 2,000%. This fantastic gain has come primarily because of investors' excitement over the company's coronavirus vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373. The vaccine is currently in late-stage testing in the U.K. and could soon begin a pivotal clinical trial in the U.S.

But Novavax also has another promising pipeline candidate, NanoFlu. The company reported great results from a late-stage study of the experimental flu vaccine earlier this year. It's now moving forward with checking off all the boxes to file for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the vaccine. 

The bottom line for Novavax is that it's a company with a market cap below $6 billion that has two programs that could realistically rake in billions of dollars per year. Novavax is even exploring the possibility of combining NVX-CoV2373 and NanoFlu into a COVID-19/flu combo vaccine for post-pandemic use. There's a lot riding on the late-stage studies for NVX-CoV2373 and regulatory approval for NanoFlu, but I like the chances for both vaccine candidates. 

3. Plug Power

Plug Power (PLUG 1.66%) is another stock that could deliver massive gains over the next 10 years. Its shares were up more than fivefold year to date just a few weeks ago, before giving up some of those gains.

If you haven't heard about green hydrogen, you probably will soon. Green hydrogen involves making hydrogen by running an electric current (generated through renewable sources such as hydro, solar, and wind) through water. And it holds the potential to largely replace fossil fuels. Plug Power ranks as the leader in hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology that's critical in harnessing green hydrogen.

The company isn't profitable yet, which means it sometimes must resort to dilution-causing stock offerings to raise cash. However, Plug Power is on track to achieve its 2024 vision to generate $1.2 billion in revenue and $250 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) within the next four years.

But can Plug Power really triple in value by 2030 or sooner? It's not a slam dunk. However, the demand for liquid hydrogen is projected to increase by 10 times over the next 10 years, and that presents an enormous opportunity for Plug Power's HFC technology.

If the company can deliver on its potential, its stock could triple by the end of the decade.