Stocks that hold the potential to generate fortunes tend to have at least a couple of qualities in common. They're usually small, with market caps below $10 billion. They also nearly always do business in a fast-growing market that's in its early stages.

The U.S. cannabis market is just such a market. There are quite a few stocks in this market that could make you a lot of money. Here are three cannabis stocks that could even be millionaire makers over the long run.

Cannabis leaves on top of $100 bills.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Cresco Labs

Cresco Labs (OTC:CRLBF) ranks as one of the leading multistate cannabis operators in the U.S. The company currently has operations in nine states, including retail cannabis stores and a large wholesale cannabis business in California. Even though Cresco's shares have soared nearly 50% year to date, its market cap remains relatively low at close to $3.5 billion. 

There are several reasons why Cresco could grow much larger. The company operates in several fast-growing cannabis markets, including its home state of Illinois. Six of the states where it does business are still in their infancy and have annualized run rates greater than $1 billion. Even the more mature California market has plenty of room to expand.

But there are many other states that have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use where Cresco doesn't yet operate. These markets potentially represent the biggest growth opportunity for the company. Cresco Labs CEO Charles Bachtell says that the company's strategy is to "rinse and repeat" -- apply its already-proven strategy in more states. That's the kind of approach that could make current investors wealthy over time.

2. Green Thumb Industries

Green Thumb Industries (OTC:GTBIF) is similar to Cresco in several respects. It's based in Illinois. The company is one of the largest multistate cannabis operators, with operations in 12 states. Like Cresco, Green Thumb is still fairly small, with a market cap of under $5 billion despite the fact that the stock skyrocketed 120% so far this year.

The company has a clear-cut path to growth. It currently operates 50 retail cannabis stores but owns licenses for another 46 stores. As is the case with Cresco, Green Thumb focuses on several fast-growing markets, including Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The company is already profitable and posted its third consecutive quarter of positive cash flow in Q3.

Green Thumb's future looks brighter than ever after the November U.S. elections. In particular, CEO Ben Kovler is excited about New Jersey, which voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Kovler recently said, "New Jersey is great news for us as we think that legal market has the potential to mirror Illinois – a single-state, multibillion-dollar legal cannabis market about to be born." 

3. Jushi Holdings

Jushi Holdings (OTC:JUSHF) is by far the smallest of these three potential millionaire-maker pot stocks with a market cap below $500 million. However, Jushi just might have the biggest upside in the U.S. cannabis industry.

The small marijuana stock has been sizzling-hot in 2020, with its shares tripling in value. Jushi currently has 12 retail cannabis stores open in six states, notably including Illinois and Pennsylvania. The company plans to open seven additional stores in Pennsylvania by the end of Q3 2021.

Jushi stacks up nicely against Canadian cannabis producers with much larger market caps. For example, it already generates positive adjusted earnings before interest taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), while Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth have yet to do so. Jushi should also record higher revenue than Aurora will next year. With the U.S. cannabis market just beginning to truly take off, the stock could be a massive moneymaker if the company continues to execute well. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.