Few industries will offer the blazing growth potential of the cannabis industry over the next decade. This really shouldn't come as a surprise given that Canada legalized recreational pot in October 2018 and 36 U.S. states have green-lighted weed in some capacity.
According to New Frontier Data, legal marijuana sales in the U.S. -- the world's top cannabis market -- are expected to grow by an average of 21% annually between 2019 and 2025, eventually reaching $41.5 billion.
While plenty of industry maturation lies ahead, a number of marijuana stocks are beginning to separate themselves from the pack. The following three pot stocks are currently on track to be the only cannabis companies to double their year-over-year sales in 2021.
Perhaps it's no surprise that the largest U.S. multistate operator (MSO) by market cap happens to be one of the three fastest-growing marijuana stocks in 2021.
Admittedly, Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF 4.06%) didn't provide a full-year outlook for 2020 when it reported its third-quarter results in November. But with $396.4 million in revenue through nine months, it's probably fair to say Curaleaf won't have topped $600 million in full-year sales. For 2021, Wall Street is looking for a cool $1.26 billion in revenue, as well as a recurring push to profitability. This would make Curaleaf the first cannabis pure-play stock to reach the $1 billion annual sales plateau.
While there's no question that organic growth is pushing sales higher, Curaleaf's revenue growth is certainly being juiced by two sizable acquisitions last year. It first closed the buyout of Cura Partners. Cura owned the Select brand of pot products, which are especially popular on the West Coast. This was followed by the acquisition of privately held MSO Grassroots. With both deals complete, Curaleaf holds more than 130 retail licenses, has an industry-leading 98 operating dispensaries, and has a retail, processing, or cultivating presence in 23 of the 36 legalized states.
With its foot in the door in practically every state projected to hit $1 billion in annual weed sales by mid-decade, Curaleaf is in great shape to be a sales-growth leader for years to come.
Another MSO that offers big-time growth potential this year is New York-headquartered Columbia Care (CCHWF -1.88%). The company estimates that its sales came to between $155 million and $180 million in 2020, and Wall Street's forecast calls for $484 million in revenue in 2021. It's worth noting that the third quarter also saw Columbia Care generate its first quarter of positive adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA).
Columbia Care was built to service the medical marijuana community. But with 15 states having now legalized adult-use weed either for consumption or retail sale, Columbia Care has adjusted its operating strategy to include this larger and potentially more lucrative consumer pool.
In total, Columbia Care has retail or growing operations in close to a dozen states. Many of its core states are angling to become billion-dollar markets by 2024. Some are already there, like California and Colorado. Others just rolled out the green carpet to recreational pot in the November election, like New Jersey and Arizona.
Like Curaleaf, Columbia Care is also leaning on inorganic growth to drive sales. As an example, it completed the purchase of The Green Solution (TGS), Colorado's leading vertically integrated cannabis company, in September. With Colorado trailing only California in annual weed sales, TGS should be a leading revenue driver in 2021.
Finally, don't sleep on MSO Jushi Holdings (JUSHF 8.99%), which -- as of this past Friday, Feb. 5 -- was flirting with a $1 billion valuation. For some context, shares of Jushi have roughly jumped tenfold from the bottom of the coronavirus crash in March 2020.
Following the company's updated guidance in early January that it would record between $32 million and $33 million in fourth-quarter sales, Jushi looks on track to deliver approximately $81 million in 2020 revenue, and a company-estimated $205 million to $255 million in current-year sales. In other words, Jushi and Columbia Care are probably duking it out for the title of fastest-growing pot stock in 2021.
Whereas Curaleaf has been attempting to plant its proverbial flag in as many legalized states as possible, Jushi's plan of attack is to focus on limited license states. These are states that limit the total number of dispensary licenses issued, or choose to award licenses based on a specific jurisdiction or county. The beauty of targeting limited license states is that it reduces the amount of competition Jushi will face.
The three states that will represent the bulk of Jushi's sales and growth potential are Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Illinois. Interestingly, Illinois racked up more than $1 billion in total weed sales in 2020, which was its first year of recreational pot sales.
Jushi recently opened its 16th dispensary and holds enough retail licenses in its back pocket to take this operating figure above the two-dozen mark in the relatively near future.