The smoke has cleared from the first earnings season. What were the trends with marijuana companies during the period, and what can we expect from the sector in the immediate future?

In this video segment from Motley Fool Live recorded on May 21, Fool contributor Eric Volkman and healthcare and cannabis bureau chief Corinne Cardina peer through the haze to identify three key takeaways for investors to focus on at the moment. 

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Corinne Cardina: A couple of takeaways for cannabis investors right now, what should we be watching?

Eric Volkman: Like I say, we want to keep an eye on rumors of deals, the kinds of deals that companies are making. Are they buying grow facilities to help bring down their costs and expand their distribution, get a foothold in a state? Or are they looking to build share by buying complementary companies? What kind of consolidation is taking place? That's one thing to determine and to get a fix on.

Legalization, excuse me, it's going to continue to either the state or federal level. Excuse me again. I also would counsel marijuana investors, present and perhaps future, to seek sideways investments. Because we've been looking at a lot of these earnings and while there is top-line growth, the MSOs, the producers, the vertically integrated enterprises, they're still really struggling. It's tough to make a buck out there.

What we want to keep an eye on, I think always,  is -- I touched on Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR 1.22%) -- sideways investments. Maybe companies that aren't directly involved in the sale or the production of weed. So Innovative is good because they're a real estate investment trust (REIT).

We've liked a pick-and-shovel play for a long time here Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG 0.86%). They sell the equipment used to grow weed.

Finally there's another favorite and, I think justifiably -- GrowGeneration (GRWG 2.02%). GrowGeneration is a hydroponics retailer. They're spending a lot of money in acquisitions so their results are going to be affected, but they are building a solid presence and they're developing into very much a dominant company in that still small, but rapidly growing segment.