There was a sense of euphoria among many cannabis investors after Democrats regained effective control of the U.S. Senate as well as the White House. The countdown seemed to be on until major cannabis reforms were passed at the federal level. However, there haven't been any truly meaningful wins at the legislative level so far.
That doesn't mean that cannabis companies haven't made significant progress over the last few months, though. Some of them are arguably even more attractive than they were after Election Day. Here are three top marijuana stocks to buy right now.
It wasn't all that long ago that Trulieve Cannabis (TCNNF 11.39%) was essentially a one-state cannabis operator. Granted, the company absolutely dominated the medical cannabis market in that one state -- Florida. And, sure, Trulieve had taken steps to expand into other markets. However, there were some valid reasons to be skeptical about the company's ability to replicate its success beyond Florida.
That's no longer the case. Earlier this month, Trulieve announced plans to acquire Harvest Health & Recreation (HRVSF) in an all-stock transaction valued at $2.1 billion. This deal will add operations in five additional states for Trulieve, including the fast-growing markets in Arizona and Nevada.
The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021. Assuming there are no roadblocks, Trulieve should soon boost its estimated total addressable market by more than 50%. The combined company will also be the most profitable U.S. multistate operator based on adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA).
In the meantime, Trulieve continues to deliver sizzling growth all on its own. The company's sales more than doubled year over year in the first quarter thanks mainly to expansion in Florida. Trulieve also posted strong earnings growth. The addition of Harvest will make this winning marijuana stock even more attractive.
Although there hasn't been tangible progress in recent months at the federal level in improving the outlook for the U.S. cannabis industry, it's a different story at the state level. For example, Virginia's legislature voted to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana. That should present a great opportunity for Jushi Holdings (JUSHF 8.99%).
Virginia isn't exactly in a hurry. The state's adult-use market won't open until 2024. However, that actually could work to Jushi's advantage.
The company already owns a medical cannabis license in northern Virginia, home to almost 30% of the state's population. Look for Jushi to build up its brand in the medical cannabis market over the next couple of years. That could give it a strong competitive position for the recreational market that's on the way.
Jushi's growth prospects aren't dependent just on Virginia, though. The company has operations in California, Illinois, Nevada, and Pennsylvania with acquisitions pending in Massachusetts and Ohio.
Investors who might be a little skittish about buying shares of a pure-play pot stock have several appealing alternatives. I think that Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG 0.72%) ranks as one of the best.
You're probably at least somewhat familiar with Scotts' line of consumer lawn and garden products. That business remains the company's biggest source of revenue, generating roughly three-quarters of total sales in the latest quarter.
However, Scotts' main growth driver now is its Hawthorne segment. Hawthorne is a leading supplier of hydroponics and gardening products to the cannabis industry. Its revenue soared 66% year over year in Scotts' fiscal second quarter.
CEO Jim Hagedorn said in the company's Q2 conference call, "Whether we see federal reform with this administration or not, clearly the momentum at the state level is not slowing down. We'll see more markets open and create more opportunities for growth." I think he's right.