To earn $1,000 in dividend income on a $10,000 investment, you need one of two things: a high-yielding stock or some patience. The former can come with some significant risk as stocks with high payouts can sometimes be due for a cut. The latter may not be ideal even for long-term investors, especially if you're talking about waiting decades for the dividend to grow.

But there's one promising growth stock in the cannabis industry that does a great job of balancing both of those factors: Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR). Its yield is relatively high as of this writing at 2.6% (compared to the S&P 500 average of just 1.3%) and the company's feverish profit growth makes it likely that you won't have to wait all that long to collect loads of cash from the stock.

A smiling person counting money in their living room.

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Innovative Industrial's yield is a safe bet to grow over the years

On a $10,000 investment, a 2.6% yield is only going to generate $260 in annual income for your portfolio. That's nowhere near $1,000. But Innovative Industrial isn't your ordinary dividend stock. In many cases, a company that pays a dividend doesn't increase its payments. And those that do often make hikes that are generous but modest -- it's rare to see a company increase its payouts by 10% or more.

But this real estate investment trust (REIT) has been growing its payouts because its profits have been skyrocketing thanks to the fast-growing marijuana industry. (Plus, REITs are legally required to pay out at least 90% of their revenue in dividends.) As more states legalize marijuana, more growers will inevitably enter the market. And while they'll often have space of their own for cultivation, they will need cash to grow their businesses. Since getting money from the banks is a struggle due to the federal ban on marijuana, sale-and-leaseback agreements through Innovative Industrial Properties is an attractive alternative; some of the company's tenants are big-name multi-state operators, including PharmaCann, Ascend Wellness, and Curaleaf Holdings.

During the first six months of 2021, Innovative Industrial netted a diluted per-share profit of $2.22, a 53% increase from the same period last year. Shareholders have been benefiting from the company's impressive profit growth. Just this year alone, Innovative Industrial has made multiple rate hikes. From the $1.17 quarterly dividend investors were receiving at the end of 2021, that payout has already risen by 28% to $1.50. That is more than four times the $0.35 the company was paying at the end of 2018.

Here's how quickly that $260 annual dividend could grow to $1,000

Even though it isn't a guarantee, Innovate Industrial is likely to grow its dividend for the foreseeable future; the big question is, at what rate? And that can be difficult to predict.

If the company were to continue to increase its dividend by 28% (this is how much it has risen in the past year), it would take approximately six years or less for the dividend to nearly quadruple to $1,000. However, if the rate of increases were to slow to say half that -- 14% -- then investors would be waiting for about a decade to reach that tally.

Although the company's payout ratio doesn't look like it has much room to support such generous dividend hikes -- based on funds from operations of $1.56 for the period ending June 30, Innovative Industrial is paying out nearly more ($1.50) than what it is generating in profit -- that can be a misleading figure, especially for such a fast-growing business. Innovative Industrial doubled sales last quarter to $48.9 million, and with profit margins of more than 50%, investors can be confident the company's profit will only get stronger as its business expands.

Innovative Industrial is a dividend stock you'll want in your portfolio

Innovative Industrial may be the best dividend growth stock out there right now. Although its yield looks unimpressive and there are higher-yielding stocks out there, its shares have been soaring: In the past year, the stock is up 89% while the S&P 500 has increased by just 32%. If you bought the stock a year earlier, the yield would have been up around 3.5%.

Buying and holding this pot stock is a solid move for long-term investors, as you can benefit not just from a growing dividend but from some fantastic returns; and this is a safe way to invest in the cannabis industry.

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.