Investing in the cannabis industry for the long haul can be a decision that you thank yourself for later on. The simple reason is that there is significant growth potential there. According to marijuana research company BDSA, the global cannabis market will be worth more than $62 billion by 2026, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 15% until then. But those numbers could go even higher as more places pass legislation that permits marijuana for medical or recreational use. 

There's a lot of growth ahead, and if you're willing to just buy and hold for several years, two cannabis stocks worth considering today are Canopy Growth (CGC -2.95%) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ 0.19%)

Person reviewing hemp outdoors.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Canopy Growth

Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth isn't an exciting investment to own if you're looking at the next several months or even just 2022. That's because the company has so much banking on the U.S. market opening up, it's a risky buy in the short term; if the U.S. doesn't make any moves toward legalizing marijuana within the next 12 months, there could be more of a sell-off for a stock that's already down 47% this year (the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF, by comparison, is up over 1%). After all, CEO David Klein projected earlier this year that his company would be operating in the U.S. market by 2022. 

Canopy Growth is well positioned to enter the U.S. as it has the following companies that can help it grow and expand there once lawmakers finally legalize marijuana:

  • Beer maker Constellation Brands owns a 38.6% stake in Canopy Growth, and its strong distribution network in the U.S. could quickly help it enter new markets.
  • Acreage Holdings is a multistate operator that Canopy Growth has a deal to acquire once it's permissible to close on the transaction (i.e., legalization takes place).
  • Marijuana edibles company Wana Brands is another U.S.-based business that Canopy Growth plans to acquire once the federal ban on pot is gone south of the border. Canopy Growth says that Wana is the top edibles brand in terms of market share in North America. 

As a result of all these opportunities, Canopy Growth is arguably the Canadian cannabis producer that's in the best shape to enter the U.S. pot market. However, that may still be years away from happening.

If you're willing to buy and hold for several years, this could be an investment that pays off. But if you're only looking at the next six to 12 months, however, you could be in for a disappointment. In the company's most recent quarterly results, sales of 131.4 million Canadian dollars for the period ending Sept. 30 were down 3% year over year. Also, the company recorded an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) loss of CA$162.6 million that makes profitability a very long-term goal.

2. Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Jazz Pharmaceuticals is growing today, but its prospects will look even brighter once markets around the world legalize marijuana. Its cannabis-based seizure medication, Epidiolex, has been generating strong growth, but its potential will strengthen when there are more places where it can be sold. The drug generated net sales of $160.4 million for the period ending Sept. 30, which was 21% higher than the prior-year period. It also accounted for nearly one-fifth of Jazz's total revenue for the period.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration has approved the drug to treat seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The approvals cover children who are as young as one year old. Epidiolex is also approved in over 30 European countries for the same indications (although there, patients need to be at least two years old). Jazz, however, is still in the early stages of its rollout. It says that Epidiolex, which it markets as Epidyolex in Europe, is available in four key markets, including the U.K., Germany, Italy, and Spain. It plans to launch the drug in France next year.

The global cannabis pharmaceuticals industry is one of the hottest segments available to invest in right now. Grand View Research projects that the market will grow at a CAGR of 76.8% until 2027, when it will be worth $5.8 billion. Jazz Pharmaceuticals is going to be a big part of that growth, and investors who hold its stock stand to benefit from that upside.