You may not be retiring for 30 years, or maybe retirement is a lot nearer in your future. Either way, every investor needs growth stocks to buy and confidently forget about as they grow in value and earn you dividends in the meantime.

How can we find such stocks? Look for companies with a solid, consistent plan for growth, along with a record of dividend raises, such as Target (TGT 0.96%) and Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR 1.17%). Target is up nearly 40% year to date, and Innovative is up more than 45% in 2021. Over the past five years, stock returns from these two companies have easily outstripped the S&P 500's growth. For perspective, Target's stock is up more than 219% while Innovative's shares are up more than 1,500%, compared to the S&P's return of 111% over that period.

Here's why I think both companies can continue to reward investors.

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Target is one of the few retailers to figure out online sales

Four years ago, Target was in the midst of a rare down revenue year when it announced a three-year plan to invest $7 billion in e-commerce. That move continues to pay off. Its same-day delivery and online shopping initiatives have allowed it to grow sales. In the third quarter, the company said it saw digital sales increase 29% over the same period in 2020, while same-day services saw revenue climb 60% year over year.

But it's not just online. So far this year, Target has opened 32 new stores, after opening 30 last year, all in a time when other retail outlets are contracting. The company, in its third-quarter report, said it plans to remodel 145 of its stores in 2021.

Target is on track for a record revenue year through nine months. In the third quarter, the retailer reported nine-month revenue of $75 billion, up 15% from the same period last year, putting it on pace to surpass last year's revenue of $103.3 billion. Earnings per share (EPS) through the nine months was listed at $10.87, an improvement of 83.9% over the same period in 2020.

Target raised its quarterly dividend by 32% this year to $0.90 a share, giving it a modest yield of 1.29%, but that's partly a function of how much the stock has risen this year. In addition, the company became a Dividend King this year when it raised its dividend for the 50th consecutive year.

The company began offering dividends when it went public in 1967 and has never missed a quarterly payment. It keeps its cash dividend payout ratio very safe at 24.47%, so there's plenty of room for that dividend to grow.

Innovative Industrial Properties is building a big moat

Innovative Industrial Properties is no longer the only real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in leasebacks of properties to cannabis companies, but it is the first and foremost cannabis REIT. That's allowed it to grow funds from operations (FFO) by a crazy 17,000% over the past five years.

While that pace of growth would be hard to match going forward, the company continues to see gains. Through nine months, Innovative Industrial Properties reported FFO of $84.3 million, up 94% year over year, while its FFO per share was $4.77, up from $3.42 per share a year ago.

The company just raised its quarterly dividend by 7% to $1.50 per share, which, even at its improved share price, offers a yield of 2.05%. Innovative Industrial Properties has raised its dividend 12 times since the company went public with an initial public offering in 2016, including the past six consecutive quarters. Its adjusted FFO payout ratio of 87.17% is a little high, even for a REIT, but not overly concerning considering the company's stable cash flows.

What I like most about Innovative Industrial Properties is its business plan is relatively low risk, particularly for a REIT. According to a study by Grand View Research, legal cannabis sales are expected to compound at an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.7% between 2021 and 2028.

Because of federal banking laws, Innovative Industrial Properties' sale-leaseback model is one of the few ways for U.S. cannabis companies to raise cash. IIPR buys those companies' cultivation, processing, and retail properties and then leases them back with long-term triple net leases that put most of the costs onto the tenants.

That provides Innovative Industrial Properties with a stable revenue stream. As of Nov. 3, the company said it owned 76 properties over 19 states. Of its 7.5 million rentable square feet, 100% was leased, with an average remaining lease term of 16.7 years. Some of its tenants are among the top U.S. cannabis companies, including Trulieve, Green Thumb International, and Cresco Labs.

The regulated cannabis industry is poised for significant growth, and U.S. regulated sales are expected to reach $45.9 billion by 2025, according to Innovative Industrial Properties' research. With 14 states remaining that haven't opened up yet to marijuana sales and 32 states that haven't approved recreational cannabis sales, there's plenty of room to grow. Even if the SAFE Banking Act eventually passes to give marijuana less expensive sources of capital, Innovative's leaseback program will still be useful to cannabis companies that are growing and need an additional source of capital.

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Making a long-term choice

Target appears to be the safer choice of the two companies, though both are relatively safe bets. The only concern I have with Innovative Industrial Properties is that it's working in such a fledgling industry that rapid, potentially disruptive change is more likely.

However, it's hard to argue with Innovative Industrial Properties' track record of FFO growth. While other REITs have entered the cannabis space, Innovative's market cap dwarfs its competitors, such as AFC Gamma, Power REIT and NewLake Capital Partners, giving it less real competition compared to Target, which battles fellow retail giants Amazon and Walmart, among others.