3 Cannabis Stocks Ready to Break Away From the Crowd

Newer traders might not remember a time when cannabis stocks were few and far between and volumes were thin. Today, it’s much easier to find popular marijuana stocks to trade and perhaps you’ve seen the explosive price moves to the upside — along with the painful moves to the downside.

Many cannabis stocks have struggled lately, but the prospect of legalization in America and abroad continues to draw newcomers into the pot-stock trade. Still, the legalization issue remains complex…

in an e-mail to InvestorPlace, Andrew Schnackenberg, professor of management at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business, notes that there are no easy answers surrounding the “when” and the “where” of cannabis decriminalization:

“This is a very difficult question to answer from a systematic scholarly perspective, as the laws are in a perpetual state of flux within many states and municipalities. Perhaps the biggest market for recreational use that has the potential to open up in 2020 is New York (and to a lesser extent, New Jersey). Investors should also strongly consider the headwinds being created for cannabis companies that are spilling over from emerging health risks associated with vaping.”

If you’re prepared to accept those headwinds, then the following selection of cannabis stocks could be ripe for the picking. I’ve chosen these three personal favorites because they have something — financial or otherwise — that puts them in a position to flourish regardless of whether decriminalization moves forward or not in 2020; in the final analysis, great companies can succeed even in the most challenging of regulatory environments.

Cannabis Stocks to Buy: Aphria (APHA)

Like the majority of cannabis contenders, Aphria (NYSE:APHA) stock has floundered since the summer of last year under  the vaping controversy and the disappointment of Cannabis 2.0 (a catchall term for the commencement of Canadian sales of cannabis edibles, topicals, and vape products).

These are industry-wide issues, but Aphria has what many cannabis companies don’t: positive cash flow. With 600 million CAD on its balance sheet and just 490 million CAD in outstanding debt, Aphria is net positive — and a recent 100 million CAD cash infusion from a “mystery investor” certainly doesn’t hurt, either.

Not only that, but Aphria recently secured highly coveted GMP status in the European Union. This will allow the company to sell marijuana for medical purposes to pharmacies in cannabis-friendly and heavily populated countries like Germany. So if America drags its feet on legalization, the impact won’t be as bad for Aphria.

Tilray (TLRY)

As I’ve been known to do, I’m going to take a strictly contrarian position here in recommending Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) stock. I’ll be the first to admit that the share price went up too much in 2018 and wasn’t meant to be trading at $200, but I see it as an overreaction for the market to push it below $20 as there’s nothing so horrendous about this company that warrants such a downdraft.

Even the layoff of 10% of Tilray’s workforce, which many traders view as a sign of trouble, is a positive in my book. In fact, I would assert that more marijuana companies ought to consider similar cost-cutting measures: to quote Tilray’s CEO, Brendan Kennedy, “By reducing headcount and cost, Tilray will be better positioned to achieve profitability and be one of the clear winners in the cannabis industry, which will drive value for our investor and employee shareholders.”

Kennedy added, “Tilray restructured its global organization to meet the needs of the current industry environment and for continued growth in 2020 and beyond.” While I feel bad for those who lost their jobs, I respect the CEO’s willingness to reduce expenditures when times get tough for the cannabis market — remember, Tilray can…

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