Here’s What’s Behind June’s Big Marijuana Stock Winner

Marijuana stocks have captured the hearts and imaginations of many new investors, and the fast-growing cannabis industry has brought many companies to Wall Street’s attention very quickly. Yet after a lightning-fast start to 2019, most of the top players in growing cannabis, including Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB), have seen the pace of their share-price gains slow dramatically…

If you look harder, though, you’ll see that the marijuana stock space is far from dead. In fact, there’s one stock that’s taken a different approach toward profiting from cannabis, and it’s seen huge gains of nearly 40% so far in June. Investors in Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) just got another piece of good news, and it bodes well for the business model that the cannabis-focused real estate investment trust has become so profitable so early in its history.

Why Innovative Industrial shareholders are happier than ever

The latest move from Innovative Industrial that bolstered its stock was yet another increase in the cannabis REIT’s dividend. On June 14, the company said it would pay a dividend of $0.60 per share for the second quarter of 2019.

At first glance, that might not seem like such a big deal. Given the stock’s share price, the move boosted Innovative Industrial’s dividend yield back above the 2% mark, but that still left the REIT with a lower yield than many of its non-cannabis real-estate peers.

However, what’s remarkable is that Innovative Industrial has already put together an impressive streak of dividend hikes. The REIT’s June move was the second straight quarter that it has raised its payout. In just nine quarters of paying dividends at all, Innovative Industrial has delivered four boosts.

The size of those increases has also been impressive. The most recent hike amounted to a 33% increase, following quickly on the heels of a 29% boost in the first quarter of 2019. Past hikes of 40% and 67% show the speed with which Innovative Industrial has become a dividend powerhouse.

Where are these dividends coming from?

Innovative Industrial’s business model is so simple that it’s surprising not to have seen more companies step up to challenge it. Like many real estate investment trusts, Innovative Industrial invests in real estate and then leases it out to suitable tenants. What’s special about the cannabis REIT is that it specializes in identifying properties that will be particularly valuable for marijuana companies, including greenhouse facilities and other industrial buildings…

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