Here are our top cannabis stocks for June 2021. The cannabis industry is growing at a blazing fast rate and offers promising stock options for long-term investors. Even during the pandemic, cannabis companies have seen strong gains.
For investors who want to invest in marijuana stocks with a budding future, these are the top stocks to consider adding to their portfolio in June 2021.
Cresco Labs is a major player in the industry. In fact, it is the fifth-largest public marijuana company in terms of revenue. Over the past 12 months, this stock has grown more than 145% and over 20% in 2021. Experts believe Cresco is ready to get even more gains.
Currently, Cresco has dominated in Pennsylvania and Illinois and plans to continue its strong growth as the markets mature. In Pennsylvania, in particular, Cresco increased its growing facility fourfold for more production capacity.
Cresco has operations in 10 states and runs 32 dispensaries and 18 production facilities. Just this year, it expanded into Massachusetts, Ohio, and Florida.
In addition, its focus on edibles, especially its recently-released Wonder Wellness Gummies, gives it a competitive advantage as edibles’ popularity continues to grow.
Curaleaf Holdings is arguably the biggest multi-state cannabis operator in the country. Currently, it has 106 dispensaries and operates in 23 states. It has been an aggressive expansion run and has maintained a consistent growth rate throughout, although the growth rate has slightly slowed down as of late.
While some investors may be put off by the recent slower growth, the now legal New York and New Jersey markets could be a boon for the company. In the coming year, the company could be posting its strongest stock gains yet since it leads in market share in both markets (medical cannabis).
In the first quarter, Curaleaf raised $300 million to expand its operations in New York, New Jersey, and other states with pending recreational markets. In addition, it has released new products including its Select Squeeze Beverage Enhancer.
Green Thumb Industries
Green Thumb Industries (GTI), another major multi-state operator, recently expanded its footprint in Massachusetts after acquiring privately-held Liberty Compassion, which has 2 medical cannabis retail locations under the brand name Affinity. The move not only triples GTI retail locations in the state but also improves its cultivation and production capacity.
Learn how to cash in on the Green Rush!
GTI has 56 retail stores in 11 states, with more on the way. In May, it announced the opening of the Cookies dispensary on the Las Vegas Strip in partnership with the Cookies Brand from the Bay Area.
GTI is poised for larger expansion. In April, Virginia became the 16th state to legalize cannabis. GTI purchased Dharma Pharmaceuticals, a medical cannabis operator in Virginia, in order to tap into the market. Now, it holds 1 of 5 vertically integrated licenses in the state and can open 5 more locations in the state.
Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis, had an incredible 2020. Its strong and steady expansion at home and abroad, as well as strong revenue, increased its stock. In 2021, the company is expected to keep the positive trend going.
This year, it acquired Mountaineer Holdings and Solevo Wellness West Virginia, giving it 9 medical cannabis dispensaries in the state. In Pennsylvania, it acquired 3 medical dispensaries in April. Its focus on medical cannabis markets has, so far, paid off.
In addition, Trulieve made a huge deal when acquiring Harvest Health and Recreation, which raised its dispensary count to 126 in 11 states and 3.1 million square feet in production and cultivation facilities.
Innovative Industrial Properties
Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP) is a real estate investment trust (REIT). Investing in IIP is a great way for investors to avoid the volatility of pure-play stocks that deal directly with the plant. This REIT lists properties to different cannabis companies hedging its bets on multiple sources of steady income, not a single one.
Despite the volatility of the market, IIP will continue to collect rent and increase the stock’s dividend. If IIP’s share price is too high for you, you can keep an eye on it until the price becomes more attractive, but if you’re willing to take a risk, it may pay off in the end.
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Though there’s still no set date for the first day of legal adult-use cannabis sales, the state’s latest cannabis board meeting revealed that delivery and nonprofit stores could shorten the wait.
The New York Office of Cannabis Management’s latest advisory board meeting went down December 1, with the stated deadline of New Year’s looming.
Last month, 36 operators, including eight nonprofits and 28 justice involved individuals, were awarded the first round of licenses to operate dispensaries. While nonprofits may use their own pre-established location, the other 28 licensees must wait for the state to assign them a physical retail space.
Delivery is coming soon
Newly-licensed dispensaries will be able to conduct sales via delivery while they establish their new storefronts, provided the licensees follow the regulations outlined by the OCM, announced Executive Director Chris Alexander at the meeting.
Alexander added that regulations for consumption spaces or delivery-only businesses still have not been finalized, emphasizing that delivery is the best temporary solution to get the new stores up and running while brick and mortar stores are prepared.
New regulation to protect New York dispensaries
Director of Policy John Kagia also announced updated industry regulations, which include protections for cannabis businesses from municipalities that may want to undermine them before they’ve even opened.
Kagia stated that while local municipalities may submit their opinions for allowing a cannabis dispensary to operate in their jurisdiction, they “can’t create special rules” specifically for weed businesses, such as cannabis-only fees, or requiring the state minimum of 70 hours of operation per week.
“This will help protect our licensees from local laws that could make it more difficult for them to be successful and even more difficult to effectively run a cannabis business.”
John Kagia, OCM Director of Policy
State announces new equity mentorship program
Additionally, Damian Fagon, the OCM’s chief equity officer, announced that 250 applicants had been selected for the state’s equity mentorship program, which was designed to help impacted applicants prepare to enter the market.
The program is slated to start mid-January 2023, and consists of a “10-week webinar series aimed at growing and diversifying the pipeline of farmers and processors in the market.”
More updates from New York
The meeting did not address the state’s recent change in cannabis testing regulations that now allow higher acceptable levels of certain molds, bacteria and pesticides in regulated products. A report released this week also found that many illicit shops claiming to have licensed and tested products could be selling weed and vapes that are tainted with E. coli, mold, and pesticides.
On November 21, the 36 first adult-use dispensary licenses went to business owners with New York cannabis convictions and nonprofits. The first approved stores are expected to open within the next three weeks.
New York established the nation’s first cannabis market with labor peace agreements. Here’s how that could affect the entire industry for years to come.
In 2021, New York became the 17th state to legalize recreational marijuana—and the first to include a legal clause requiring labor peace agreements. That means when the state’s first licensed stores open in a few weeks, you may be purchasing your eighth from a union budtender.
Labor peace agreements (LPAs) are laws that protect workers who choose to unionize. No other legal state dealt with the issue prior to New York. But after New York adopted its LPA clause, other states soon followed. New Jersey, where legal stores opened last April, and Connecticut, where they’re expected in early 2023, both included LPAs in their legalization laws.
While it’s still early days—New York’s stores haven’t even opened yet—a lot of union organizers are already hard at work in the tri-state area. The future of employment rights and working conditions in the cannabis industry as a whole could be shaped over the next few years in the Northeast’s tri-state market.
Capitol Confidential: California dustup over cannabis unions
How will unions impact New York’s cannabis market?
Nikki Kateman, political director for UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) Local 338, represents cannabis workers in New York. “It’s very rare that you get to be in a state that’s creating a brand new industry,” she told Leafly. “We have to make sure the jobs created are good jobs, not ‘Amazon jobs’ and low-road employment. It should be treated as a career and compensated well.”
In New York’s emerging adult-use cannabis market, employers will have to sign an LPA in order to receive their operating license from the state. This agreement says that an employer will not attempt to interfere with workers who want to organize and join a union.
“Not every cannabis workplace will automatically be unionized, but to get a cannabis business to sign an LPA means they agree to remain neutral and not to actively oppose efforts by workers to unionize,” said Ademola Oyefeso, UFCW International Vice President and Director of Legislative and Political Action. “In return, the union agrees not to organize strikes and work stoppages.”
In an era where global giants like Starbucks and Amazon are fighting tooth-and-nail to defeat every single local unionization effort, that’s a really big deal.
‘Wait, weed dealers have a union?’
Kateman told Leafly that many people can’t believe it when they find out about cannabis workers unions. “‘They have a union?!’”—is what many say when they learn about UFCW’s local work, according to Kateman. The Local 338 arm of UFCW unites approximately 13,000 people working in a variety of industries throughout New York and northern New Jersey. Kateman said she expects to be onboarding thousands of workers from the adult-use cannabis market in the next few years.
Canadian budtenders fear for their safety at work
UFCW also represents supermarket and retail workers, as well as the people who make the footballs used in NFL games and a growing number of university graduate students. But the budding field of legal weed—which employed 428,059 people nationwide in 2022— is one of the union’s fastest-growing constituencies.
How advocates made workers rights NY law
The UFCW’s organizing work in New York began even before weed was legalized. In the months leading up to the March 2021 passage of New York’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), Kateman and other union officials lobbied for the inclusion of labor peace agreements in the landmark legalization law.
“New York is expanding a relatively new industry, so it was critical that safeguards were put in place to ensure the tens of thousands of jobs being created—and thereby supporting New Yorkers who would be hired for those jobs in quality employment—would be high road careers. Labor peace agreements provide the space for workers to decide that unions are the right choice for them and collectively bargain for improved wages, benefits, and workplace conditions without employer interference.”
Nikki Kateman, political director for UFCW
New York already has some of the highest unionization percentages in the medical cannabis industry. The focus for advocates and lawmakers was to establish a legal framework where employers remain neutral toward unions, and approach worker decisions to organize with respect.
The UFCW is seeing results in that regard, according to members. At the 2022 Black CannaBiz Conference in New Orleans, Norbert Pickett, UFCW member and owner of Washington DC’s popular Cannabliss dispensary, challenged the common notion that unions and business owners have to be at odds. In fact, for Black business owners, Pickett told Leafly, the union is a valued ally.
“We communicate, we problem solve together. If there’s anyone intimidated by [unionization], there’s nothing to be afraid of,” he said. Pickett remains proud and confident knowing that when ex-employees move on to join other businesses, or start their own, they are already prepared for success by unions like UFCW.
Pickett told Leafly that, as a result of the union’s work, employees of Cannabliss make the highest wages of any cannabis dispensary in the District of Columbia. They also get health benefits, a matched 401k program, vacation time, and opportunities for training, certification, and advancement.
Pickett said this helps Cannabliss stay competitive, because employees are motivated to excel in their jobs. He also believes that together, Cannabliss and UFCW are creating a pipeline to entrepreneurship, which benefits Black representation in the space.
“We don’t want to keep employees as workers,” Pickett told Leafly. “We want them to go on and do their own thing, whether it’s in transport, processing, branding, retail or other areas.”
At MJBizCon this year, we got to see what the biggest trends were, from growing equipment, to rolling papers, to vapes, to branding. But one big trend wasn’t actually showcased at the convention, (though some going to it were subjected to it). The new trend of smoke and vape sensors in hotels, which require a sign off by the guest. Here’s what you need to know.
Ew, I can smell your smoke!
Smoke detectors in hotels are hardly new, and nor are the charges that guests must pay when those detectors pick up unwanted smoke. If you’re in a non-smoking room, you can pretty much expect that if the hotel has its stuff together, that you’re going to pay out for breaking the rules. Sure, some probably use the detectors as a way to dissuade people from smoking, while not performing the upkeep to make them actually useful, but many will use their ability to collect fines for illegal smoking.
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The main reason given, is that it disrupts other guests, and this does hold some value. It’s not fun to pay out for a hotel room and not be able to get away from the cigarette smoke from the room next door. If a hotel is offering guests a smoke-free stay, then the quality of air matters if they want to be reviewed well. Smoke gets everywhere. It doesn’t like to stay in the room where it originates, and so all of this really does make sense.
Plus, for a hotel, it’s an easy and valid way to make some extra cash. All they have to do is lay out the rules, and all you have to do is break them for the hotel to collect. While it sounds like it shouldn’t be an issue, since smokers can simply take smoking rooms, this isn’t always how it works out. Sometimes available smoking rooms are full in a hotel, or priced outside of a budget. Sometimes a person doesn’t intend to smoke, but changes their mind, or has a guest over who lights up. There are tons of scenarios by which a person likely to smoke, ends up in a non-smoking room.
And realistically, the extra charges make sense. Not only is someone else’s cigarette smoke a nuisance, but it’s also a health concern. Beyond the general dangers of secondhand smoke, which many non-smokers would prefer not to be subjected to, there are tons of issues, from asthma to bronchitis to cancer that require no smoke be around. People often complain about baseless things, but in my opinion, dealing with the detriments of someone else’ bad habit, in a paid-for place like a hotel, shouldn’t have to happen, and these rules are on the up and up.
Hey, I can smell your vapor too?
But vaping? While I’ve heard complaints over being bothered by smoke, and even had them myself, I’ve yet to hear someone complaining about the vapor from the room next door. In fact, that’s one of the benefits of vaping, it doesn’t produce a smoke. Sure, it doesn’t mean someone not vaping wants to smell the often sickly sweet chemically smell of a vape, but I have yet to hear of it being bothersome enough in a place like a hotel, for anyone to complain.
It also, whether mildly irritating when blown directly in the face, or not, doesn’t come with the same health detractions. I’m not saying that the chemicals making up that sickly sweet smell are good for anyone – they’re probably not, but they also haven’t been fingered with provoking the same damage as smoke, in either the vaper, or the secondhand vaper. Mildly irritating or not, it doesn’t come with that death toll, making it not as much of an actual medical issue.
It also doesn’t get into furniture, or make your hands and hair smell. And it doesn’t burn holes in anything or require fire. I get why hotels don’t want smoking in non-smoking rooms. Beyond it bothering paying customers, it can cause damage to property as well, and make for hard-to-get-rid-of smoke odors. None of this applies to vaping, and a hotel would be hard-pressed to know if a vaper just left a room.
For a place like a hotel, vaping is a clearly better option than smoking. It means less issues with unapproving guests, and less damage to property. Yet in a new play to charge even more fines, hotels are now using special vape sensors that pick up not just cigarette smoke, but according to the hotels, vape vaper as well. And they’re making guests sign off on having these smoke and vape sensors in the rooms.
I’ve stayed in plenty of non-smoking rooms with smoke detectors in my life. Not until my most recent trip to Vegas did I stay in a place with vape senors as well, and which made me sign off on having these sensors in the room. The sensors that the hotel I stayed at are from the company Noise Aware, and according to the statement by the hotel via my email confirmation:
“Smoking tobacco, pipes, vapes, e-cigarets is strictly prohibited in nonsmoking rooms. State law prohibits use of marijuana on property.” And that, “NoiseAware is a smart device that allows hotel management to respond to smoking events without disrupting your stay. You hereby agree and consent to the use of such sensor in your room and acknowledge and agree that it is 100% privacy compliant and required by the hotel.”
So automatically, the hotel is lumping in vaping with smoking, but more questionably, its using state law as a backing, when in reality, Nevada is a weed legal state. The hotel doesn’t have to ban it by law. So long as the cannabis is not smoked in public, it shouldn’t legally be an issue in a non-governmental building, which the hotel certainly is. All that logic aside, what I had to sign, said that “By acknowledging the foregoing, you agree to waive any future claims related to the presence of the sensor in a room you may book. Tampering with the sensor is strictly prohibited.”
Not only did this show up in my email, but I signed a sheet upon check-in with a $250 fine attached, and had a card in my room to remind me of this the entire time. I cannot speak to how useful the vape senors are for their stated purpose. I was lucky enough to have a Cannabolish spray from the convention, which I used when vaping in my room, and I was never charged a fee.
While I cannot say whether this is because the product worked well, or the vape sensors are not as awesome as described, I can say that I wasn’t charged anything extra by the hotel. I should also mention that one night I had guests in the room, where blunts were smoked, with just the Cannabolish spray for cover. Perhaps this is really just a ringing endorsement of the Cannabolish product.
What are these sensors?
So, what are these newfangled smoke and vape sensors? And are they really that great that they can pick up vape smoke? A look at NoiseAware’s site, and smoking isn’t a part of it at all. It’s quite possible that the same company did provide the hotel some kind of smoking/vaping sensor, but if so, it doesn’t have information for this product or service on its site. The product seems generally geared toward making sure there isn’t overcrowding or partying in rooms.
However, a wider look on the internet at large shows there is absolutely a market for products making the claim of picking up vape vaper. One company, Halo, says it “provides both a real-time Air Quality and Health Index that sends alerts when either index falls into danger zones.” In fact, it claims to pick up “Marijuana (THC) • Vape • Masking.” It claims to do so by “monitoring Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Particulate concentrations, Humidity, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in the air.”
Another company, Forensic Detectors, claims to have the best vape-detection technology, and that a “PM2.5 detector is an excellent low cost detector in an indoor environment to confirm if vapers or e-cigarettes were used.” It continue that “A sensitive PM2.5 detector can be considered a vaping, vaper, or e-cigarette detector. PM2.5 detectors can be used by hotel staff, landlords, or even for property inspections to confirm vaping or e-cigarette use.”
Under its pros, the company lists, “1) Vape and e-cigarette vapor detectors (PM2.5) are relatively low cost, 2) Many detectors that are able to detect the use of e-cigarettes or vaping can also detect the presence of cannabis and weed smoke, and 3) PM2.5 detectors can help landlords and hotel owners solve problems associated with vaping and e-cigarette use.” However in cons, it goes onto say that “Limited product options exists to detect vaping and e-cigarette vapor”, which is odd considering how many options there are online. Unless it means to say that most (or all) don’t actually do this.
The jury is out on whether these new age smoke and vape detectors in hotels can actually pick up vape vapor with their sensors. But it is a growing trend to use them, and for anyone who isn’t sure of their accuracy, and doesn’t want to pay a fine… best to get the smoking room. Or just go outside if you’re unsure. As nearly all info out on these technologies comes directly from the companies, it’s hard to know the quality of what they’re peddling. My guess? They probably don’t work that well, though I expect this technology will improve with time.
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