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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Is There a Buying Opportunity in Cannabis Stocks?

Cannabis stocks have had a difficult time in recent years. Is there a buying opportunity right now?

Some experts believe 2022 will be a period where investors who are betting on the long-term outlook for the cannabis industry can find affordable options.

Speaking about this topic with the Investing News Network (INN), Charles Taerk, president and CEO of Faircourt Asset Management, said he sees potential when it comes to US cannabis names — but not Canadian stocks.

​US companies continue to show superior numbers, expert says

The financial expert pointed to the year-over-year growth seen from US operators and their businesses in the country, despite the lack of federal legalization and more welcoming banking rules.

“Multi-state operators (MSOs) (are) very undervalued, and they have very strong fundamentals,” Taerk said.

“The total addressable market in the US continues to grow, with a number of different state markets opening both to medical and recreational markets, and (MSOs are) trading at five times EBITDA,” he continued, referring to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. “This is where investors should be, or portfolio managers in the space are table pounding.”

Little competition for  “generational” investment opportunity

Taerk explained to INN that he thinks the biggest opportunity available for investors right now can be found in the lack of competition when it comes to investment dollars.

“What I mean by that is US institutions aren’t investing yet, so you’re able to get ahead of the large institutional blocks that will come once it’s federally legal. You’re getting a lower valuation,” he said.

“Yes, there’s less liquidity,” the financial expert admitted, “but you’re getting at a generational buying opportunity.”

Misunderstandings affecting MSO valuation despite positive stats

Taerk’s comments center on what has been a trend in the cannabis stock market for years now — a lack of appreciation for the growing position of US cannabis companies.

The current slashing of momentum for US players continues to relate back to misunderstandings in the market, and investors’ desire to wait for meaningful regulatory changes in the country, Taerk said.

“A lot of investors tend to say, ‘Well, without federal legislative changes … I’m not interested,’ but you miss the growth that’s taking place at the state level,” the financial expert told INN.

Earlier this month, cannabis research firm New Frontier Data issued a new report indicating that sales from legal markets in the US will surpass US$72 billion by 2030.

The projection is based on the expectation that nine states will fulfill promises to legalize medical cannabis programs, while an additional nine could have adult programs by the year 2030.

The bigger investors that Taerk said are not yet participating to their full extent include consumer goods companies, as well as tobacco and alcohol players.

Although both tobacco and alcohol companies have made investments in Canadian cannabis companies, these have been mixed in terms of results and direct involvement from the larger companies.

“The longer the MSOs are allowed to continue to build their businesses, they are effectively strengthening their moat around the businesses,” Taerk said. “To the point when legalization happens, there’s going to be acquisitions at much higher prices. And this is why investors want to be investing now.”

​Investor takeaway

The US cannabis marketplace continues to offer a growth opportunity, according to experts like Taerk, but it has been hit by confusing policies and a lack of sensible business policy.

Those who are prepared to face those challenges and take a long-term view of the American marketplace may be able to weather the storm in the cannabis industry at large.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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