Telling people what you believe versus what they want to hear might be among the most difficult things we humans have to do.
It’s even harder when facing hundreds of people in a live audience.
That’s exactly what I had to do in late 2014. At that time, virtually everyone was bearish on the stock market. The scars of the great financial crisis were still fresh. And no one wanted to hear anything good about stocks.
The presenter before me had literally told everyone to bury their money in the backyard. And here I was about to go on stage to say we were at the doorstep of a massive sustained rally in stock prices.
The pressure to conform to the widely held bearish view was intense.
People thought I was nuts. Even worse, some people thought I was delusional. Since then, of course, we’ve seen the market rise almost 80% – if you include dividends.
More recently, I came under intense scrutiny for counseling “do nothing” when stock prices collapsed in March. I pointed out that if you were a long-term investor, you should just leave your money alone and go enjoy your family.
So far, that’s been proven to be sound advice.
What’s my edge?
All of my career, I’ve been a contrarian. While the news media reports one thing, I find it much more profitable to take the other side.
After all, most media personalities (including many newsletter editors) don’t have my years of experience in the financial markets.
They’ve never run a hedge fund. And they certainly don’t have the resources… connections… or knowledge I’ve built up over my 30-plus years in the markets.
So what is the media missing this time?
Despite the pandemic, one sector is going through a remarkable revival. It’s defied national lockdowns. And it’s seen sales grow 22% since last year.
By 2024, one study projects it’ll swell to a $103.9 billion global industry – a 511% increase from here. Today, I’ll tell you what it is…
An Essential Business
COVID-19 has pushed many industries to the brink of failure. But others are experiencing unprecedented demand for their products and services.
One of them is cannabis.
Regular readers know I’ve been bullish on cannabis for more than a year. And despite 2019’s crash, I believe several tailwinds are lining up to ignite a huge rally.
Let me explain…
The entire industry was left for dead after last year. The benchmark Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (HMLSF) fell 50% from July to November 2019. And major companies like Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis dropped 54% and 68%, respectively.
But the pandemic has hit government coffers hard. And I believe they’ll turn to cannabis companies to fill them.
According to the National Association of Counties, local governments will see a $198 billion loss in tax revenues due to the COVID-19 outbreak. That’s not even taking into account losses at the state and federal levels.
In 2019 alone, the legal cannabis sector generated $17 billion… created more than 200,000 jobs… and pumped $1.9 billion in taxes into state and local governments.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg…
A report from Prohibition Partners projects the global cannabis market will swell to $103.9 billion by 2024. That’s an annual growth rate of nearly 50% – roughly double previous estimates.
That’s a potential $10 billion-plus honeypot of tax revenue.
Plus, the pandemic is creating a tailwind for cannabis.
While many other businesses close their doors indefinitely, some states deem cannabis businesses “essential”… just like grocery stores and pharmacies.
And many cannabis retailers are thriving – seeing a boost in online sales and offering delivery services – despite the pandemic…
For instance, in March, cannabis sales in Canada climbed 19%. In California, sales have averaged 53% higher than last year. And Oregon has posted a 58% increase in sales from last year.
But an even bigger catalyst may come this fall…
More Tailwinds Ahead
In November, several states will vote on cannabis laws. And the one I’m watching closely is New Jersey – home to 9 million people.
Medical cannabis is already legal in the state. But this fall, recreational use will be on the ballot.
If the measure passes, it’ll attract millions of dollars in revenue from neighboring New York. So a win in New Jersey means New York will have no choice but to legalize, too. We’ll likely see similar efforts in Pennsylvania and Connecticut as well.
The dominoes are starting to fall. I believe we’ll see cannabis federally legalized in the next two years. The budget holes are too big, and the opportunity to fill them with cannabis tax revenue is too large for politicians to ignore…
Still, investor sentiment in the cannabis space remains in the gutter… even as we’re seeing skyrocketing demand for legal cannabis.
When sentiment finally catches up to the reality of booming sales, we’ll see a new upcycle that’ll take this sector to new highs. Companies trading near their bottoms could soar five, 10, or even 100 times or more when investor sentiment flips.
One easy way to get involved in this trend now is by owning HMLSF. It holds a basket of top legal cannabis names… And it will give you exposure to the entire space.
Let the Game Come to You!
Editor, Palm Beach Daily
P.S. As I mentioned above, many quality cannabis companies are poised to not only survive this time of uncertainty… but thrive, once bullish sentiment returns to the overall cannabis market.
But while the market’s shake-up has left cannabis stocks undervalued, the best setups are in the private space. Even if the market remains volatile, these companies can stay private until the conditions are more favorable.
And right now, you can still get into three of these private deals for as little as 75 cents per share. But you must act now. These companies will be closing their doors to new investors soon…