15 Marijuana Stocks To Watch In 2015
Marijuana stocks were among the most volatile in 2014, riding a wave of interest created by legalization in Colorado and Washington, only to crash back down to about where the move began.
2015 is likely to see similar volatility, with Oregon and Alaska moving to implement their legal cannabis programs. Several states -- including Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York -- could also move forward with their medical marijuana programs.
The universe of marijuana stocks grew rapidly last year and now numbers more than 250, almost all of which trade over-the-counter and carry a lot of risk.
Here are the top 15 to watch in 2015.
Disclosure: At the time of publication, 420 Investor included AMMJ, GWPH, MCIG, NVLX, SRNA, TRTC and VAPE in one or more model portfolios.
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American Cannabis Company Inc
While it is not widely followed, American Cannabis Company Inc (OTC: AMMJ), based in Colorado, is one of the few companies in the sector to produce a positive net income. American Cannabis Company provides consulting services to cultivators in legal states (and Canada), and helps them through the licensing process. The company also designs the facilities and operating procedures, and then leverages these relationships further by providing proprietary and distributed products.
Blue Line Protection Group Inc
Blue Line Protection Group Inc (OTC: BLPG) has yet to capture the enthusiasm of investors since it began trading last year, but the company addresses two major problems for the industry, including handling cash and transporting product. The company, based in Colorado, is set to expand to Nevada, Washington and Illinois.
Cannabs Inc (OTC: CANL) was the first analytical laboratory focused on cannabis to begin trading last year, and this is an important sub-industry as quality control will be a big focus. Based in Colorado and with a large market-share in that area, Cannlabs has negotiated contracts with two of the four licensed dispensaries in Connecticut. It is also building a facility in Nevada, where testing is mandated.
2014 was a year of transformation for Las Vegas-based CannaVEST Corp (OTC: CANV), which evolved from serving primarily a single customer, HempMedsPX, to multiple relationships and its own e-commerce site. CannaVEST manufactures over-the-counter products with Cannabidiol (CBD) that are derived from industrial hemp; they're thought to help treat a variety of conditions. An industry leader, CannaVEST has expanded capacity and lowered its cost of production. It could benefit from a legal changes that will permit domestic hemp production.
American Green Inc
American Green Inc (OTC: ERBB) not only changed its name (from TranzByte), but it also broadened its focus in 2014, shifting towards cultivation while still targeting the automated dispensing market with its ZaZZZ machine. The company, based in Tempe, AZ, made several acquisitions of products geared toward helping growers. It also signed a managed services contract in Nevada.
Creative Edge Nutrition Inc
The stock of Michigan-based Creative Edge Nutrition Inc (OTC: FITX) ended up performing very well in 2014 despite a challenge to its goal of becoming a leading producer of marijuana in Canada. As the year ended, its subsidiary, CEN Biotech, faced zoning issues that have impeded the award of a coveted license from Health Canada. The company, which intends to spin off this subsidiary, could announce additional pursuits in the coming year, whether focusing on different markets for cannabis cultivation or on industrial hemp.
UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) became much more of a household name among investors in 2014, thanks in part to Jim Cramer, but mainly to its tremendous progress in advancing Epidiolex. The drug is in Phase 2/3 clinical trials, and it received Orphan Designation from the FDA during the year. Epidiolex has shown early success in treating seizures associated with rare forms of childhood epilepsy, with fewer adverse reactions than the current pharmaceutical regimen. The company could see its Sativex, already on many other markets around the world for treating spasticity in MS patients, receive approval for the treatment of advanced cancer pain. This is a potential landmark, and if it happens, it would be the first FDA-approved drug derived from cannabis.
2014 was a confusing year for investors in Hemp Inc (OTC: HEMP), as it moved towards a new consulting business model that it then abandoned late in the year. The company has been most focused on the construction of a factory in North Carolina that will handle kenaf processing until industrial hemp can be grown legally there. The Las Vegas-based company, which managed to close up on the year in 2014 despite giving up almost all the gains, is already off to a good start in 2015.
The company started out as a low-end vaporizer company with an industry-low $10 price point, but mCIG Inc (OTC: MCIG) evolved in many ways in 2014. In addition to moving from Washington to Hollywood, the company added a table-top line via the acquisition of Vapolution and also introduced and then spun out VitaCig. In the coming year, the company, which now offers a variety of hand-held vaporizers for leaf, wax and even liquids, will offer a new consumer device for extraction and will sell devices with cannabis extracts in Colorado.
After a terrible performance in 2014, Medbox Inc (OTC: MDBX) continues to face many challenges in the New Year. The company continues to maintain among the highest market-caps in the sector, despite seeing its revenue evaporate during the year. New management joined the company during the year and broadened its focus beyond consulting and dispensing hardware, but the founder has made it clear there could be changes in the coming year. Medbox is also in the process of restating its prior financial results.
Medical Marijuana Inc
Medical Marijuana Inc (OTC: MJNA) had a challenging year, and the prospects appear dim going forward as it has evolved into a supplier primarily to a multi-level marketing organization. The San Diego-based company lost its relationship with Dixie Elixirs during 2014 and also ran into issues with the supplier of its CBD products. In contrast to the growth in the industry, its stock fell in 2014 as the company made little progress on financial metrics. Despite the challenges, Medical Marijuana remains one of the more actively traded names in the sector.
2014 was a year of change for Maryland-based Nuvilex Inc (OTC: NVLX), with the entire management team and Board of Directors turning over. The company was able to negotiate a friendly financing deal with Chardan Capital and also ended the year on a high note, as it announced that its pancreatic cancer treatment, which will go through clinical trials later this year, had received Orphan Designation from the FDA. Its marijuana-focused subsidiary that uses this same technology took on a new name, Viridis BioPharma, as well.
Shareholders in Boulder-based Surna Inc (OTC: SRNA) had a rough 2014, but the company's unique technology addresses a critical concern for the industry: High energy usage. SRNA acquired Hydro Innovations last year and will soon introduce an energy-saving water-chilled reflector protected by patents. Growth in 2015 could be fueled by the expansion in its product offerings, including potential acquisitions, as well as build-outs in several new geographies that are ramping up medical marijuana or legal marijuana programs.
Terra Tech Corp
California-based Terra Tech Corp (OTC: TRTC) almost doubled in price in 2014 despite giving up most of its gains, as investors were pleased by its progress in securing several medical marijuana licenses in Nevada. The company also began producing cannabis extracts in California and created the "IVXX" brand. Terra Tech has established itself as the first larger company in the space to cross the "green line," and it could produce substantial revenue in 2015 from the sale of marijuana.
Vape Holdings Inc
Vape Holdings Inc (OTC: VAPE) ended 2014 with great news, posting strong results for its quarter ending September 30 that left it among the highest revenue-producers in the sector. The company also laid out several near-term potential growth drivers as it diversifies its offerings. Vape Holdings' Hive Ceramics unit offers medical-grade ceramic elements used in torched, electronic and portable vaporizers.