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5 Ways to Play the Hottest Trend in Cannabis

January 27, 2014 10:49 am
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With the implementation of legal cannabis in Colorado going smoothly, Washington's implementation on the way this spring and talk of many other states considering legalization, marijuana stocks have been quite strong this month.

While the entire sector is performing well, one part of the market capturing attention early in the year is vaporization. For those not familiar with this method of consuming cannabis, it involves heating liquid or wax concentrates (or even leaf), but without burning it. Industry think-tank Arcview Market Research pointed to the trend in its State of the Legal Marijuana Markets, 2nd Edition report.

There are many benefits to "vaping" compared to smoking, including less waste, fewer health risks, easier concealment and a more potent THC hit. Investors in public stocks can't yet invest directly in marijuana concentrates, but there are five stocks poised to benefit from the trend toward vaping.

Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA) sells a product through its subsidiary HempMedsPx, the Brain Dart™, a vape-pen that sells for $30. The company also sells cartridges of hemp oil, HempVĀP™, with a significant concentration of cannabidiol ("CBD"), one of the constituents of marijuana. Customers can buy an empty cartridge that can be filled with concentrates derived from marijuana as well. The hemp oil is manufactured by related company, CannaVest (OTC: CANV).

Medbox (OTC: MDBX) is best known for its vending machine — but, through an acquisition, it entered the vaporization market last year, buying Vaporfection International. The company offers the viVape 2, a tabletop unit which retails for $299, and it will be offering the miVape, a portable vaporizer, this summer. The company recently was awarded two patents .

Vape Holdings (OTC: PLPED) is a relatively new company that recently acquired HIVE Ceramics. It offers ceramic nails used in "dabbing" — placing a dab of cannabis on a hot surface and inhaling the heated product — as an alternative to titanium or quartz . The company intends to offer "cutting-edge technology" for vaporization of cannabis concentrates, including vaporizers, ceramic elements, dry herb chambers and tooling and manufacturing services. In early February, the symbol will change to "VAPE".

Seattle-based Mcig (OTC: MCIG) recently launched its second-generation vape-pen that sells for just $10. The device lends itself well to travel and inconspicuous consumption. The new mCig device vaporizes dry leaf and wax but also will soon offer the option of liquid concentrate vaporization. The company also announced an acquisition of Vapolution, which sells a higher-end tabletop unit for $175-250 as well as a portable unit for $210, rounding out its product set, and it will soon launch a new product that it hasn't yet fully disclosed, the "Vita".

Disclosure: 420 Investor has a long position in its paper portfolio in MCIG