As a long-time tech-investing analyst, I have one of the best vantage points in the country for tracking profitable marijuana industry trends.
Here's the thing: I live 10 minutes from the epicenter of the medical marijuana movement in northern California, and the rest of the nation for that matter.
Downtown Oakland contains a small cannabis-friendly district known as "Oaksterdam." In fact, there's a patient co-op across the street from a store where I buy my fedoras.
I bring all this up so you know I've followed what's been happening with the marijuana legalization movement for years.
In these parts, it's difficult to avoid – you see lots of folks walking around wearing their official Oaksterdam t-shirts.
Since California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, another 19 states have joined the movement.
The San Francisco-based market research firm ArcView Group estimates the national legal marijuana market at $1.53 billion in 2013. ArcView expects sales to nearly double to $2.57 billion by the end of this year.
Clearly, the industry is growing rapidly, and there's big money to be made… especially if you hear about its best profit play…
Avoid the New Industry Hype, and Take Profits
In a moment, I will tell you about what I think is by far the best cannabis tech play available today.
It involves a highly respected biotech firm with truly great science that has used a series of compounds known as cannabinoids to create breakthrough drugs to treat everything from pain to epilepsy to schizophrenia.
Before I do that, I want to give you some context to measure it against by taking a moment to analyze what have become highly popular marijuana stocks.
As I see it, these investments have received way too much hype. Yes, in the long run the industry will do well.
But right now, the stocks getting the most attention are traded over the counter. I generally only recommend OTC stocks of foreign firms that are co-listed on a major exchange and where I can quickly get detailed financial data.
While some of these OTC cannabis shares define penny stocks, a couple of them are starting to get pricey. Take a look:
- Cannabis Science, Inc. (OTC: CBIS) is involved in the research and development of cannabinoid-based therapies for the treatment of HIV/AIDS and cancer. With a market cap of $144 million, the stock trades at $0.18.
- Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA) was the first publicly traded company venturing into medical marijuana and industrial hemp farming. It has a market cap of $303 and trades at $0.30.
- Vape Holdings, Inc. (OTC: VAPE) is a relatively young company specializing in vaporizers, e-cigarettes, and cannabis concentrates. E-cigarette sales eclipsed $1 billion in 2013, and cannabis concentrates have the highest growth segment in the industry. It has a market cap of $209 million and trades at $24.40.
- Medbox, Inc. (OTC: MDBX) makes and operates vending machines that dispense pharmaceuticals, primarily cannabis-based products, and has several patents in the field. MDBX has a market cap of $440 million and trades at $28.50.
- CannaVEST Corp. (OTC: CANV) is a producer of hemp- and cannabis-based products, particularly those with cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating extract. With a market cap of $810 million, the stock trades at $68.
As intriguing as these cannabis stocks may be, we actually have a much smarter play for you…
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is a 35-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top technology financial analysts working today. He regularly delivers winning trade recommendations to the Members of his monthly tech investing newsletter, Nova-X Report, and small-cap tech service, Radical Technology Profits. In the past two years alone, his subscribers have seen over 100 double- and triple-digit gains from his recommendations.
As a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs and high-profile industry insiders. In fact, he was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon. And he was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business Network, Michael is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book, "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before "bailout" became a household word.
You can follow Michael's tech insight and product updates for free with his Strategic Tech Investor newsletter.