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Early last month, I wrote about how Illinois is primed to become the "Marijuana Mecca of the Midwest," and it seems that we're not the only ones who know about it.
After the deal closed on Thursday, Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy gave an interview at the Players Technology Summit in San Francisco in which he hinted at a number of "head-turner" acquisitions that the company has in the works.
While he was careful not to spill any specifics, he did make one thing clear.
Illinois, which last month became the first state to approve the sale of adult-use cannabis through legislation, will feature prominently in Acreage's plans. When asked about the coming market, Murphy said: "We have designs on going very deep and very broad in that state."
It will be especially interesting to see whether the company makes any moves to benefit from the potential for districts to opt in on "social consumption lounges" - something we thought might happen in Las Vegas, but it will be much more likely in Illinois.
However, when Acreage tries to enter "The Land of Lincoln," it's going to encounter a buzz saw.
We're tracking a couple companies in our portfolios who are already in the state, and they're going to give Acreage more than a hard time.
Let's take a look at some of the companies Acreage is going up against...
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Sizing Up the Competition
Cresco already has five dispensaries in the state, but as Jourdan Kurtz, executive vice president, retail operations, shared at MJBizConNEXT last month, the company will seek additional licenses. There are already plans for five more Illinois dispensaries.
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The advantage Cresco has here is actually within how the laws were written.
Kurtz admitted his surprise at the "thoughtfulness of the legislature," and in addition to the social justice reform components and the interesting tax structure, he was also referring to the legislation's preference for craft growers.
While that preference doesn't directly benefit Cresco, it makes it much more difficult for MSOs from other states to enter the Illinois market.
That means Acreage will have to use considerable leverage from its partnership with Canopy to penetrate a market that Cresco is already dominating.
I added Cresco to our model portfolio back in December, and it only took a few months for the stock to show our members 100% returns.
With recreational marijuana going legal in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2020, I expect that number will only go higher.
But when it comes to the "Battle for Illinois," Acreage Holdings and Cresco Labs aren't the only players.
Looking for the Dark Horse
Last week, I added another company to the Cannabis Investor's Report portfolio.
This MSO has a presence in 12 states, and just like Cresco, it's headquartered in Chicago.
That means it has the same advantage over Acreage, and it doesn't hurt that the company is on the verge of quadrupling its total number of stores.
As I told members, now is the time to strike.
And as fate would have it, two of the core holdings for Cannabis Investor's Report members are also about to see huge benefits from the developments in Illinois. Click here to make sure you see my full report on how this legislation will benefit these holdings and other companies in our model portfolio.
All of this Midwest competition will be great for the markets, and I fully expect it to be great for your bottom line, too.
America's Green Gold Rush Is Just Getting Started - Claim Your Stake Now
At this very moment, big investment firms and members of the Fortune 500 are building enormous war chests.
They're preparing to push billions upon billions of dollars into the cannabis market - and they could strike at any moment. So right here - right now - you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to beat them to the punch and stake your claim.
About the Author
Greg Miller started working on Wall Street in September, 1987, just a month before the “Black Monday” stock market crash.
During his career there, he became an expert in just about every kind of publicly traded security - from blue-chip and small-cap stocks to municipals, junk bonds, and derivatives. As a portfolio manager, Greg was responsible for over $500 million of assets in mutual funds and insurance company accounts.
After leaving the Street, he designed a successful options trading strategy and made lucrative tech investments for a financial publication. He has also helped develop new products and worked with other editors to hone their strategies. He’s always been dedicated to deep, fundamental research - and he always will be - because he believes buying the very best companies at the right price is the best way to amass wealth in the stock market.