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Joe Caltabiano co-founded Cresco Labs Inc. (OTC: CRLBF) in 2013 and turned it into one of the best multistate operators (MSOs) in America – and one of the best cannabis stocks you can buy today.
Over the last year, it's made shareholders a lot of money. CRLBF shares were trading for $3.06 on March 24, 2020. On March 24, 2021, they were trading for $13.32, a year-over-year increase of 335%.
Take even a cursory glance at the business and it's not hard to see why the gains are piling up fast. Cresco operates in nine states, with 15 production facilities… 29 retail licenses… and 24 operating dispensaries.
That makes it one of the biggest operations in the United States. It boasts a portfolio of 350 products sold in more than 800 dispensaries – including an edibles line created by award-winning chef Mindy Segal.
In other words, Cresco is building an in-demand, bestselling portfolio while executing on a strategy to get its products into more people's hands in more legal states.
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It's really a testament to co-founder Joe Caltabiano's vision and skill. Although he's no longer with Cresco, it's a market truth that great leaders make for great companies, and great companies make for lucrative investments – in this case, a company with a commanding position in a sector expected to hit $65.1 billion in five years.
Now, if it seems like I'm here simply to re-recommend Cresco today, bear with me.
Because, even after Cresco's incredible success and market-crushing gains, it looks for all the world like Joe Caltabiano is about to do it all over again at a new, different venture.
And I want every single investor who sees this to get the chance to be there when lightning strikes twice…
Take a Look at the IPO of the Future
After helping to build and guide the company through its formative years, Caltabiano stepped away from Cresco last year. When he announced his departure, he wasn't specific about what his next move would be in cannabis, but he hinted at what it could be when he said in an interview that he was excited about a new opportunity to acquire distressed assets or to be a part of a rebuilding of distressed assets.
It didn't take long for Caltabiano to find his second act in cannabis.
He's started something new – something where he can use the same chops that turned Cresco into one of the top stocks to own today. Caltabiano is taking this venture down a road that's become one of the most popular ways for cannabis companies to go public – and one that could yield big Cresco-style returns in record time…
I'm talking about the SPAC, or "special purpose acquisition company." You may have heard them referred to as "blank-check" companies, but around here we like to call them "cannabis venture trusts."
To oversimplify, former CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, successful lawyers, real estate barons, and entrepreneurs can get together, raise a bunch of money through an IPO, and buy a company – or several companies, for that matter.
The thinking goes, because the individuals forming the SPAC have had a history of working or creating a well-run business, they can buy a business and run it so that it makes even more money than it's currently making. As I hinted earlier, SPACs are becoming a massively popular way to go public; in 2020 alone, 237 SPACs raised $79.87 billion. In comparison, traditional IPOs raised $67 billion.
From an investment perspective, SPACs are – much more than IPOs – a way of directly backing or, you could say, betting on, the success, acumen, vision, and skillset of a single businessperson or group of them. The savvy investor can select which themes or business or social trends they'd like to back and invest in, a lot like ETFs were in the last decade – "topical investing." And that brings me to the "catch," if you can call it that: Investors won't necessarily know what the SPAC plans to buy with the money raised; that's why the management team is critical.
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But in any case, SPACs can be much easier and faster than the traditional IPO route, and, for investors, when compared to "classic" IPOs, SPACs can be far, far easier to own, the better to participate in what can be outsized early gains.
And that brings us directly to today's pick…
This Visionary Leader Has Big Plans for 2021 and Beyond
Caltabiano said he was looking to buy and rebuild distressed assets, for instance; he was looking to buy one or more businesses, improve their operations, and turn them into moneymaking machines.
So he's formed Choice Consolidation Corp. (NEO: CDXX.UN.U).
It's important to note here that Choice Consolidation is trading on the NEO Exchange – any U.S. brokerage that allows you to buy and sell Canadian or international securities should have no problem filling your order. Otherwise… we're watching this stock like a hawk; it could be available to trade over-the-counter very soon.
With that said, Choice is targeting what could be some "choice" acquisitions, including…
- Companies that operate in single states with high barriers to entry…
- Distressed businesses that will require a minimal to moderate amount of money to inject into the operations…
- And licenses in select states.
With Caltabiano's track record of success at Cresco – he helped set the stock up for 335% gains last year – and his skill set of building brands and companies and turning them into something great, this could be another home run.
And, frankly, we don't have to look far for confirmation here. We've already seen the monster returns that the right leadership teams can generate when they make acquisitions.
Cannabis SPACs Have Performed Beautifully Before
Take Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: SSPK). Silver Spike launched in October 2019 as a SPAC and made a blockbuster deal in December 2020, acquiring the parent company of Weedmaps, which is an e-commerce platform that connects marijuana consumers and businesses.
Those who were able to get in around $10 per share have made an 89% return with the price at $18.90 as of this writing, and some folks have made even more if they sold their shares, as the SSPK price was near $30 in mid-February.
That really cuts to the heart of what's special about SPACs: If the stock price climbs quickly after a deal is announced, you can sell your shares. Or… if you like the company that's being acquired by the SPAC, you can hold on to generate an even bigger long-term return.
And that is precisely why the National Institute for Cannabis Investors' (NICI) Don Yocham and I rounded up the NICI Advisory Board, hired a camera crew, and sat down to record the ins and outs of how any investor could start investing in SPACs as soon as the market opens on Monday.