Dear Stoner: I want to invest in legal weed. When will brands of weed or weed accessories be on the stock market?
Dear Kathleen: Some of them already are, but there’s a catch. More than one catch, actually: On June 5, Governor John Hickenlooper just vetoed a bill that would have allowed publicly traded companies to invest in Colorado cannabis businesses.
Because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, most licensed pot businesses — growing, dispensary, extracting and edibles companies — aren't on the stock market in America. While some dispensaries in California and Oregon have taken the plunge and gone public, most potrepreneurs are exploring more cautionary steps until they're certain Uncle Sam won't shut them down.
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There are plenty of ancillary cannabis companies on the stock market that offer technology, consulting, nutrients, growing supplies and accessories to licensed pot businesses, though. Since they're not touching the plant directly, they generally (but not always) have easier access to banking and other financial services without getting hassled by the feds. Cannabis-based pharmaceutical companies, many of which are British or Canadian, are usually at the top of the “hottest marijuana stocks” lists published by Forbes and Investopedia, but much of their success hinges on whether the federal government reschedules or de-schedules cannabis as a Schedule I drug, and whether agencies like the Food and Drug Administration grant their approval.
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Canadian stocks are another option. Canada is expected to implement country-wide legalization by the end of this summer and has already allowed medical marijuana businesses to go public on the Canadian stock market. Some Colorado pot companies, such as Evolab and LivWell, have partnered with Canadian IPOs to take advantage of this new financial frontier.
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