At a political luncheon in Miami 26 years ago, a keynote speaker who would become arguably the world's most famous politician spoke up about the legalization of recreational drugs.
"We're losing badly the war on drugs," he said. "You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars." He continued, arguing that the widespread legalization of all drugs in the United States could generate much-needed tax revenues.
It was Donald Trump, the now U.S. president-elect.
Fears that Trump has reversed his stance since that 1990 Miami luncheon to please his more conservative supporters has many investors questioning their cannabis-related stocks.
However, although Trump may have a less progressive stance on marijuana than say Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, such worries are needless. The future has never been brighter for pot investors.
A Trump presidency may not herald in federal legalization of the plant for recreational purposes, but Trump has soft-pedaled the traditional Republican hardline stance on medical marijuana.
"Medical marijuana...? I'm in favor of it 100%," he told conservative talking head Bill O'Reilly in a recent interview. "I know people that have serious problems and they did [use cannabis-based therapies]... it really does help them."
It may have been marijuana -- not the Republicans -- that scored the biggest wins in last week's elections. Eight initiatives on nine ballots won, affecting major change to state marijuana laws. It will now be legal to consume the herb legally for recreational purposes in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine, as well as in Washington state, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. Plus, more states, including conservative Arkansas, voted for looser restrictions for medical Mary Jane.
Investors should start getting into pot stocks now.
Of course, until recreational marijuana becomes legal on a federal level, the safest route for investing in the new green rush today is through medical therapies.
Continue to look at GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) for profits. This company, which makes crucial therapies for severe cases of pediatric epilepsy, as well as for multiple sclerosis, has already seen its stock shoot up by more than 1,500% in the past three years. It's on the cusp of receiving FDA approval for one of its cannabidiol-derived treatments, Epidiolex. When it receives approval, perhaps as early as the beginning of 2017, this stock will skyrocket more.
But GW isn't the only way to profit from medical marijuana. Insys Therapeutics (INSY) offers similar treatments to GW and is an attractive takeover candidate for a big pharma player looking to get in on this unstoppable trend.
In addition, as states revamp their laws concerning marijuana, they're going to need to keep track of everything. That's where tech giant Microsoft is set to shine. Last year, the company entered into a joint venture with California startup Kind to create software that facilitates regulation on both medicinal and recreational levels.
We've already seen Trump shilly-shally on several issues, including immigration and Obamacare. Savvy investors should continue to forge ahead and prepare to cash in on the coming green rush.
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