Ruh-roh: It turns out that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with Russian officials during the Trump campaign and then lied about it to Congress. The scandal is engulfing Washington, DC, with some lawmakers calling for Sessions to resign.
A major beneficiary of this unexpected turn of events is the booming marijuana business. As the highest law enforcement official in the land, Sessions has been quite vocal in his opposition to marijuana. The former GOP senator from Alabama once said he thought members of the Ku Klux Klan "were okay until I found out they smoked pot."
Marijuana stocks generally are rising on Thursday's news, despite the fact that Sessions probably wouldn't have been able to stem the industry's accelerating growth. In this frothy situation, investors need to beware of thinly capitalized pot stocks that are getting ahead of themselves. Below, we examine two such plays that are toxic and poised to burn investors. Consider this a warning.
The prospect of Sessions waging war on marijuana has depressed many pot stocks. Now that he's in hot water, pot stocks are getting hot again as well. But when it comes to the smaller players, you should (as Larry David might say) curb your enthusiasm.
With a market cap of $34.31 million, General Cannabis occupies the agricultural and infrastructure aspects of the marijuana industry. The company engages in the acquisition and leasing of cultivation space to licensed marijuana growers and dispensary owners.
The company also provides security services to licensed cannabis cultivators and retail shops. As such, this company provides the "picks and shovels" to the industry, which is always an appealing niche for investors.
CANN shares have jumped 484.45% over the past 12 months and an eye-popping 1,881.82% over the past five years. However, the company consistently loses money. In the most recent quarter, CANN reported a net loss of $14.45 million on revenue of $810,000, for diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $-0.93, compared to EPS of $-0.12 posted during the same period in 2015.
With a market cap of $206.03 million, Cannabis Science develops and markets cannabinoid-based drug treatments for autism, blood pressure, cancer and cancer side effects, as well as for other illnesses.
CBIS shares have risen 709.09% over the past 12 months and 78% over the past two years. However, as with CANN, the earnings picture is grim for CBIS and doesn't support the investor optimism. In the most recent quarter, CBIS reported a net loss of $6.96 million on zero revenue. There are better places to invest your money.
The upshot: Both stocks are poised for a tumble. Stay away.
If you're looking for a solid marijuana industry investment, consider established medical marijuana biotech GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) , which sports a market cap of $3.26 billion and boasts proven drugs already in the marketplace.
How should you play medical and other stocks in March? Here's what Jim Cramer and four of our top columnists recommend.
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