Looking back at 2018, we thought that was a big year for marijuana stocks…as voters approved marijuana (to varying degrees) in four more U.S. states — Oklahoma, Michigan, Missouri and even Utah — not to mention Canada.
But 2019 will be a HUGE year.
On the path to widespread legalization — and huge gains for us as investors — even more “dominos” are about to fall. Seven of them, in fact.
Catalyst #1: The STATES Act
The first step toward ending federal prohibition could happen this month…as soon as Congress votes on the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act.
Essentially, the STATES Act would formally entrust marijuana laws to the states. As long as residents follow their state’s laws, the federal government would not be able to intervene.
Momentum is building — it’s a bipartisan bill that’s picking up cosponsors left and right. The Chair of the House Rules Committee is confident that it will come to the House floor “within the next several weeks.”
Catalyst #2: 2020 Elections
Right now, we have 12 governors in office who ran on pro-marijuana platforms.
And 2020 will be the first presidential race with a focus on candidates’ views of marijuana and legalization.
With two-thirds of adults in the country in favor of legalization, it is becoming more politically damaging not to support it. An eye-opening 75% of Democrats support legalization, and odds are that every candidate from that party will side with the majority of their voters. Even more astounding is that for the first time, over half (53%) of Republicans now back the legalization of marijuana.
Catalyst #3: President Trump
I do not get into my personal political views when it comes to my commentary and investing. My goal here is to help you make money. It doesn’t matter what political party is in control.
Marijuana is a bipartisan issue…in what could be a very close presidential election. President Trump has said he will “probably end up supporting” the STATES Act. I wouldn’t be surprised to see President Trump push medical-marijuana legalization nationwide, as long as it could be the deciding factor behind a Republican win.
Catalyst #4: Marijuana Declassified as Schedule 1 Drug
It’s only a matter of time before the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) moves marijuana down from a Schedule 1 drug (like heroin, LSD and ecstasy) to a Schedule 5 drug (like Robitussin, which we can buy anywhere).
Marijuana’s removal from Schedule 1 will clearly be a major boost to the industry.
What’s more, it will also allow for more medical testing of marijuana at universities and research centers, which will lead to even more positive medicinal breakthroughs.
Catalyst #5: Globalization
At a cannabis conference I attended in January, several CEOs referenced overseas opportunities – from more legalization in the European Union to cheap grow facilities in South America to opportunities in Africa and Australia.
The odds of a European country legalizing recreational marijuana in 2019 are above 50/50. Whichever country is first will set itself up for big profits. Marijuana tourism is booming, and it is very easy to country hop for residents in Europe.
Catalyst #6: Branding
Think about any consumer good and you immediately think of the most popular brands. Soft drinks – Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). Fast food – McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD). Athletic wear – Nike (NYSE:NKE). Coffee – Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX). And so on.
As more products hit the shelves and the marijuana industry starts to mature, there is no doubt that a few brands will rise to the top. Right now, every company that produces consumer cannabis products is angling to top that list.
Catalyst #7: Hemp and CBD
The medical and legal establishments are coming around to hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil…the non-psychoactive “cousin” of marijuana that won’t get you high.
CBD has been used by wellness and medical professionals for years as an alternative treatment for everything from anxiety and depression to chronic pain to the reduction of inflammation to childhood epilepsy. CBD is now considered one of the most beneficial compounds available to humans, and it does not have the nasty side effects that many drugs do.
Producing hemp CBD wasn’t easy — until now.
The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill removed hemp from the DEA’s Schedule 1 drug list for the first time since the 1930s. So, you can expect hemp-derived CBD products to hit the shelves in Walmart (NYSE: WMT), Whole Foods, and every other major store. CVS Health(NYSE:CVS) and Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) have already announced that they will start selling topical CBD.
Notice how these catalysts are all driven by the increasing number of states and nations that are legalizing marijuana. Any time governments open up a huge new market like legal marijuana, investors can win very big.