Everyone knows the marijuana industry is one of the hottest in the world right now, with Canada set to legalize cannabis recreationally next month and more states joining the legalization fold. But it seems Wall Street is very, very bullish on marijuana right now.
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about how investors are flocking to the cannabis industry. One former Wall Street broker who's now working on a cannabis startup compared the marijuana industry today to the tech/dot com industry in the late 1990's. The article notes that the 120 cannabis companies listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange have seen their worths grow from $4 billion to $40 billion in the past year.
“It’s like the internet in 1997 or 1998,” said Shannon Soqui, founder of the cannabis startup Qind. “Investment opportunities to create new businesses have never been more compelling.”
The Wall Street Journal notes that are many similarities between the two times, particularly that many of these companies are getting huge investments not based on current revenue or sales, but on the prospect of a major incoming boom. For instance, the cannabis company Tilray went public last week and saw its value increase to $11 billion, roughly the same as Macy's. Except Tilray has only around $20 million in annual revenue compared to $25 billion at Macy's.
A lot of these investments are more bets on a company's success. Many acknowledge that many cannabis companies will fail in the coming years, and investors are basically betting that the companies they put their money into will become the juggernauts that dominate the industry.
Of course, we all know how the dot com bubble of the late 1990's ended (it burst), so maybe this isn't the best comparison cannabis companies should be hearing right now.
(h/t Wall Street Journal)