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Support the Troops: Invest in Legal Cannabis!

How to Make Money and Save Lives at the Same Time

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted January 17, 2017 at 3:27PM

It’s not just about the money.

I know, this is not typically something you’d expect to read from an investment analyst, so let me explain …

A few years ago, I started writing about investment opportunities in the legal cannabis space. As a result, I was accused by many of compromising my ethics in an attempt to make a quick buck. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, one of the reasons I invest in the cannabis space is because it’s insanely profitable. And I make no apologies for this, nor should any other right-minded capitalist who enjoys the spoils of free markets and the good fortune to create wealth and prosperity.

The truth is, at the moment, there is no greater investment opportunity than legal cannabis. And I have dozens of double- and triple-digit winners in my portfolio to back up this claim. Some of my most profitable cannabis investments right now include a 501% gain on Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: CGC), a 373% gain on Aphria, Inc. (TSX-V: APH), and a 567% gain on OrganiGram (TSX-V: OGI). And there are plenty more to come, too.

But while few things make me smile more than watching my brokerage account grow, this is not the only reason to invest in the legal cannabis market.

Three Reasons to Invest in Legal Cannabis

Aside from the massive profit potential, there are three other reasons you should be investing in legal cannabis right now:

  • Legalization helps slow the war on drugs, which has been one of the most violent and costliest wars in recorded history. More than $1 trillion has already been spent on this war, and it's put millions of folks — particularly the poor — in early graves.
  • Legalization helps build local economies, which, in this day and age, is something we need to embrace, not shun.
  • Legalization on the medical side allows millions of Americans to treat illness when other “legal” pharmaceuticals have failed. How anyone could look at a young child with severe epilepsy and deny that child a medical cannabis therapy that's proved to work is beyond me.

Of course, it’s not just kids with epilepsy that have benefited from cannabis.

Support the Troops

Last year, while attending a legal cannabis conference in New York City, I met a man named Sean Kiernan.

Kiernan is the co-founder of a group called Weed for Warriors. It's an advocacy group that works to provide access to medical cannabis for military veterans suffering from PTSD.

Now, the fact that a military veteran — someone who has risked his or her life for this country — can be denied medicine to treat PTSD is despicable. Especially when you look at some pretty unsettling statistics.

The suicide rate for veterans is extremely high. Every year, about 8,000 veterans commit suicide. That means that since we first invaded Iraq back in 1991, more than 200,000 U.S. veterans have taken their own lives. And understand, this is a group that makes up just 7% of the U.S. population but represents 20% of the national suicide rate. And that's assuming these numbers are accurate — which they are not.

Truth is, this data has only been collected from 21 states and only accounts for the vets who have been seen by the Veterans Affairs Administration. Sadly, those numbers are likely considerably higher. And that's an absolute travesty. Especially when you consider that many of these deaths could’ve been avoided.

You see, there’s a significant amount of evidence that indicates cannabis can effectively treat the symptoms of PTSD. One study in particular, conducted by the scientific journal Drug Testing and Analysis found that cannabis could “dampen the strength or emotional impact of traumatic memories through synergistic mechanisms that might make it easier for people with PTSD to rest or sleep and to feel less anxious and less involved with flashback memories.”

Of course, to get similar conclusions, one could also simply ask any veteran who uses cannabis to treat the effects of PTSD.

Some do it legally, assuming they live in states where cannabis has been legalized for the treatment of PTSD, and some do it illegally, since the very country that sent them off to war won’t allow them to medicate as they see fit.

Think about that for a moment.

These folks put their lives on the line for us every single day. They’re not paid large sums of money to do this either. These are honorable men and women who not only deserve to be treated with the respect they’ve earned, but also deserve the right to use any medication they choose to keep them safe and healthy.

How any lawmaker in this country could deny a United States veteran medication is beyond me. As far as I’m concerned, this is nothing short of a human rights violation.

Regular People have the Power to do Great Things

Most of us are just regular people.

We’re not billionaires with loads of influence in Washington. We’re not lawmakers, judges, or high-profile celebrities. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do our part to keep our vets healthy and safe.

You see, as investors, collectively, we have an enormous amount of power. Every day, billions of dollars worth of public equities are bought and sold on the open market. And I’m not talking about fancy algorithms created by investment banks and hedge funds. I’m talking about regular, retail investors. Folks that have online trading accounts and are happy with year-end returns of eight to ten percent.

Now imagine if all these investors decided to allocate just one percent of their portfolios to stocks that represent companies that are making it possible for our veterans to get the relief many of them need by providing medical-grade cannabis.

While the U.S. government may not be willing to do right by the very people that protect our democracy, we can override that decision through our collective purchasing power, which will result in strengthening the cannabis industry thereby making it harder and harder for the government to continue its prohibition against something that, quite frankly, never should’ve been prohibited in the first place.

Of course, I’m not suggesting you run out and buy a bunch of random cannabis stocks. Especially those listed in the U.S., which, for the most part, are garbage. Investing in a stock that’s not going to make you any money makes no sense. Particularly because such a stock is likely issued by a company that’s not going to be around very long. And that’s not going to help anyone.

But there are exceptions. Take Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE: IIPR) for instance. This is a REIT that acquires specialized industrial real estate assets that are used for growing medical-use cannabis and operated by state-licensed growers. Just a few weeks ago, IIPR closed its first transaction with PharmaCann, a cultivator of medical-grade cannabis. This transaction alone guarantees the company an initial base rent of $319,580 per month. That ain’t chump change.

It should also be noted that the company’s executive chairman is the guy who co-founded BioMed Realty Trust, which was sold to Blackstone last year for $8 billion. These guys aren’t amateurs.

Of course, if you’d rather focus on actual cannabis producers, one of your best bets might be with Emblem Corp. (TSX-V: EMC).

While this is a Canadian cannabis producer, management is actively developing advanced cannabis formulations designed to help folks with PTSD. This research alone could prove to be incredibly valuable to other producers in the U.S. that are currently providing cannabis for vets with PTSD.

Here’s the bottom line: As a legal cannabis investor, we can not only make a lot of money, but we can also help facilitate a movement that can help our veterans get the medication they need… a medication that could help these folks live normal lives… a medication that could quite possibly decrease the number of veterans that commit suicide, too.

And that, my friend, is an honorable investment.


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