You may have missed this headline amid the constant stream of news over the last few weeks, but I couldn't help but raise my eyebrow when I saw this... Former House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, a Republican, has joined the advisory board of a major cannabis company.
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At one point, the speaker said he was "unalterably opposed" to weed. Now, after seeing how the happy little plant helped a friend suffering from back pain, he says his views have evolved. He now thinks cannabis is a potential solution for treating soldiers affected by post-traumatic stress disorder as well as the nation's opioid epidemic.The company, New York-based Acreage Holdings, has a national footprint, a long history (for the cannabis space) and is vertically integrated -- it grows the plant, processes it and markets it in states that allow its sale for medicinal or adult (that is, "recreational") use.
The Changing Tide
This is what folks in the business call a "big get." His opinion carries a lot of weight in moderate GOP circles. Americans overwhelmingly favor legalization -- as do all members of Bob Marley and the Wailers -- with recent data from Gallup placing the "for" crowd at 61%.
That number falls a bit among Republicans, but it's still a majority, if only by a point. One of the most telling statistics I ran across in my time in the cannabis business was the data from my home state. Kansas is often thought of as a bastion of conservatism, which I suppose is accurate as far as it goes, but it also has a bit of a progressive streak. The Silver-Hair Legislature, a group of our older residents, pegs support among its members at 71%. And those folks vote.
Boehner was joined by former Massachusetts governor William Weld, another Republican. This second "big get" is further evidence that the tide is shifting among our senior policymakers, especially among those who once said they'd never support it. While Attorney General Jeff Sessions is vehemently opposed to cannabis, I'm not sure how much weight that carries given the current political climate.
Mr. Trump, for his part, also opposes cannabis, but in my view this is based on his late brother's problems with substance abuse. (This is evidently a real and very personal issue for the president, who was so affected by his brother's struggle that he does not even drink alcohol.) Trump has since told Sessions and the Justice Department to "back off" when it comes to taking action against states where cannabis is legal, but that's about it. For now. Even assuming Mr. Trump will not reverse or rally around the cause of recategorizing cannabis from its current spot on the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances -- along with heroin, LSD and cocaine -- it's conceivable that the issue will reach critical mass at the national level in the next five years.
The takeaway for you is this... Keep an eye on the evolving nature of conservative opinion on this. Selling cannabis by touting its medical benefits to veterans and victims of the opioid epidemic is a damn cagey move. Why? Because the moralizing aftershocks of the "Just Say No" idiocy are being supplanted by a rational cost-benefit analysis that hits people where they live -- we all know someone or are ourselves affected by medical conditions for which cannabis is a cheap, effective, nontoxic and natural treatment.
A couple of years ago, as some of you may know, I was involved with a cannabis startup venture. When I pitched the company to investment banks on Wall Street, I heard a few people say that regulators would never allow a cannabis company to come to the U.S. market. That will likely be true as long as the federal prohibition remains in place. And I want to be clear: That's fine.
It's going to take more time for the industry to grow, mature, attract capital and demonstrate that a national policy change will do more good than harm. So far, the evidence is pretty strong. In Colorado, overdose deaths, drunk driving, violent crime and prescription abuse are all down. Expect Boehner and his growing number of like-minded politicians to tout these statistics -- and for more folks from the GOP to get on the bandwagon.
The Pot Stock You Don't Want To Miss
All of this is great news for our chosen horse in the International Cannabis Derby, which is up by more than 14% in the Fast-Track Millionaire portfolio. I can't reveal the name and ticker symbol of this stock, out of fairness to my subscribers, but let me tell you a little about it...
Our top pick in the cannabis space is Canada's top grower. As that country embraces legalization, this company is in the catbird seat. It holds 17% of the country's licenses, which means it controls about a fifth of the market right out of the gate. It is a large operator that benefits, like any agricultural producer, from massive scale and vertical integration.
The company's top line looks like early Facebook – it is growing like, well, a weed. In 2014, the company had zilch for revenue. In 2015, it booked $3 million, which rose to $19.3 million the next year. Thereafter it doubled again, to $40.3 million.
With that kind of growth, I told my Fast-Track Millionaire subscribers an important Business 101 dictum with regard to this pick: Screw the bottom line. Buy it for the growth and hold it dear.
Let me be clear: My A-list in the cannabis space has only one name on it right now, and it's this company. We're talking about the Tylenol, Lipitor and EpiPen of cannabis. It's the future, and it's a helluva buy for aggressive growth investors.
If you'd like to get the name and ticker symbol of this pick, along with the rest of my Fast-Track Millionaire recommendations, visit this link to learn how.