For those who have already invested in marijuana companies, the early days of 2018 have been high times.
In just the past two days, the stock price of some cannabis companies has gone up 30 per cent. Among those thrilled by the surge is 20-year-old Montrealer Elliot Kovac.
Three years ago, Kovac took money he made as a camp counselor and invested in the stock market. Since then, he said he’s seen a return of roughly 12,000 per cent.
His secret? Kovac said he saw an opportunity when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to legalize marijuana.
“A ton of my friends are users, family members are users,” he said.
Initially, he bought into Canopy Growth Corporation, the market leader in legal marijuana. When Kovac first bought into Canopy, the stock was valued at $2.65 per share. When he sold his shares, they were valued at $14.00.
Kovac said he now holds shares in several other pot producers, including Aurora Cannabis, which grows some of its product in Pointe Claire.
Over the past five days, Aurora’s stock price has gone up almost 50 per cent after announcing November had been its top month in sales to date, selling 354 kilograms that month alone.
Still, some investors are wary of the company, which has yet to post a profit, despite beinv valued at $5.5 billion.
Aurora’s director of Quebec Affairs, Andrea Paine, said the valuation is warranted, as Canadians become increasingly aware of the health benefits of medicinal marijuana and look ahead to July 1, when recreational weed becomes legal.
“It absolutely makes sense because I think there’s a lot of anticipation,” she said. “Hopefully, the numbers will be big enough that we know we’re pulling numbers out of the black market and into the legal market.”
Not everyone is buying the hype. Some financial planners and money managers are refusing to touch marijuana stock, saying they’re unproven and often overvalued.
“They are not stocks that we have invested in for our clients,” said Portfolio Management Corp. Managing Director Norman Levine. “If the government decides they want to tax too much and regulate too much, how much of the business is still going to be the guy at the corner who gives you better prices and better services?”
It’s an assessment that wunderkind Kovac, who runs a blog about his investments, agrees with.
“I think this is a bubble right now,” he said, adding that he’s slowly pulling his money out of marijuana as he looks for new opportunities.