Don’t Get Smoked by These Pot Stocks on 4/20

Don’t Get Smoked by These Pot Stocks on 4/20

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Pyromaniacs have the Fourth of July. Gothic weirdos have Halloween. The lushes have St. Patrick’s Day. And I have Pulaski Day. But today my friends, today belongs to Cheech and Chong.

I’m not glorifying anything here or endorsing any vices. April 20th is four twenty. To be blunt, it’s the pot smoker’s holiday. And if things keep rolling along the way they have been, marijuana is going to be as prevalent as Prilosec and prophylactics, and 4/20 will be as main stream as Cinco De Mayo.

I know what you’re thinking, why 4/20? If you ask those burnouts under the bleachers they’ll tell you, “Dude, I don’t know.” But according to the Huffington Post it all started at the most stereotypical of places. A California high school in 1971. A group of stoners called “The Waldos” used to meet at a statue of Louis Pasteur outside of school at 4:20pm. They started using 420 as a code word for their illicit habit and the rest is history.

Making money in pot stocks is a lot harder than breaking down zippers into dime bags. A lot of these pot stocks pretty much go up in smoke. Sure they start off on fire, bubbling up quickly, but go down the tubes as they cool off and traders suck them up and nearly zero them out before letting them go. The vast majority of these stocks like GW Pharma (GWPH), Insys Therapeutics (INSY) and Cara Therapeutic (CARA) are focused on the medical application of cannabis. You know, for your glaucoma.

Probably because that’s further into the legal realm of the drug. There is still a ton of grey area at the Federal level that’s stopping consumer-related marijuana stocks from going public. Companies early on in the green rush have problems just getting banks to take their business. Financial institutions are worried about anti-money laundering laws and other legal barriers to entry.
You may be better off playing names not directly related to the business but may still benefit. Expect a line at Yum Brand’s (YUM) Taco Bell. It’s almost like they’ve been centering their marketing around it all along. I mean, seriously, cheesy Gordita crunch. Quesorito. Sounds like a Mexican resort named by Willie Nelson.

Those Cheetos Flaming Hots, are just one of many munchies made by Frito Lay, owned by Pepsico (PEP). And if you’re trying to get the red out, don’t forget the Visine, owned by Johnson and Johnson (JNJ).

Of the three pure pot plays, Insys is a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) right now. GW Pharma and Cara are both Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stocks. So if you’re looking for a direct way to invest, I suggest waiting for some positive revisions to come in from analysts before taking the plunge.

Johnson and Johnson:
Yum! Brands:
GW Pharma:
Cara Therapeutic:
Insys Therapeutics:

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