Cannabis Stocks: The Ultimate Investing Guide & List (December 2021)

By Tomer Hochma | Updated November 22, 2021

Key Points

  • There are currently 160 cannabis stocks traded in stock exchanges worldwide. The majority are traded in the U.S and Canada.
  • The top cannabis stocks by market cap for December 2021 are Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ), Curaleaf (CURLF), Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR), Canopy Growth (CGC), and Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF).
  • This in-depth guide provides everything you need to know about cannabis stocks investing include top stocks list, category classifications, advanced industry analysis, and common terms related to the cannabis market.

Top Cannabis Stocks List

The best marijuana stocks by market cap according to StockDetect's global cannabis stocks live database.

Overview | Valuation | Financials | Earnings | Dividends | Statistics

# Symbol Name Headquarters Category Play Product Type Tags Adj. M.Cap
1 NASDAQ:JAZZ Jazz Pharmaceuticals Ireland Medical Cannabis Drug Development Mix Ancillary Cannabis, Medical Cannabis $8.58B
Curaleaf United States Cannabis Vertically Integrated Operator Pure Plant-Touching Cannabis $7.49B
3 NYSE:IIPR Innovative Industrial Properties United States Cannabis REIT Pure Ancillary Cannabis $6.79B
Canopy Growth Canada Cannabis Cultivation & Production Pure Plant-Touching Cannabis, Medical Cannabis, Recreational Cannabis $6.05B
Green Thumb Industries United States Cannabis Vertically Integrated Operator Pure Plant-Touching Cannabis, Medical Cannabis, Recreational Cannabis $5.98B

You’re viewing 5 of 160 stocks.

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1. Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ)

Jazz Pharmaceuticals is a global biopharmaceutical company, classified as a mix Medical Cannabis Drug Development in StockDetect's cannabis stocks database.
Jazz focuses on developing life-changing medicines for people with serious diseases — often with limited or no options — so they can live their lives more fully. The company has a diverse portfolio of marketed medicines and novel product candidates in two key therapeutic areas: neuroscience (sleep disorders and epilepsy), and oncology (hematologic malignancies and solid tumors).
The company acquired GW pharmaceuticals in May 2021. GW is a leader in the science, development and commercialization of cannabinoid-based prescription medicines, such as Epidiolex, an oral solution for childhood-onset epilepsy. Launched in the U.S. in 2018, Epidiolex exceeded $500 million in annual net sales in 2020. With a recent launch in Europe and ongoing research in additional indications, Jazz believes Epidiolex has near-term blockbuster potential.

2. Curaleaf (CURLF)

Curaleaf Holdings is a leading international provider of consumer products in cannabis, classified as a pure Cannabis Vertically Integrated Operator in StockDetect's cannabis stocks database.
The Company provides industry-leading service, product selection and accessibility across the medical and adult-use markets. In the United States, Curaleaf currently operates in 23 states with 109 retail locations, 23 cultivation sites and over 30 processing sites, and employs over 5,000 team members. The company has two widely distributed brands: Curaleaf for wellness products, and Select for adult-use.

3. Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR)

Innovative Industrial Properties is a real estate investment trust for the medical-use cannabis industry (classified as a pure Cannabis REIT).
A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a corporation that combines the capital of many investors to acquire income producing real estate. As a REIT, the company must distribute through a dividend to its stockholders at least 90 percent of the taxable income.
The company focuses on purchasing specialized industrial real estate assets for the regulated medical-use cannabis industry in states that permit medical-use cannabis operations. IIPR currently has 73 properties, 6.8M rentable square feet in 18 states. 100% of the properties are leased in 16.7 years weighted average lease length.

4. Canopy Growth (CGC)

Canopy Growth is a world-leading diversified cannabis and cannabinoid-based consumer product company, classified as a pure Cannabis Cultivation & Production company.
The company offers mainly product varieties in high-quality dried flower, oil, softgel capsule, infused beverage, edible, and topical formats.
Canopy's medical brand, Spectrum Therapeutics is a market leader in Canada and Germany. The company has entered into the health and wellness consumer space in key markets including Canada, the United States, and Europe; and has introduced additional hemp derived CBD products to the United States.

5. Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF)

Green Thumb is a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer, classified as a pure Cannabis Vertically Integrated Operator.
The company manufactures and distributes a portfolio of six consumer product brands, and owns rapidly growing national retail cannabis stores called Rise.
Green Thumb has 16 cultivation & manufacturing facilities, 62 open stores and 111 retail licenses across 12 U.S. markets.

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Cannabis Stocks Categories

Plant-Touching Cannabis Stocks

Plant-touching cannabis stocks include companies that handle the cannabis directly, from seed development to the sale ("seed to sale"). Plan-touching companies must follow strict regulations (federal/state/country) and licensing processes while operating.

Cannabis Biotech Stocks

Cannabis Biotech Stocks are biotechnology companies focused on technologies that alter the level of cannabinoids in hemp/cannabis plants through genetic engineering, gene-editing and modern plant breeding.The companies develop and commercialize proprietary hemp/cannabis plants with unique cannabinoid profiles and agronomic traits.

Cannabis Cultivation & Production Stocks

Cannabis Cultivation & Production stocks include companies focused on producing cannabis flowers and/or producing cannabis-based products. Those companies grow the flowers and/or take the flowers and derivatives in their raw form and turning them into finished packaged goods.

Relevant Stocks by Product Type:

  • Dried Cannabis, Extracts & Concentrates Stocks: include companies that cultivate and/or produce dried flowers, pre-rolls, vape cartridges, concentrates, and oil.
  • Cannabis Topicals Stocks: include companies that produce cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and oils that are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation and also for beauty and body care products such as CBD-based skin care cream.
  • Cannabis Edible Stocks: include companies that produce cannabis-based food & beverages products (such as gummies, chocolates, and beers).

Cannabis Retail Stocks

Cannabis Retail stocks include companies that own & operate cannabis retail stores and/or cannabis eCommerce.

Cannabis Vertically Integrated Operation Stocks

Cannabis Vertically Integrated Operator stocks include companies focused on every aspect of the supply chain, from cultivation and processing to packaging, distribution and retail.

Ancillary Cannabis Stocks

Ancillary cannabis stocks include companies that support the growth, processing of cannabis products or provide other cannabis-based applications and services.

Medical Cannabis Drug Development Stocks

Medical Cannabis Drug Development Stocks include companies that research & develop cannabis-based medicines.

According to to a new study, medical marijuana could help to reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Cannabis Tech Stocks

Cannabis Tech Stocks includes companies that provide software & hardware solutions for other cannabis-based companies and companies that provide online cannabis solutions such as eCommerce.

Cannabis REIT Stocks

Cannabis REIT stocks include companies that provide institutional loans to cannabis companies in all aspects of production: cultivation, processing, and distribution.
Cannabis is a rapidly expanding market with a limited supply of institutional capital. Institutional banks generally decline to provide full services to cannabis-related businesses. Alternative sources of financing needed to to complete commitments, allowing lenders to demand strong risk-adjusted returns with significant collateral. Cannabis sale-leaseback program consists of cultivation, processing and retail properties with tenants that are licensed operators under long-term, triple net leases.

Cannabis Investment Firm Stocks

Cannabis Investment Firm Stocks include public venture capital firms and holding companies that invest in other cannabis focused companies.

Cannabis Accessories Stocks

Cannabis Accessories Stocks include companies that develop & manufacture accessories for cannabis use such as vaporizers.

Cannabis Facility Design & Construction Stocks

Cannabis Facility Design & Construction Stocks include companies that provide implementation of facility design to maximize footprint, such as solutions for indoor Controlled Environment. The solutions can include architecture & engineering, systems Integration, and operational support (training, maintenance, crop protection program - CPP).

Cannabis Machinery Stocks

Cannabis Machinery Stocks include companies that provide manufacturing machines & solutions for cannabis cultivation companies, such as cannabis drying machines.

Cannabis Stocks by Use Case

Medical Cannabis Stocks

Medical Cannabis involves the prescribed use of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis to manage symptoms of medical conditions.

Recreational Cannabis Stocks

Recreational Cannabis involves using cannabis for personal enjoyment rather than for medical purposes.

Wellness & Health Cannabis Stocks

Wellness & Health Cannabis products are defined as anything with therapeutic benefits that is not ingested through the lungs and will not get a user high (for example, Topicals products such as CBD-based skin care cream).

Cannabis Stocks: Market Overview

Global Cannabis Market

  • Over 200M people worldwide use cannabis as of 2021.
  • Legalization is quickly spreading: 47 out of 196 countries globally have legalized medical cannabis and 2 have legalized adult-use.
  • 36 US states have fully legalized cannabis for medical purposes, and over 30 countries have implemented medical cannabis laws.
  • Global cannabis sales are estimated to be near $31B in 2021 (an increase of 41% over 2020 sales), and are projected to surpass $62B in 2026 (CAGR of more than 15%)
  • The U.S leads the global market with a forecast of $24B in 2021, Canada with a total of $4B, and the international market with $1.7B in total sales.

United States Canada Europe
Population 327M 38M 741M
Cannabis Legality State-specific (federally illegal) Legal & regulated Country-specific
# Licensed Cultivators 2,000+ ~555 ~50+
Avg. Price per gram of Cannabis Flower at Retail ~$5.10 ~$7.40 ~$9.30 (Europe), ~$22.00 (Germany)
Cannabis Sales 2021E $24B $4B $469M
Cannabis Sales 2026E $47.6B $6.7B $3.7B
CAGR 14% 11% 67%

US Cannabis Market

US Cannabis Market Overview

  • The U.S. market continues to see significant growth, with accelerating regulatory momentum.
  • 92% of the national population has legal access to cannabis: Over 270M Americans live in states that permit the use of medical cannabis, 93M which are permitted for adult-use.
  • 91% of Americans support legalizing cannabis for medical use, while 60% of Americans support for medical and recreational use. From 2000 to 2019, the share of Americans saying Marijuana should be legal more than doubled.
  • In 2020 the U.S. cannabis industry employed 321,000 full-time workers.
  • Cannabis was declared an essential service amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Continues U.S growth expected to be driven by limited supply markets transitioning from medical to adult use.
  • The legal US cannabis market is expected to surpass $24B in 2021, a growth of 38% over 2020's sales, and anticipate the U.S. to reach $47.6B in 2026, a CAGR of 14%.

US Cannabis Industry Structure: CPG VS Cannabis

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Cannabis
Type Centralized State-By-State
Manufacturing National and/or International manufacturing Manufacturing in every state
Distribution Small # of large scale distribution facilities + State/regional customer distribution facilities Captive or 3rd party distribution in very state
Retail Consumer retail locations Captive and/or 3rd party retail locations

  • Prohibited from scaling distribution across statelines = continued regional vs. national vertical integration.
  • Multiple layers of regulation across multiple states.
  • “Homestead Act” mentality – both operators and financial players rushing into legal states
  • New adult-use states are relying on additional license grants to existing operators to ensure a successful transition – e.g. Illinois
  • Due to these reasons, many American cannabis stocks are classified as Cannabis Vertically Integrated Operation Stocks. The companies are dealing with every aspect of the supply chain, from cultivation and processing to packaging, distribution and retail.

US Cannabis Industry by State

State Population Legality* Medical Patients Penetration 2020 Sales 2026E Sales
California 39.5M AU & MED 1.9M 4.7% $4.4B $8.0B
Florida 21.5M MED 457K 2.1% $970M $1.8B
Pennsylvania 12.8M MED 380K 3.0% $545M $1.3B
Illinois 12.7M AU & MED 150K 1.2% $1.03B $1.8B
Ohio 11.7M MED 160K 1.4% $218M $1.37B
Michigan 10.0M AU & MED 247K 2.5% $985M $1.69B
New Jersy 8.9M AU & MED 99K 1.1% $179M $1.84B
Arizona 7.3M AU & MED 295K 4.0% $1.03B $1.81B
Massachusetts 6.9M AU & MED 100K 1.4% $917M $1.78B
Maryland 6.1M MED 123K 2.0% $449M $1.39B

  • 36 states + DC have legalized medical cannabis use.
  • Of those, 18 states + DC have also legalized recreational (adult) cannabis use.
  • Texas (29.4M residents) is expected to start medical sales in 2023, and New York (19.3M residents) is expected to start adult-use sales in mid 2023.
  • California, the largest legal cannabis market in the world, saw the largest gain, growing 25% during the first half of 2021.

Canada Cannabis Market

Canada Cannabis Overview

  • Cannabis sales in Canada will reach $4 billion in 2021 and are expected to grow to $6.7 billion in 2026, a CAGR of 11%.
  • Ontario, the largest cannabis market in Canada, is growing by almost 90% YoY in 2021.
  • Canada has a fully legal & regulated market = unlimited licence for medical & adult use (unlike the current U.S. state-specific regulation method).
  • As a result, Canada is an ideal market for large CPG players to launch cannabis-infused products
  • CPG players looking to launch infused products will need to partner with a Licensed Producer
  • Many Canadian cannabis stocks are classified as Cannabis Cultivation & Production Stocks or Cannabis Retail (as opposed to the American Cannabis Vertically Integrated Operation Stocks) because of the Canadian regulations structure.

Canada Cannabis by Province

Province Population Legality
Ontario 14.8M AU & MED
Quebec 8.6M AU & MED
British Columbia 5.1M AU & MED
Alberta 4.4M AU & MED

Medical VS Nonmendical Cannabis Spending in Canada (CAD$)

2018 2019 2020 H1 2021
Medical 434M 618M 556M 242M
Nonmedical 175M 1530M 2903M 1981M

  • In Canada, most medical cannabis is sold directly to patients via a licensed producer.
  • There are no federally legal medical cannabis storefronts.
  • Many canadians are choosing to grow their own medical marijuana. In October 2018, 26K patients were authorized to grow their own medical cannabis or had designated someone to grow it on their behalf. That total reached a record 43,680 in December 2020 before falling to 39,525 in March of 2021.

European Cannabis Market

European Cannabis Market Overview

  • Europe market is rapidly growing and is expected to be the world's largest legal medical cannabis market in the next 5 years.
  • Europe offers a significant addressable market of 10.2M patients (out of a total population of 748M people).
  • Recreatoinal cannabis is not yet legalised anywhere in Europe and so the market for legal cannabis products in Europe continues to be entirely medical.
  • According to Aurora's CEO, Netherlands is expected to be the largest federally regulated recreational market outside of Canada
  • The European cannabis market will be worth $469M by the end of 2021, and is expected to grow to $3.72B by 2025, a CARG of 67.4%.

European Cannabis Industry by Country

Country Population Medical Patients Penetration
Germany 83.8M 128K 0.15%
UK 67.9M Insignificant -
France 65.3M Insignificant -
Italy 60.5M Insignificant -
Spain 46.8M Insignificant -
Netherlands 17.1M Insignificant -
Belgium 11.6M Insignificant -

  • Germany is the largest medical cannabis market in europe, and growing rapidly, now with over 128K patients, and estimated to grow to a poential of 1.6M patients by 2024.
  • Only 1 in 10 German pharmacies provide cannabis products = Germany is still supply constrained.

Latin America (LatAm) Cannabis Market

Latin America Cannabis Market Overview

  • The total population in Latin America is 575M
  • LatAm is projected to have 4M medical cannabis patients by 2025.

Colombia Cannabis Market

  • Over 70% of all cut flowers imported into the US come from Colombia.
  • Colombia's location near the equator provides 12 hours of daily sunlight throughout the year, quality soil, abundant water and warm weather (this allows for year-round cultivation without artificial light).
  • Minimum wages in Colombia are considerably lower than in Canada (<$2.00 per hour versus $8.00-$12.00 per hour)
  • This leads to a cost per gram of dry cannabis flower in Colombia of $0.20/gram, well below the average Canadian costs of $2.07/gram.
  • The sale of dried cannabis flower, where dried flower accounts for over 50% of the sales demand in the global cannabis market, position Colombia's cultivators as global supply leaders.

Brazil Cannabis Market

  • In December 2019, the Brazilian health authority, ANVISA, agreed to permit the importation of medical cannabis products while prohibiting domestic cultivation.
  • With a total population of 210M, Brazil has the potential to become the country with the most cannabis patients in Latin America.

Other Countries

Israel Cannabis Market

Country Population Medical Patients Penetration
Israel 9.2M 100K 1.08%

  • Israel sits at the forefront of technological and agricultural innovation in cannabis.
  • Israel has one of the highest penetration rates of cannabis patients in relation to the population and the number of registered patients continues to grow significantly year over year.
  • The country is the number one importer of medical cannabis flower in the world.
  • Israel is considered one of the most attractive geographies to conduct clinical trials and at a much lower cost than the U.S.
  • The country has also the potential to be one of the leading exporters of medical cannabis anywhere in the world.

Impact of COVID-19 on Cannabis Stocks

Medical cannabis users with mental health conditions reported a 91% increase in use on average since COVID-19.

Most state governments around the US deemed medical marijuana companies "essential" during the coronavirus pandemic, meaning the vast majority can keep doing business after residents were told to stay at home and many businesses were ordered to scale back or close their operations.
Of the 29 states with operational cannabis programs, all but one have deemed cannabis as essential service for the entirety of their cannabis program (medical only, or medical and recreational).

As a result, cannabis stocks were positively influenced by the increase in use since COVID-19.

Cannabis Stocks: Common Terms

Cannabis: CBD VS THC

The two main cannabinoids (compounds found in cannabis) are:

CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and anti-convulsant properties. CBD is not felt to have any intoxicating or psychoactive side effects.
CBD-dominant products are considered to be those with CBD:THC ratios of 1:1 or higher.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC has a very effective analgesic. It may be better known for its psychoactive side effect which can give users a sense of euphoria or “high”.
THC-dominant products are considered those with a ratio of 2:1 THC:CBD or higher.

Cannabis 1.0 , 2.0 and 3.0

Cannabis 1.0: Dried Whole Flower and Oils

Meeting target market need for conventional product formats.

  • Unique cultivars grown in controlled micro-environments.
  • Representing craft products from micro producers.
  • Broad scope of oils with potency range.

Dried cannabis, cannabis oil, fresh cannabis, cannabis plants, cannabis plant seeds (were legalized in Canada in 2018)

Cannabis 2.0: Specialty Products Offering Choice and Control

Value-added products in different forms.

  • For example: cannabis-infused beverages, Chocolates.

Derivative cannabis products to recreational markets such as edibles containing cannabis and cannabis concentrates (became legal in Canada on October 17, 2019).

Cannabis 3.0: Combining Cannabinoids & Natural Health Products

Expertise and intellectual property to create new natural health combination products.

  • Extensive knowledge of human "endocannabinoid system" and effects of cannabinoids and "phytocannabinoids".
  • Develop nutraceutical products with cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid ingredients for wellness purposes.

Cannabis 1.0 VS Today

Cannabis 1.0: The Green Rush

  • Focus on adding footprint, burning through cash.
  • Landgrab for greenfield opportunities with large capex needs and execution risk.
  • Pursuing dilutive transactions as inflated prices in search for growth.
  • Easy access to capital for everyone.
  • Acquiring licenses without operational talent necessary for success.

Cannabis Today: Building Brands

  • Large scale cultivator of high-quality flowers.
  • Focus on building market leading consumer brands.
  • Human capital matters. The quality of the flower, brands and customer experience depends on the quality of the people.


The cannabis industry has been defined by Canadian Licensed Producers (LPs) and US Multi-State Operators (MSOs).

"Seed-to-Sale"/"Genetics to Consumption"

An expression that describes the full process, from seed genetics the sale of the cannabis-based products. The process mainly contains: seed genetics, cultivation & production, distribution and retail.