The millennial vote was a crucial factor in winning the 2015 election for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party. One of the most electrifying wedge issues was the Liberal promise to legalize recreational cannabis — a promise they have followed through on with legalization set for July 2018.
Although millennial support for the current government has fluctuated since the election, the fascination among this demographic with cannabis has not. Recent surveys have shown that millennials consume more recreational cannabis in proportion to their overall population. Polls of millennials who self-identify as Conservative in the U.S. and Canada, an ideological demographic which tends to lean against legalization, have shown support for recreational use.
This attitude has spilled over into the investing world. Millennials recently passed baby boomers as the most populous demographic in North America, but a Toronto-Dominion Bank survey revealed that between 2011 and 2015, only 11% of Canadian investors were 34 and under.
A survey done by the North American Marijuana Index, which tracks cannabis stocks in Canada and the U.S., showed that millennials made up 20% of investors in the fund. As we move closer to recreational legalization in the summer of 2018, it is likely that interest for young investors will only increase.
Let’s look at the top cannabis stocks for millennials to buy in the finals months of 2017 — the last year we will be able to say recreational cannabis is illegal in Canada.
Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED) stock has been on an absolute tear since September. Shares rose 14.41% when trading closed on November 6. The stock has climbed a stunning 119% since September 1. I recently discussed if there is any cannabis stock on the TSX right now that can measure up to Canopy Growth.
The U.S. beverage alcohol company Constellation Brands, Inc. announced on October 30 that it would acquire a minority stake in Canopy Growth. This is a huge vote of confidence that will also allow Canopy Growth to get a crucial leg up in what will no doubt be a competitive edibles market for cannabis.
MedReleaf Corp. (TSX:LEAF) is a Markham-based medical cannabis producer. The stock surged 15.99% on November 6 after news broke that the company received a licence amendment from Health Canada allowing it to begin sales and its Bradford, Ontario, facility. MedReleaf is the only ICH-GMP and ISO 9001 certified cannabis producer in North America. Shares have increased 114% since its debut on the TSX in June.
In previous articles, I have been enthusiastic about Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH) for a number of reasons. The company has continued to reduce production costs ahead of the recreational roll-out, and it has committed to expansions, like its competitors. Unfortunately, the latter ambition has given reason for some skepticism regarding Aphria stock in the long term.
The ongoing review of TSX cannabis stock listings could lead to issues for Aphria due to its U.S. exposure. However, I continue to believe that the review will result in clarity rather than a reason for panic for Aphria shareholders and prospective buyers.