How my marijuana skepticism was finally broken — Chief Investment Advisor Iain Butler

Fellow Fools, I’ve known many of you for some time now. For our newer Fools, I wear a few hats …

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Fellow Fools,

I’ve known many of you for some time now.

For our newer Fools, I wear a few hats around Motley Fool Canada, but the one that tends to land on my head most often is that of Chief Investment Advisor.

After all, I’m involved in some capacity with all four of Foolish advisory services and helped to get this Canadian operation off the ground in the first place more than five years ago now.

From the first article ever published to, to the grand opening of our flagship newsletter service Stock Advisor Canada, to now offering a whole suite of advisory services, all of which are geared towards helping Canadian investors like you invest better.

From humble beginnings, we’ve had a lot of great moments over the years. Thanks to you!

But I’m not sure I can recall a more poignant moment in the history of Motley Fool Canada than what’s occurred this week.

Let me explain…

It’s no secret that marijuana has been the talk of the Canadian market for the past year or so. And who can forget the incredible run this collection of stocks had through the fall and into 2018.

Thing is, our official advisory services, have been on the sidelines for all of it.

Something that’s raised questions both from our readers as well as my Foolish colleagues.

To the point that another hat has been added to my collection during this past year. One that carries a somewhat dubious distinction: Chief Marijuana Skeptic.

Yes, Fools, in my near twenty-years as a professional investor, that saw me earn the Chartered Financial Analyst designation along the way (could have used some marijuana during that process, let me tell you), nothing has prepared me for what’s occurred in this corner of the Canadian market over the past year.


Not the tech bubble of the late 90’s. Not the financial crisis. Not the commodity super-cycle. And certainly not the reams of text books and tests that I had to endure.


Which is why, when our General Manager Jordan DiPietro tapped me on the shoulder to see if I was interested in helping Canadian investors like you invest in the burgeoning marijuana industry, I simply had to decline.

Given that none of my prior experience lined up, I couldn’t in good faith or with any degree of confidence, tell Jordan that I felt good about putting your hard-earned money on the line with my recommendations in this industry.

Which is where the evolution of Motley Fool Canada gets really cool.

You see, there was a time when this would have been the end of the discussion. We were a small team and our bench was rather, shall I say, thin.

With our evolution and maturation however, that bench has now become quite deep.

All of a sudden, mine was no longer the only shoulder Jordan could tap to pursue this worthwhile endeavour. Something I never questioned, by the way.

A quick pivot was made to somebody that does have experience that is perfectly aligned with exactly what’s going on here in marijuana-land.

His name: David Kretzmann.

Now, when you catch a glimpse of David (you don’t have to look far, the guy’s a multimedia maven) you might wonder what I’m talking about in terms of experience. He doesn’t necessarily look like much of a grizzled veteran.

But looks are deceiving. David’s been a Fool from a very young age, and until he joined us here at Fool Canada he was working squarely under the direction of perhaps one of the greatest growth investors of our time.

Of course, I’m talking about Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner. The man with more multi-bagger stock picks to his credit than anyone I’ve ever had the pleasure of associating with.

Under David Gardner’s watchful eye, David Kretzmann has flourished as a growth investor in his own right. Learning the exact skills required to navigate an industry at the life-cycle stage that the Canadian marijuana industry is at.

Which brings us around to earlier this week.

David gladly took up Jordan’s request and has been toiling away for weeks over Motley Fool Canada’s newest offering: Marijuana Mavericks.

(Even travelling to Toronto from his home in Alexandria, Virginia to attend the O’Cannabiz Conference.)

I, on the other hand, have been busy here and with our other services.

But earlier this week, as the final touches to the Marijuana Mavericks offering were being applied, I dedicated a chunk of time to see what David and the rest of the gang (there’s always a gang behind these offerings) have come up with.

Let me tell you… I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY!!!!

Stunned. Shocked. You name it.

What. A. Body. Of. Work!

Official recommendations to buy right now. Stocks to watch. Stocks to avoid. Special reports that provide unreal industry insights. And a collection of multimedia interviews with industry heavyweights that, simply put, is unbelievable.

(I said David is a multimedia maven, right?)

I might even venture to say that the collection of information and insight that’s been put together in our Marijuana Mavericks offering is unprecedented.

To the point that even I, yes – the designated Chief Marijuana Skeptic here at Motley Fool Canada, am going to leverage this collection and take action within my own personal portfolio.

Before I describe exactly what I’m going to do, though, a confession.

I mentioned earlier that I’ve been out-to-lunch when it comes to the marijuana industry.

This didn’t stop me from taking a personal flier however, mostly out of curiosity and to have a finger somewhat on the pulse.

I bought some shares of what I thought was the one company that stood the best chance of surviving.

Not thriving. Surviving.

That company was Canopy Growth, TSX:WEED.

Here’s the thing, though…

David has marked Canopy as a stock to “Watch.” And frankly, I’m shaky on my position too. To prove it, I’m even long a put option on Canopy.

But there are 10 other companies that David believes hold more promise, from this point forward, than what Canopy offers.

All 10 of which are front-and-centre in our Marijuana Mavericks collection.

Seven of which David has coined “Pure Plays,” along with three “Pick and Shovel” ideas.

Now, when it comes to this offering, I’m in the same boat as you. Acting as an investor who’s trying to make some money and do right by their portfolio.

These companies, after all, still don’t fit with our business-first investing philosophy that holds within this service.

So here’s what I’m going to do.

When Motley Fool trading rules allow (which is after this offering closes next week) I’m going to sell my shares of Canopy Growth.

Then I’m going to re-invest the proceeds into David’s “Buy” rated stocks inside Marijuana Mavericks.

Which is exactly the approach that he recommends.

David calls it a “venture capitalist” approach to investing, and man did that ever strike a chord.

We’ve just scratched the surface of this Marijuana Mavericks offering here. And if you’ve had any inclination whatsoever towards the space over the past year, I think it would benefit you greatly to explore further.

To do so and learn all about David and his approach inside Marijuana Mavericks right away, click here.

Take my word for it. If our Marijuana Mavericks offering doesn’t make you a better investor in what’s fast becoming the “Marijuana Era,” nothing will!

Click to learn more about Marijuana Mavericks now!

Foolishly yours,

Iain Butler, CFA

Former Chief Marijuana Skeptic

Motley Fool Canada

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Disclosure: Iain Butler owns shares of Canopy Growth. Iain Butler is long a January 2019 $25 put option on Canopy Growth.

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