Cannabis stocks have struggled in recent months, and July was no exception. The firing of Bruce Linton and the CannTrust scandal definitely shook up the industry.
Although CannTrust was hit the hardest, losing more than 56% of its value during the course of the month, many other marijuana stocks were hit hard as well.
Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis both saw their share prices fall by more than 20% in July.
Aphria Inc (TSX:APHA)(NYSE:APHA) also wasn’t doing that well either, losing more than 25%. However, a good earnings report recently changed that and has helped turn things around for the company, at least, for now.
Although Aphria has attracted the attention of investors lately for its profitable quarter, it’s important to remember this is a company that’s had more than a few challenges over the years.
It’s often underperformed its peers and I’m not yet convinced that it has turned things around and has all of a sudden a formidable investment in what’s still a very fragile industry.
I prefer to see a bit more stability and consistency, and that’s not been a strong point for Aphria and many cannabis stocks. The one exception to that rule has been Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc (TSX:CWEB).
Focusing on the hemp market has made this cannabis stock a cut above the rest and the company has consistently been able to stay profitable while growing its sales.
With more than 8,000 locations in the U.S. now going to carry its products, Charlotte’s Web has created a significant presence just with hemp. Hemp is legal in both Canada and the U.S., which gives the company a lot of flexibility in its operations as it doesn’t have to worry about the red tape related to marijuana and it’s able to freely move its products across borders.
The hemp strategy also allows Charlotte’s Web to avoid having to rely on acquisitions to grow its business, which is often how marijuana companies are able to expand without running afoul with regulators.
That means fewer expenses for the company to incur along the way, which is critical when it comes to being able to stay profitable in the industry.
Stock has done very well this year
Investors have been noticing the company’s strong business model as well, with its share price rising by more than 20% in July and over 50% during the first seven months of the year.
The beauty behind Charlotte’s Web is that while marijuana companies like Aphria battle it out with other producers in North America trying to find the next big acquisition or growth opportunity, it simply has to work on negotiating contracts with more retailers and shipping products out to them.
Charlotte’s Web already has a strong business in place that’s proven to be sustainable. And since the business is profitable, the company hasn’t had to rely on issuing shares or taking on debt to keep its operations afloat.
While in the short term, investors might be captivated by the news that Aphria has turned a profit, it could prove to be nothing more than a one-off result.
Until there’s some consistency, it’s hard to justify making an investment. In the case of Charlotte’s Web, however, the company has already proven itself by developing a strong brand and producing consistent results.
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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.
Fool contributor David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Charlotte's Web Holdings.