No industry is as hot as the marijuana industry right now. Within the U.S. alone, sales of state-regulated cannabis will grow to more than $22 billion by 2022, according to the Arcview Group, up from $8.6 billion in 2017. And this doesn’t account for the possibility of federal legalization during this time.
Within this explosive market, one company, in particular, is delivering scorching gains to shareholders.
Marijuana-focused real estate investment trust (REIT) Innovative Industrial Properties(NYSE:IIPR) has seen the value of its stock surge 47% so far in June — and an incredible 250% in the past year. Fueling these gains is the company’s proven strategy of turning medical marijuana facilities into cash for its shareholders.
As a REIT, Innovative Industrial Properties pools investor capital and uses it to acquire income-producing real estate. In IIP’s case, it purchases regulated facilities used to grow medical marijuana and leases them to state-licensed producers. These tend to be industrial buildings with enclosed greenhouses. IIP then upgrades their electrical, plumbing, lighting, and security systems to make them suitable for cannabis growers.
IIP owns 21 properties in 11 U.S. states comprising more than 1.5 million rentable square feet. These buildings generate strong returns on invested capital of nearly 15%. They also produce bountiful, recurring cash flow, with average lease lengths or more than 15 years.
With the cannabis industry expanding rapidly, these buildings are in high demand. And by briskly growing its portfolio of properties, IIP is enjoying sharp increases in revenue and profits. In the first quarter of 2019, IIP’s net rental revenue, earnings per share, and adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) per share surged 146%, 267%, and 135%, respectively, compared to the prior-year period.