Pot stocks are only now coming into their own as legitimate investing vehicles. Underscoring this point, the first G8 country to legalize adult-use marijuana, Canada, did so less than a full year ago, major U.S. stock exchanges just started listing pure cannabis-oriented companies for the first time in 2018, and bills aimed at easing banking restrictions on the industry in the U.S. only began to gain real traction in Congress during the first half of this year.
Put simply, the legal marijuana industry still has a long way to go to realize its staggering commercial potential, which is estimated to range from anywhere between $50 billion to perhaps a jaw-dropping $200 billion by the end of the next decade. So if you’re considering adding any marijuana stocks to your portfolio right now, it’s absolutely critical to keep the long-term view in mind.
With this perspective, let’s consider where Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) — the third largest marijuana cultivator in the world by market cap and a popular name among retail investors — might be in five years.
Where is Tilray headed?
Tilray is a pioneer. The company was the first to debut directly on a major U.S. stock exchange (the Nasdaq), and it was also the first to legally export medical cannabis from North America to Africa, Australia, Europe, and South America. Tilray is also one of the first pot companies to successfully gain a cultivation license in both Canada and Portugal. Tilray’s pioneering spirit, in turn, will probably continue to be its guiding light over the next five years.
Keeping with this theme, Tilray has shown a keen interest in the emerging field of medical marijuana, where it is currently participating in five clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of cannabis for a wide range of conditions. As part of this effort, Tilray formed a Medical Advisory Board in 2017 to help suss out the most promising opportunities for cannabis in the clinic.
Meanwhile, Tilray has been busy treating medical marijuana patients in a whopping 12 countries across five continents and forming a cadre of key partnerships in the space that include a tie-up with pharmaceutical giant Novartis‘s Sandoz AG unit. Through this landmark partnership with Sandoz AG, Tilray has the potential to distribute medical marijuana products to a vast array of geographies — although this distribution agreement is obviously limited to areas where medical cannabis is currently permissible.
Although Tilray does have an intriguing portfolio of recreational products through its wholly owned subsidiary High Park Company, the company’s main point of emphasis has been on establishing itself as a global leader in medical marijuana. Medical cannabis, in fact, is the undisputed centerpiece of the company’s long-term value proposition.