It’s been a long and somber year for cannabis investors. The recreational market simply hasn’t grown as anyone hoped, raising serious questions about stocks that depended on rapid expansion to support their multiples.
The losses have been staggering. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) is down 85% over the past year, and rival would-be giant Tilray Corp. (NASDAQ:TLRY) is down 74%.
Only well-capitalized market leader Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE:CGC) has resisted the worst of the selling, but even that stock has lost nearly 60% of its market capitalization over the past year.
Once again, if you’re looking for a more defensive way to get exposure to the industry’s long-term potential, Aphria Inc. (NYSE:APHA) is only down 33% over the period. Shareholders haven’t cheered, but they’ve preserved a lot more of their capital for the future.
When the industry recovers, APHA will lead the way. Unless you know the business and have nerves of steel, that’s where I’d stay for the time being.
But there’s a silver lining for the rest of us here. The S&P 500 is up 10% over the same time period.
That’s a good number. Despite all the chaos in the market and a recession underway, the stock market continues on the same long-term trend it has followed for generations.
Pot stocks can come and go, but Wall Street is doing fine.