High Returns, Higher Risk: Tips On Investing In Marijuana Stocks And Start-ups, In U.S. And Canada

For mom-and-pop investors, the options may be riskier, given that retail investors can access the marijuana market mostly through volatile Canadian stocks such as Tilray, a Canadian marijuana producer that went public in July at $17 a share. Speculators drove Tilray up to $300 in mid-September before it slumped to $140 or so on Friday. Beware this overhyped weed stock.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also issued a stern alert about marijuana stocks in early September, warning of fraud and market manipulation.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 30 states. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are in the process of expanding their medical programs, and industry experts are gambling that full-adult recreational use could be legalized in the three states within five years. Nine states already have legalized adult-use cannabis.

Philly hospitals are joining the party, too. On Oct. 3, Thomas Jefferson University, home to the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp, is hosting a Shark Tank-like business pitch competition for medical marijuana products.

Eight finalists, from more than 50 submissions, are vying for the Cannavation $10,000 top prize, which will also include business mentoring and legal support.

Plowing money into marijuana where it is grown and dispensed may be a challenge for even the best-connected investors.

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