Why two cannabis giants are a Wall Street analyst's top picks

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5/5/2021 3:31:00 PM

2 cannabis giants have conquered the market using polar opposite strategies. A Wall Street analyst outlines why they're his top picks.

Business Insider tells the global tech, finance, markets, media, healthcare, and strategy stories you want to know.

,companies in the US were focused on massive expansions, no matter the capital cost. Then capital dried up, forcing many to streamline operations and show investors that they could become profitable and manage operations judiciously amid turbulent times. 

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In the midst of all that, a few frontrunners have positioned themselves into thetop tier of multistate operators (MSOs), or companies that cultivate and sell cannabis in several states.Curaleaf and Trulieve, both cannabis giants in the US, are two of the top stocks in that upper tier of MSOs, according to Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic.

In a Sunday note, Zuanic gave the two companies overweight ratings and said they were his top picks in the MSO space. An overweight rating, according to the Cantor Fitzgerald rating system, means the stock's total return is expected to exceed 15% over the next year; it is equivalent to a"Buy" rating.  headtopics.com

In an interview with Insider, Zuanic said that he chose Curaleaf and Trulieve specifically because he believes the two companies are best positioned to succeed if the US were to legalize cannabis federally.He added that he expects such federal regulatory changes to happen by 2025, though he adds that this is an assumption. In such a case, Zuanic says interstate commerce and broader retail alternatives are also a possibility.

"So I try to ask myself, if by 2025 we have federal legalization, interstate trade, and a broader set of retailing opportunities, how does the MSO group look," he said."It's an assumption that influences a lot of my thinking about these companies."

2 approaches to the US cannabis marketCannabis companies in the US are starting to break out from the pack based on the different strategies they deploy, Emily Paxhia, cofounder and managing partner of cannabis investment firm Poseidon Asset Management,

told Insider in a recent panel."I think you're going to see different ways that these stocks move as people take time to understand that not all MSOs are created equal," she said."They're all starting to feel different and that's good. That shows our market is getting to a point of maturation and that investors have opportunities to form a thesis around what they think are the winning strategies." headtopics.com

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That's the case with Curaleaf and Trulieve, which have taken vastly different approaches to the US cannabis market so far. Read more: Business Insider »

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