There’s not a lot Americans agree on these days. But the last few election cycles prove we are mostly in favor of legalizing cannabis use. And that opens up a significant income and profit opportunity, suggests Mike Larson, editor of Safe Money Report.
Amid the noise of the presidential election, ballot measures focused on marijuana usage passed in five states, from “blue” New Jersey in the East to “red” Montana in the West. 44 states now allow some form of cannabis usage, whether recreational or medicinal.
Voters clearly believe the tax revenue, as well as the medical and criminal justice advantages of legalization, offset potential downsides.
Rather than make a value judgment, my focus is on capitalizing on the legalization trend in a “Safe Money” fashion. My recommendation? Buy Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR).
IIPR is a unique real estate investment trust, or REIT, that owns and leases back industrial and greenhouse buildings to legal and state-licensed growers of medical-grade cannabis.
As of October, it owned 63 properties in 16 states, with roughly 5 million square feet of rentable space already available or under development.
The average lease was for more than 16 years, and roughly 99% of its space was rented. In the second quarter, adjusted funds from operations (AFFO, a REIT industry benchmark similar to earnings for traditional corporations) jumped to $21 million, or $1.19 per share.
That was a 263% surge from year-ago levels. Revenue soared 183% to $24.3 million. A couple tenants had an issue with rent payments for a short period of time this spring, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But those issues don’t appear to be lingering into the fall. IIPR has also continued to announce new property acquisitions and fund raisings — transactions that lay the groundwork for future sales and earnings growth.
What about income? Well, IIPR recently declared a third quarter dividend of $1.17 per share. That was up 10% from the second quarter and a hefty 50% from year-ago levels. It’s also good for an indicated dividend yield of 2.8% at recent prices. Not shabby at all.
Meanwhile, Innovative Industrial has earned a “Buy” Weiss Rating for most of the last eight months. And, in the wake of this month’s voting results, it started breaking out of a consolidation pattern. Bottom line? Innovative Industrial looks like a solid play in our Dynamic Income Portfolio.