Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR) was one of my Top Picks last year; the stock rose 48% over the past year and I am going to stick with the shares as a Top Pick again in 2022, says Nate Pile, editor of Little River Investment Guide.

Innovative Industrial Properties is a real estate investment trust (REIT) based in San Diego, CA, that is focused on the acquisition, ownership, and management of specialized properties leased to state-licensed operators of regulated medical-use cannabis facilities around the country.

The stock remains a favorite investment idea thanks to not only the momentum of the stock over the past twelve months, but the momentum of the company itself as well.

Though the stock is up nicely through 2021, the premise behind our investment in the REIT remains the same — all signs continue to point to the idea that cannabis will eventually be legalized at the federal level.

And while it remains to be seen just how large the industry will eventually become before finally reaching equilibrium in various markets around the country, the size of its real estate footprint is almost certainly only going to grow as time goes by.

Given the company's past performance, I believe Innovative Industrial Properties' momentum and management's expertise in the sector makes it extremely well-positioned to cash in on the trend as more and more entrepreneurs attempt to get into the cannabis game.

While there will undoubtedly be ebbs and flows in the cannabis business cycle along the way, I believe the odds are good that the company will continue to manage its properties in a prudent and profitable way (and certainly as well as or better than other smaller players who may be attempting to ride its coattails) as time goes by.

Innovative Industrial Properties currently pays a quarterly dividend that works out to $6.00 per year, and the stock is considered a buy under $275.

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