Nevertheless, the cannabis industry to date remains fragmented, served only by relatively small marijuana stocks and private companies that lose money more often than not. The missing ingredient: scale, or size.
While so-called "mom 'n' pop" shops may be able to eke out reliable profits, attempts at mass marketing have largely been fiscal failures. The cannabis business needs bigger backers if it's going to become a mass-market product. But Fortune 500 companies have mostly opted to steer clear given the inconsistent and unclear legalities.
That's changing, though. A handful of large, prominent companies are signaling that this market is becoming big enough to address. Today, we'll give you a rundown of five blue-chip "marijuana stocks" to watch. Just note: These are enormous multinationals bringing in billions of dollars in revenues. Merely dipping a toe into the cannabis business won't make these stocks suddenly double overnight. Instead, they offer ways to invest in sound, profitable businesses ... with the potential for a little additional marijuana upside.