I guess now pretty much everyone has jumped aboard the Marijuana bandwagon — the Motley Fool is a bit later to the party, having just announced its Marijuana Masters investing service ($1,499, no refunds), helmed by David Kretzmann (a new name to me), so let’s see what it is that the typically much more mainstream Foolies are pitching…
“Tom Gardner’s favorite marijuana stock is up 215% in the past year…
“And we think it’s just getting started
“Read on to learn more about the little company Tom compares to Shopify… and how you can secure instant access to my top 10 marijuana BUY recommendations!”
And apparently they’re starting off with a 10-stock marijuana portfolio…
“Today, I have 10 official marijuana BUY recommendations waiting for you directly inside Marijuana Masters.
“One of which was actually brought to my attention by Tom Gardner himself.
“In fact, it’s Tom’s No. 1 marijuana company in the world at the moment.”
So what else do we learn about it? Apparently Kretzmann has dug into Tom’s idea and likes it…
“But knowing just how bullish Tom was on this tiny marijuana stock, I dug into the company’s financials and decided it deserved a spot among our initial 10 official recommendations inside Marijuana Masters.
“Tom calls this stock a ‘first mover’ with ‘a great balance sheet’ that compares to Shopify, a favorite stock of his that’s returned 408% since he first recommended it in July 2016. Of course, we can’t promise performance like that for this recommendation, but this stock leaves us with lots of reasons to feel bullish.”
Any other clues?
“With inside ownership above 30% and dedicated co-founders still at the helm, I’m personally convinced that this company can turn its early lead in this space into a long-lasting competitive advantage as it expands the scope of its products and scale of distribution.”
We also get a little taste of Kretzmann’s big picture enthusiasm…
“… why now?
“As you may know, on Oct. 17, Canada will become the first major country to legalize recreational marijuana on a national level. Which means, just two weeks from today, Canadians will literally be able to walk into a store and purchase cannabis just as if it were beer.
“And then right on the heels of that are the U.S. midterm elections on Nov. 6. Four states are voting on marijuana laws, and many others have bills in progress whose fate could be determined by the election’s outcome.
“With these two major catalysts at hand, I believe this is a decisive moment for investors like us.”
So… what’s the stock? Here are the rest of our hints:
“Marijuana Masters Pure Play Stock #1 – ‘The Amazon.com of Marijuana’
“Just like Amazon.com, this company aims to be ‘your everything cannabis store.'”
And a few more details…
“With a whopping 32 different e-commerce sites operating across 20 countries, and 1.5 million users in its database, it’s already one of the most popular cannabis brands out there.
“And that doesn’t even take into account its telemedicine app, which allows individuals to receive online video consultations with licensed health care professionals and obtain a medical marijuana prescription.”
The stock is apparently up 1,200%, too… though that doesn’t necessarily make them stand out as a marijuana stock, not in a sector where nuttiness is the new normal (at least for now), and they seem to be monkeying around with time periods a bit if they’re describing it as having risen both 215% and 1,200%.
Any other clues?
We do get this:
“… the most exciting part of the ‘Amazon.com of Marijuana’ is it’s on the brink of becoming the first company to sell cannabis via an online marketplace.”
So who is it? Thinkolator sez this must be: Namaste Technologies (N.V in Toronto, NXTTF OTC in the US), which is trying to build a marketplace first for medical marijuana then, perhaps, for recreational retail sales in the future. They do indeed match those clues, claiming 32 e-commerce sites in 20 countries and a 1.5 million user database, along with a Teladoc-like medical consultation service (NamasteMD) that lets you get your medical marijuana prescription with a virtual doctor visit, and the Shopify and Amazon comparisons make some sense given Namaste’s focus on growing an e-commerce platform for Canadian medical marijuana (though plenty of companies are talking about using Shopify itself to build their own marijuana stores, too).
There has been a lot of controversy over Namaste recently, moreso even than the other richly-valued marijuana stocks, mostly because management has done some really dumb things (particularly hosting a wild party for shareholders who pledged not to sell for 90 days… even as executives were reportedly selling shares)… and Andrew Left at Citron Research has a very aggressive short/fraud analysis out there right now, so if you’re going to consider Namaste, you should at least review his short thesis and Namaste’s response. I don’t know if Tom Gardner still likes the stock or has an opinion on the controversy, but clearly David Kretzmann is a fan at current prices.
If you want to read those competing reports, Citron’s two fraud allegations and the argument that Namaste will never get a Nasdaq listing (and might be delisted by the TSXV) and should be worth about 25 cents a share are here and here, and Namaste’s response is here.
Andrew Left is a bit of a blowhard, to be sure, and pushes his arguments very aggressively without always being right… but he’s also a short seller, so he’s careful with his facts and has a lot more at risk than I do, so I take his arguments seriously. And in this case, frankly, his accusations are a lot more compelling than the company’s tepid and pretty generic “nuh uh, we didn’t do anything wrong” response. That doesn’t mean Namaste is definitely a fraud, but I don’t see a lot to make them compelling compared to other Canadian marijuana companies, and I don’t like most of the rest of them at current p