Green Thumb Industries (Green Thumb Industries Stock Quote, Chart, News CSE:GTII) is a solid bet to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Echelon Wealth Partners analyst Andrew Semple, who provided an update to clients on GTI on Tuesday where he reiterated his “Buy” rating and C$20.00 target.
Chicago-based Green Thumb is a multi-state operator with retail cannabis stores under the Rise and Essence names, a number of brands, 13 manufacturing facilities and licenses for 96 retail locations across 12 US markets.
In comparison to other sectors of the economy, Semple said US cannabis is likely to do fairly well, for a number of reasons. First, in contrast to other businesses, US regulators in many states have allowed cannabis stores to stay open through the COVID-19 crisis, with some states like Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York deeming medical cannabis an “essential” service while in others like California, Nevada and Illinois adult-use stores have so far been allowed to stay open despite the closure of “non-essential” businesses.
Furthermore, Semple argued that first impressions are that cannabis is seeing an uptick in demand during the crisis, which is good for the pot companies, although it’s unclear at this point whether the increase is due mostly to stockpiling or a rise in demand related to more use-occasions and higher anxiety levels during the pandemic.
Of the companies in his coverage universe, Semple said Green Thumb is his best US cannabis play.
“Within the US cannabis industry, we would place our bets on GTI. The Company is fully funded for its expansion plans with access to $100 million-plus of capital and no pending M&A,” Semple wrote.
“We like that the Company’s operations are diversified, having achieved meaningful scale in several large markets (NV, IL, PA, CT, MA, MD), with operations in a total of