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If you're banking on the cannabis industry in 2021, check out our guide on the top cannabis stocks for January 2021. In 2020, many cannabis stocks weathered the storm caused by the global pandemic. In fact, many states in the US saw record-breaking cannabis sales.

Now in 2021, this runaway success will continue. And, now that 5 more states approved legalizing cannabis, the North American market is set to expand beyond belief. Here are the top cannabis stocks to watch out for at the beginning of 2021.

Cresco Labs

Multistate operators (MSOs) like Cresco Labs are taking the industry by storm. In 2021, it plans to open the maximum number of allowable dispensaries in its home state of Illinois. The Land of Lincoln is expected to be one of the largest in the nation.

Cresco Labs also leads the charge as the leading wholesale distributor in California.  As the state loosens its restrictions on the number of dispensaries available, Cresco Labs will be in a good position to dominate the world's largest cannabis market.

Green Thumb Industries

As far as MSOs go, Green Thumb Industries (GTI) is a key player. This vertically-integrated MSO runs 50 dispensaries at the moment. It has a total of 96 licenses in 12 states, plenty for nationwide expansion.

GTI has set up shop in the most lucrative markets in the nation including Illinois and Nevada. Plus, its product offerings focus on the fast-growing segment of the industry: cannabis derivatives (edibles, concentrates, vapes, drinks, topicals, etc).

Curaleaf Holdings

Another top MSO, Curaleaf Holdings, is leading the charge in terms of revenue. In fact, it's set to reach $1 billion in sales by this or next year. In 2020, Curaleaf made wise acquisitions. It acquired Cura Partners, owners of the Select brand. It also bought the privately-held Grassroots MSO.

Curaleaf’s smart acquisitions help put it ahead of other MSOs in terms of dispensary count. It has over 130 dispensary licenses in nearly two dozen states. Now that New Jersey legalized recreational cannabis, Curaleaf’s presence and stock are set to grow big.

Innovative Industrial Properties

Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP) relies on buying cannabis facilities and leasing them back to state-licensed growers. IIP’s unique business model is especially helpful for MSOs in search of a fast cash infusion.

All in all, IIP owns 66 properties in 17 states. Its long-term leases ensure it will stay profitable for years to come. Expect IIP to buy even more cultivation and processing facilities in 2021. As more states continue to legalize cannabis, IIP will have plenty of opportunities for expansion.

Planet 13 Holdings

Planet 13 Holdings is a special case. It's only active dispensary sits on the Las Vegas Strip and spans 112,000 square feet. Planet 13 Las Vegas taps into the tourism and entertainment industry with a gigantic dispensary with an experiential twist.

Everything from self-pay kiosks to interactive immersion stations makes Planet 13 a must-visit for any cannabis aficionado. In 2021, it plans to open a second location spanning 40,000 square feet in Santa Ana, California.


When investing in cannabis stocks, don't just focus on the pure-play stocks (growers, processors, retailers). GrowGeneration is a key ancillary player focused on selling hydroponic and organic gardening products through its online and brick-and-mortar stores.

GrowGeneration plans to have 50 active retail stores in 15 states, up from 36 locations in 11 states as of November 2020. This company appeals to small and large scale cultivators, which has contributed to its broad success in the industry.

Jushi Holdings

Jushi Holdings may be a small-cap MSO, but it's destined to have one of the highest cannabis stock growths this year. Right now, Jushi has 13 active dispensaries and holds over 2 dozen licenses to expand in about half a dozen states.

What's the secret to Jushi’s success? Its dispensary presence is focused on limited license states such as Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These states limit the number of licenses they issue making their licenses highly coveted.

Columbia Care

If you couldn't tell, MSO stocks are some of the most profitable. Columbia Care is another top MSO with a bright future in 2021. At the moment, it has 76 active dispensaries in 18 states. Its roots in medical cannabis retail and manufacturing have helped it expand into the recreational market, as well.

Major acquisitions in key markets have helped it become one of the leading MSOs. In September 2020, it acquired The Green Solution, Colorado's leading vertically integrated cannabis operator. Colorado has the second-largest market in the nation.

Trulieve Cannabis

Trulieve Cannabis is expected to be one of the most profitable MSOs in the nation. Its focus on Florida's medical cannabis market has paid off. It has 73 dispensaries across the nation, 68 of which are located in Florida.

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It's betting big on a state that is expected to legalize recreational cannabis in 2022. If it can continue its rapid rise in 2021, we expect its stock to grow in tow. Expansion into Pennsylvania and California can also cement its status as a force to be reckoned with.

Interested in investing in cannabis stocks in 2021? Check out our guide on how to invest in cannabis stocks or enroll in our online cannabis training program.

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

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