Investing in Marijuana ETFs in 2020

Investing in marijuana exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is becoming increasingly popular as a way to gain exposure to the cannabis industry. But what are the best marijuana ETFs to invest in for 2020? Read on to find out!

The cannabis industry has had its share of problems in the past, such as MedMen burning through cash and CannTrust Holdings filing for bankruptcy due to illegal cannabis cultivation. This high volatility makes marijuana stocks a riskier asset, which is why many investors are turning to marijuana ETFs.


One such ETF is the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF, which began trading in April 2019. It has an expense ratio of 0.74%, and a dividend yield of 7.26%. The fund tracks American and Canadian companies specializing in health care, consumer products, and real estate.


The Horizons US Marijuana Index ETF, the first U.S.-focused marijuana ETF, began trading in April 2019 in Canada. It has an expense ratio of 0.85%, and holds 30 companies based in the U.S.A.

The Cannabis ETF, which started trading in July 2019, has an expense ratio of 0.7%. It owns 30 stocks and is managed passively, tracking the Innovation Labs Cannabis Index. Despite having only $20.7 million in assets, the fund provides a dividend yield of 4.1%.


Passively managed ETFs are often preferred by investors due to their lower fees and higher returns. According to Morningstar, last year’s net inflows of passively managed ETFs were $162.7 billion, while actively managed ones reported net withdrawals of $204.1 billion.


However, investing in passively managed cannabis industry ETFs can be risky. Jason Spatafora, head trader at and co-founder of, believes that actively managed ETFs hold less risk as managers can divest companies as soon as a major problem arises, while passive ETFs are rebalanced quarterly. He also advises against adding cannabis ETFs to a portfolio, as they often contain a lot of “garbage”. He recommends waiting until August to invest in such ETFs, as the volume in cannabis stocks usually decreases in summer.


Michael Berger, the founder of Technical420, claims that the volatility in the cannabis sector in 2019 has affected the returns of stocks, making an actively managed ETF a better choice.


Another disadvantage of investing in marijuana ETFs is that the SEC prohibits providers from owning shares of companies directly connected to the marijuana plant, also known as “plant-touching” companies. This means that ETFs are limited to companies that are not directly involved in the production of marijuana.

Despite the fact that cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, many cannabis ETFs have shares of American marijuana companies. Timothy Seymour, founder of Seymour Asset Management and portfolio manager of Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF, believes that the regulatory environment is likely to change soon due to the increasing market in the US. He also notes that the quality of products and operational excellence have improved significantly in the past 3-5 years.

Canadian marijuana companies have seen all-time highs, according to Spatafora, and cannabis ETFs are a great addition to investors’ portfolios. For example, the ETFMG Alternative Harvest has assets of $581 million and a dividend yield of 7.25%, while passively managed ETFs offer even more, such as GW Pharmaceuticals (10.7%) and Cronos Group (9%).

Spatafora suggests that investors should trade the stocks of Canadian marijuana companies rather than hold them long-term. He cites the example of the Canadian company Canopy, which has lost more than half of its shareholder value compared to last year.

American cannabis companies have greater potential for growth due to their larger customer base, but until the issues are resolved, it is better to avoid investing in existing ETFs. Canada’s biggest problem is that there are not enough dispensaries open to consumers. According to Spatafora, Canadian companies are losing to American ones (such as Green Thumb or Trulieve) in terms of impressive numbers and positive EBITDA.

The marijuana market, which was deemed essential in many states during the pandemic, is now growing. The Arcview Group predicts that by 2025, this industry will reach $33.9 billion with a compound annual growth rate of 18.2%.

What are the potential rewards from investing in a Marijuana ETF?


Investing in Marijuana ETFs has become a popular choice for investors seeking to benefit from the rising demand of the marijuana industry in 2020. ETFs offer an easy and cost-efficient way to very easily benefit from multiple marijuana stocks in one single trade. Marijuana ETFs have many advantages including diversified holdings, low costs, and professional management.

What is a Marijuana ETF?

Marijuana ETFs are exchange-traded funds that invest in stocks and bonds associated with the marijuana industry. The ETFs can provide access to a range of marijuana-related companies. Its holdings typically include cannabis-related stocks, such as companies that manufacture and distribute marijuana, pharmaceuticals companies researching cannabinoid-based treatments and companies providing ancillary services to the cannabis industry, such as technology, software, and legal services.

What Should You Consider Before Investing in a Marijuana ETF?

  • Research: Investing in any ETF comes with its own set of risks and rewards. Investing wisely in a marijuana ETF requires research and understanding of the approach, as well as a comprehensive review of the ETF’s holdings.
  • Risk: Investing in marijuana ETFs may involve liquidity risk, as there may not be a large market for the ETF’s underlying securities, and ETF share prices may be volatile.
  • Market Risk and Volatility: Investing in marijuana ETFs can be risky because the industry is still in its early stages and has yet to become an accepted industry. Since the industry is still relatively new, it is subject to higher-than-normal volatility.

Frequently Asked Questions About Investing in Marijuana ETFs in 2020

  • Q: What are the risks associated with investing in a marijuana ETF?

    A: Investing in any marijuana ETF carries its own risks, such as liquidity risk and market risk. Investing wisely in a marijuana ETF requires research and understanding of the approach, as well as a comprehensive review of the ETF’s holdings.

  • Q: Are there any advantages to investing in a marijuana ETF?

    A: Yes, there are several advantages to investing in a marijuana ETF. ETFs offer diversified holdings, low costs, and professional management. Additionally, ETFs provide investors with exposure to multiple marijuana-related companies in just one trade.


Investing in marijuana ETFs in 2020 is a great way for investors to gain exposure to many different marijuana stocks and bonds. ETF’s offer a cost-effective and diversified approach to the marijuana industry and enable investors to benefit from multiple marijuana companies in one single trade. However, it is important to consider the risks associated with investing in a marijuana ETF, such as market risk and volatility, liquidity risk, and the sector’s early maturity.