Best Cannabis ETFs to buy in 2021

Cannabis ETFs give you exposure to a selection of some of the top-performing cannabis stocks. Check out our experts’ top picks right now.
By: Charlie Hancox
Charlie Hancox
Alongside his passion for trading, Charlie has represented Great Britain and won national championships as a water polo player,… read more.
Updated: Oct 25, 2021
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Since the first publicly traded North American Cannabis stock emerged in 2014, the sector has experienced mounting legalisation, demand, and subsequent investor interest. If you think the marijuana industry is set to continue its growth, picking up a weed ETF can diversify your investment and balance your portfolio. Check out your top options below.

What are the top Cannabis ETFs to buy?

Our team of financial analysts have been through each marijuana ETF with a fine-tooth comb, reviewing every aspect of what they have to offer to investors. You can find our selections in the table below, along with links to key price information.

#ETF tickerETF name
1THCXThe Cannabis ETF
2CNBSAmplify Seymour Cannabis ETF
3YOLOAdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF
4MJETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF
5TOKECambria Cannabis ETF
Selected by our team of analysts, 1st October 2021

Now you know our selection of the best weed ETFs, read on for a more detailed look at each one.

1. The Cannabis ETF (NYSEARCA: THCX)

Commencing trading on 9th July 2019, The Cannabis ETF follows an index of companies involved in both the medical and recreational cannabis industries. The fund was designed as a convenient way for investors to gain exposure to a basket of stocks within the hemp and legal marijuana markets. 

All of THCX’s holdings are based in the United States and Canada, and they follow a mixed blend of growth and value. Its top holdings are Tilray, Canopy Growth Corp. and Village Farms International. 

The main reason The Cannabis ETF is on our list is the strength of its holdings and its strategy of diversification. In recent years, it has produced solid performances and includes a greater than 1% dividend yield to sweeten the deal. 

2. Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSEARCA: CNBS)

CNBS is an actively managed Cannabis ETF, which means fund managers buy and sell stocks within the ETF in an effort to provide superior returns to investors. At least 80% of the companies within the Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF are pure-play cannabis companies that achieve 50% or more of their revenues via the cannabis and hemp sectors.

CNBS has performed well in recent years, and its primary holdings include Tilray, Canopy Growth, Village Farms International and WM Technology. Most of the CNBS portfolio resides in North America and Canada, though there is an Israeli component to this story too. 

The sheer growth of CNBS and its blended approach of mid-cap and small-cap companies are attractive, and that is why it has found a place in our top 5. 

3. AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSEARCA: YOLO)

The YOLO ETF tracks Canadian and U.S. companies in the healthcare, real estate and consumer products sectors, and it is heavily weighted toward mid-cap companies. Like CNBS, a minimum of 80% of the companies that comprise the YOLO fund obtain at least half of their net revenue from the cannabis and hemp business. 

Within the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF, there are also some companies based in the United Kingdom and Israel. The holdings within YOLO are diverse, featuring pharmaceutical players, biotechnology companies and agricultural entities. Importantly, YOLO is an ETF engineered for the long term, making it an ideal candidate for a buy-and-hold strategy. 

While this ETF’s solid performance is part of the reason it is on this list, the main reason is the sheer level of variety within its basket of stocks. Just take its top three holdings: Village Farms International, Innovative Industrial Properties, and Green Thumb Industries. The first is a grower of tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, and Cannabis; the second is a Cannabis-focussed REIT, and the third is a manufacturer and distributor of branded cannabis products. 

4. ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSEARCA: MJ)

Launched in 2015, MJ is the largest Cannabis fund on this entire list, with around $2 billion in assets under its management. It tracks the performance of the Prime Alternative Harvest Index, which was created to allow investors to capitalise on both event-driven news and long-term trends in the cannabis industry.

While MJ only holds around 30 stocks, they are some of the biggest names in the Cannabis space such as Tilray, Canopy Growth and GrowGeneration. In addition, this fund has a high annual turnover, which is a testament to the work of the fund managers who regularly flip stocks to create both income and dividends. 

The key reason the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF is on our list is its sheer scale and the proactiveness of its fund managers. 

5. Cambria Cannabis ETF (BATS: TOKE)

The TOKE ETF has anywhere from 20 to 50 of the top marijuana players within its portfolio, and its performance has been steady in the last few years.

Its top four holdings are Tilray, Innovative Industrial Properties, Constellation Brands, and British American Tobacco, and these form part of a blended focus consisting of micro-, small- and mid-cap stocks. With 80% of its net assets invested in Cannabis companies, TOKE is a fast and easy way for investors to gain exposure to the performance of a wide basket of weed equities. 

The main reason the Cambria Cannabis ETF has found a place on this list is its level of diversification. Its holdings are some of the most varied on this list, making it better equipped to cope with the pressures of market volatility.

Where to buy the best Cannabis ETFs

If you want to invest in a Cannabis ETF, finding a reliable, low-fee broker is key; these are the online platforms that facilitate your trades for you. To save you some time and effort, rather than you having to scour the internet for hours to find a high-quality service, we have listed our top picks below. Click on one to check it out and see what it has to offer.

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What is a Cannabis ETF?

A Cannabis ETF is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that features companies participating in the cultivation, distribution, and sale of marijuana and related products. This can include the dried flower itself, as well as seeds, edibles, oils and more. 

An ETF is a fund that trades on a stock exchange like a normal stock. However, a single ETF consists of multiple stocks from the same industry. This means that holding an ETF gives you exposure to the performance of an entire sector rather than a single company.

Because your investment is diversified between different stocks, you do not have the single-company risk that comes with investing in a solitary stock. So, should one company within your chosen ETF perform poorly, others may make up for it. 

Are Cannabis ETFs a good investment?

They can be, but only if you keep your expectations in check and recognise that the market has historically overvalued weed companies. Take Tilray, one of the largest weed stocks. For a brief period, it shot up to a $20 billion valuation – the same as aviation giant, American Airlines. However, Tilray was only generating $200 million in annual revenue, while American Airlines was bringing in $45 billion. 

While weed has been legalised in an increased number of countries and North American states, it remains illegal for recreational use in most jurisdictions. Moreover, its classification by the DEA for much of the past century as a Schedule 1 drug alongside damaging substances like Heroin has damaged its reputation. 

However, there are some reasons to be positive about the prospects of Cannabis ETFs. Notably, a greater number of countries and states now recognise the potential benefits of medicinal marijuana. In addition, the growth of the market should be taken into consideration: over 12% of Americans now use Cannabis, while sales and support for the industry have surged in the past year as it edges towards a $100 billion valuation.

Latest cannabis news

On Tuesday, PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE:PHM) shares fell by nearly 4% after announcing its most recent quarterly results. The company reported its fiscal third-quarter revenue and earnings before markets opened, beating the consensus for Street expectations. However, the backlog value increased substantially from the same period a…
On Tuesday, Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) shares advanced by 3.34% after announcing its most recent quarterly results. The company reported its fiscal third-quarter revenue and earnings before markets opened, beating analyst expectations. Ecolab posted non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.38, outperforming the consensus for analyst expectations of…
On Monday, Eli Lilly And Co (NYSE:LLY) and Novartis AG (OTCMKTS:NVSEF) shares edged higher after announcing their most recent quarterly results. Eli Lilly’s revenue and earnings missed expectations while Novartis beat on earnings and matched top-line estimates. Eli Lilly offers exciting growth…
On Tuesday, General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) shares advanced by nearly 3% after announcing its most recent quarterly results. The company reported its fiscal third-quarter results before markets opened, beating analysts expectations on earnings and free cash flows. However, its revenue declined significantly, missing estimates. The company…
On Tuesday, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (NYSE:ADM) shares edged slightly lower despite reporting better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results. The company announced its most recent results before markets opened, beating analyst expectations on revenue and earnings. The company posted FQ3 non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.97, beating the consensus Street…

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Charlie Hancox
Financial writer
Alongside his passion for trading, Charlie has represented Great Britain and won national championships as a water polo player, and as a budding film director, has… read more.