In a year affected by the coronavirus, cannabis stocks haven’t escaped market volatility, and this has impacted the performance of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the public space.

ETFs offer a basket of stocks as an investment vehicle for those who may be hesitant to pick individual names. ETF companies have made their case in cannabis by promoting the reassurance of having broad exposure in what is still a fairly new investment market.

Despite their relative stability in a volatile sector, cannabis ETFs still see periods of change depending on the state of the industry. Some have added active management as a way to bolster themselves from the flippant state of cannabis investments, but it’s tough to stay ahead in a down market.

Here the Investing News Network (INN) takes a closer look at how the most relevant cannabis ETFs have performed in 2020 so far. The following Canadian funds all had net assets of over US$10 million at the time of publication; year-to-date percentage changes were calculated up until July 31, 2020.

1. Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ)

Year-to-date percentage change: -17.27 percent

The one that started it all in Canada, HMMJ is still an outlet for the biggest cannabis names in the sector.

The largest holdings in the fund are Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED), GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) and Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON,TSX:CRON).

Over a year-to-date time period, the index that HMMJ tracks has decreased significantly as cannabis continues to take its lumps. The fund has gone down in value 17.27 percent for a price of C$7.09.

“Whenever you’re dealing with an early stage industry, like the global cannabis market, you’re going to have a high degree of failure, and what you’re hoping to do is capture in some way, shape or form the successful companies that are going to be the leaders of the sector,” Mark Noble, senior vice president of ETF strategy with Horizons ETFs, previously told INN.

2. ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (ARCA:MJ)

Year-to-date percentage change: -23.43 percent

MJ abides by the rules for cannabis in the US, meaning no active US cannabis companies will be included in the ETF until some of kind of reform is seen in the country.

“Even in those states in which the use of marijuana has been legalized, its possession and use remains a violation of federal law,” the fund’s documents indicate.

This fund utilizes the Prime Alternative Harvest Index as its tracking measurement. The largest names based on weight in MJ are the same as for HMMJ: GW Pharmaceuticals, Cronos and Canopy.

So far this year, the fund has decreased in value by 23.43 percent. The losses were extended by a sharp decline around February and March as the coronavirus pandemic began to really impact the performance of global markets.

At the end of July, the ETF ran at a value of US$12.94 per share.

3. Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (ARCA:CNBS)

Year-to-date percentage change: -9.91 percent

The launch of this ETF attracted a lot of attention based on the involvement of Tim Seymour, CIO of Seymour Asset Management and co-host of CNBC’s Fast Money. “An active approach is the only way to invest in a sector like this that’s changing by the day,” Seymour previously said.

The fund itself touts the advantage of having Seymour contribute to the management and direction of the ETF, counting his investment expertise and personal involvement in the sector as elements that may entice investors to take a closer look.

Despite the challenges this year, CNBS has seen a marginally less intense loss than other ETF players. Over a year-to-date period, it has decreased in value by 9.91 percent, resulting in a price of US$11.91.

CNBS has the same top holdings as the previous ETFs listed, which highlights the similarities in stocks seen in cannabis funds at the moment.

4. AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (ARCA:YOLO)

Year-to-date percentage change: -3.03 percent

This fund has the distinction of launching as one of the first actively managed ETFs in the cannabis space. Having an active manager in charge of the fund means there is a market observer following its day-to-day performance and making any necessary or possible adjustments.

Dan Ahrens, managing director with AdvisorShares, acts as the manager of this fund, which has a 0.6 percent fee. The top holdings for YOLO are Village Farms International (NASDAQ:VFF,TSX:VFF), Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) and GW Pharmaceuticals.

This fund has also had a difficult year, but its decline has been only 3.03 percent — and in fact, it is inching closer to its highest price point of the year. At the end of July, the fund was priced at US$11.54.

This ETF offers investors a chance at exposure into names in the cannabis universe across the US and Canada, primordially.

5. The Cannabis ETF (ARCA:THCX)

Year-to-date percentage change: -18.32 percent

THCX was part of the rush of new cannabis ETFs launched in 2019. This fund also offers exposure to global cannabis corporations and stays away from any company touching the plant in the US.

This fund’s top holdings are an all-Canadian company lineup of Cronos, Aphria (NYSE:APHA,TSX:APHA) and Canopy Growth.

As far its performance so far in 2020, the fund has dropped in value significantly by 18.32 percent, and at the end of July it held a price of US$10.21.

6. Cambria Cannabis ETF (CBOE:TOKE)

Year-to-date percentage change: -16.38 percent

ETF provider Cambria Investment Management launched this fund as a way to gain entry into the cannabis investment arena, and invests in between 20 and 50 of the biggest companies available.

TOKE is an actively managed fund led by Mebane T. Faber, which costs investors a 0.59 percent management fee. Its top holdings are GW Pharmaceuticals, Aphria and Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG).

TOKE has struggled in 2020, and the fund had dropped 16.38 percent in value by the end of July, ending with a price of US$12.71. As of June 30, TOKE had dropped by 48.18 percent since its original launch date.


Want more details? Check out these articles for more INNdepth coverage:

Want an overview of investing in cannabis stocks? Check out Investing in the Cannabis Industry.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

Codebase Ventures Inc. (“Codebase” or the “Company”) (CSE:CODE)(FSE:C5B)(OTCQB:BKLLF) announces it has completed a first closing of a non-brokered private placement of up to $2,000,000. The Company accepted subscriptions for 13,740,000 units at a price of $0.05 per unit, for gross proceeds of $687,000. Each unit consists of one common share and one common share purchase warrant. Each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one additional common share at $0.075 for a period of two years from the date of closing, subject to the option of the Company to accelerate the expiry date in the event that its shares trade at $0.15 or more for 10 consecutive days

The Company paid $18,000 in cash and issued 160,000 warrants on the same terms as noted above to qualified finders. Securities issued pursuant to this tranche are subject to trading restrictions until April 5, 2021. The Company is expecting to complete the financing by December 16, 2020. Proceeds will be used for working capital and to fund future investments.

Keep reading... Show less

Hill Street Beverage Company Inc. (TSXV: BEER) (“Hill Street” or the “Company”), announces that further to its press release dated December 3, 2020, the TSX Venture Exchange has approved the repricing of 19,405,804 warrants of the Company that were originally issued on July 27, 2018, to $0.10. These warrants are set to expire on December 31, 2020.

For anybody wishing to exercise these Warrants, please contact the Chief Executive Officer, Terry Donnelly at the particulars below.

Keep reading... Show less

Wall Street Reporter, the trusted name in financial news since 1843, has published reports on the latest comments and insights from leaders at: Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Icanic Brands (OTC: ICNAF) (CSE: ICAN), Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), and HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO)

Cannabis leaders are focusing on innovation in premium branding, global expansion, and tight operational execution in the drive towards profitability. Wall Street Reporter highlights the latest comments from industry thought leaders:

Keep reading... Show less

TransCanna Holdings Inc. (CSE: TCAN) (FSE: TH8) (“TransCanna” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has closed the 2nd and final tranche of its Unit financing. In connection with the closing, the Company issued 1,356,873 Units at a price of $0.55 per Unit, for gross proceeds of $746,280.15. Each Unit consists of one (1) common share and one (1) warrant. Each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one common share of the Company, at an exercise price of $0.75 per share, for a period of two years from the date of issuance. The warrants are subject to an acceleration right that allows the Company to give notice of an earlier expiry date if the Company’s share price on the CSE (or such other stock exchange the Company’s shares may be trading on) is equal to or greater than $1.25 for a period of 20 consecutive trading days. Finder’s fees of $42,542, 3,200 Finder’s shares and 80,550 Finder’s warrants were issued in connection with finder’s fees payable.

In total, the Company raised gross proceeds of $1,757,180 and issued 3,194,873 Units.

Keep reading... Show less

 Sweet Earth Holdings Corp. (CSE: SE) (FSE: 1KZ1) (OTCQB: SEHCF) (“Sweet Earth” the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has received full Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) eligibility in the United States. On October 20, 2020, Sweet Earth announced that its shares had been listed on the United States’ Over-The-Counter Bulletin (“OTCQB”) under the ticker SEHCF.

DTC status means that Sweet Earth shares are now eligible to be transferred between brokerage accounts within the United States and significantly augments the ease in which American-based investors are able to trade Sweet Earth shares.

Keep reading... Show less