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Click here to read the previous top cannabis stocks year-to-date list.

As the door closes on 2020, the Investing News Network is looking back on the operating year to see which cannabis stocks performed the best.

Investors looking for an edge with cannabis this year had a turbulent ride as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic affected virtually every market. However, the cannabis arena did have a few key wins.

As the industry moved forward, some companies in the marijuana space secured positive returns for the year as they continued to make progress at their businesses.

Data for this top cannabis stocks year-to-date article was collected on December 15, 2020, and the companies included had to meet a minimum market cap requirement of C$10 million. Cannabis companies on the NYSE, NASDAQ, TSX, TSXV and CSE were considered.

1. Vibe Growth (CSE:VIBE,OTC Pink:VBSCF)

Year-to-date gain: 544.44 percent; current market cap: C$41.58 million; current share price: C$0.55

Vibe Growth is a cannabis company based in the expansive California state market. This retailer and operator offers consumers its extensive line of products at the three stores it manages in the state.

This year, the company has focused predominantly on its operations in California by acquiring a second facility and confirming expansion plans for existing facilities. Vibe Growth did also expand beyond California in 2020 by securing a deal for a dispensary based in Portland, Oregon.

2. TerrAscend (CSE:TER,OTCQX:TRSSF)

Year-to-date gain: 321.59 percent; current market cap: C$971.02 million; current share price: C$12.95

TerrAscend is a cannabis operator predominantly focused on opportunities in the US marketplace. The company had a straightforward growth path on the open market this year, seeing its share price increase as the firm kept advancing its expansion plans.

“We’re driving strong revenue growth and continued margin expansion by focusing on operational excellence, controlled SG&A spending, and strategically allocating our capital,” Jason Ackerman, CEO and executive chairman of TerrAscend, said as part of a Q3 financial statement from the company.

Just before the year ended, it was confirmed that Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC,TSX:WEED) will be upping its stake in TerrAscend to 21 percent by divesting its interest in Canopy Rivers (TSX:RIV).

3. Next Green Wave Holdings (CSE:NGW,OTCQX:NXGWF)

Year-to-date gain: 250 percent; current market cap: C$56.22 million; current share price: C$0.33

Despite seeing a dip in value earlier in the year, Next Green Wave Holdings picked up steam in the second half of 2020 and delivered a solid end-of-year performance for its investors.

The established seed-to-sale operator in the California state cannabis market recently confirmed plans for a new cultivation facility in Coalinga as it seeks to up its production numbers by about 150 percent per year.

Next Green Wave has shown steady operating performance this year; it confirmed that in July, August and September it saw positive cash flow and profitability. By November, the company had reached over US$1 million in revenues for each month of Q3.

4. Icanic Brands (CSE:ICAN,OTCQB:ICNAF)

Year-to-date gain: 204.55 percent; current market cap: C$127.90 million; current share price: C$0.65

Icanic Brands is a cannabis company with operations in California and Nevada that exclusively sells branded products. The company mainly highlights its brand Ganja Gold, and has indicated that it plans to introduce additional SKUs for this brand.

The company secured a US$2 million private placement mid-year, allowing it to build on its vision of expansion plans for next year; it also began construction of a new central facility in California.

“For our Company, 2020 was always meant to be a year to solidify our company’s foundation in preparation for our future while trying to meet the increasing demand for our products,” Brandon Kou, CEO of Icanic, said as part of the company’s report for the 2020 fiscal year.

5. Jushi Holdings (CSE:JUSH,OTCQB:JUSHF)

Year-to-date gain: 190 percent; current market cap: C$669.22 million; current share price: C$6

Jushi Holdings is a multi-state operator focused on the US cannabis space. The company runs a vertically integrated business overseeing cannabis cultivation, brand curation and retail management.

As part of its Q3 financial results, Jim Cacioppo, CEO, chairman and founder of Jushi, said the company was raising the floor on its Q4 revenue guidance to an increased margin of US$28 million to US$30 million.

“We continued to see strong momentum in the business as we exited the third quarter, and as a result, we expect to see further expansion in revenue and profitability through the balance of the year,” Cacioppo said.

Investor takeaway

Despite the challenging nature of 2020 and its impact on the financial markets, some cannabis companies were able to pull through. Beyond these top five stocks, the industry saw substantial growth from companies in the US sector, a marketplace that is expected to only go up from now on.

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A new mega-merger deal was confirmed this week in the cannabis space.

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