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People who are interested in marijuana stocks but don't necessarily want to stock pick have a new alternative. This is the Cambria Cannabis ETF (NYSE: TOKE), an actively managed exchange-traded fund concentrating exclusively on marijuana stocks. The fund made its debut as a publicly traded security on Monday.
Cambria Cannabis ETF is managed by Cambria Investment Management, a privately held, Los Angeles-based financial services company that says it has more than $1 billion in assets under management, plus a suite of equity and bond ETFs. Cambria Cannabis ETF is its first thematic fund.
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Cambria Cannabis ETF is relatively small, with just under $2.5 million in net assets spread among 31 holdings. It has most of the top marijuana stocks in its portfolio, with Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) boasting the heaviest weighting. Aurora Cannabis accounts for 6.6% of the ETF's net assets; lighter positions include GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH), CannTrust Holdings (NASDAQ: TRST) (NYSE: CTST), and Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC).
In the Cambria Cannabis ETF prospectus, its manager says it aims to have a minimum of 80% of the fund's net assets invested in cannabis companies. It defines these as companies having at least 50% of their revenue from the sale of cannabis and/or related and derivative products.
Cambria Investment Management claims that its new ETF has the lowest costs among marijuana-themed ETFs. Its gross expense ratio is 0.59%, and its net expense ratio is 0.42%, the company wrote in a press release.
In that release, Cambria Investment Management quoted its co-founder (and the fund's portfolio manager) Mebane Faber as saying that Cambria Cannabis ETF "has the potential to be a long-term growth story characterized by structural and behavioral inefficiencies."
The ETF's debut comes at a rather turbulent time for marijuana stocks. CannTrust Holdings recently fired its CEO on the back of a scandal over unlicensed growing, while Aurora Cannabis was hit by a recommendation downgrade from an influential stock analyst. Together, Aurora Cannabis and CannTrust Holdings alone make up more than 11% of the new fund's net assets.
Cambria Cannabis ETF joins a small but rapidly growing club of broadly marijuana-themed ETFs. These include the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF, which has developed a general cannabis industry focus, and the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF. Both of these funds, by the way, feature Aurora Cannabis among their top weightings -- the former at just over 10%, the latter at close to 7%.
In addition to being on the NYSE, Cambria Cannabis ETF trades on the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) under the same appropriate ticker symbol, TOKE. At the end of its first day of trading, its net asset value (NAV) per share was $24.70.
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