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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Diageo, Constellation Brands, Cara, Cronos and GW

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –September 14, 2018 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Diageo DEO, Constellation Brands STZ, Cara Therapeutics Inc. CARA, Cronos Group Inc. CRON and GW Pharmaceuticals GWPH.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Stocks to Tap the Marijuana Boom

Last year, bitcoin made investors go on a mad rush and this year, it’s marijuana stocks’ turn. This is especially true against the backdrop of more legalization of the plant for recreational use.

In the United States, nine states and Washington, D.C., have currently legalized recreational marijuana, while 29 states have legalized medical weed. Canadians will also be able to buy and consume cannabis legally, effective Oct 17. The move made Canada the second country in the world to legalize the drug for both medical and recreational use, trailing Uruguay, and the first country among G-7 nations (read: Canada Legalizes Marijuana: Two ETFs to Tap the Boom).

Growing legalization of recreational or medical marijuana has paved the way for a merger mania, spurring a large number of deal activities in the industry. The most notable among this is the beer and spirits giant Diageo, which is in talks with three Canadian pot producers for buying a stake or forming a partnership to produce cannabis-infused beverages. An international producer and beer marketer Constellation Brands invested $3.8 billion last month to increase its stake in Canopy Growth, the biggest marijuana industry deal so far. (read: Pot Stocks Are on a High: Play These Cannabis ETFs).

According to the Arcview Market Research, the U.S. legal cannabis market is projected to reach $11 billion in consumer spending this year and more than $23 billion by 2022. Per an analyst at Cowen, the U.S. legal cannabis industry is expected to reach $75 billion in sales by 2030, surpassing the carbonated soft drink market in 2017.

How to Play?

Given this, investors seeking to ride the ongoing green rush may want to tap the space. For them, we have highlighted a few stocks that could be compelling picks.

Cara Therapeutics Inc.

This biopharmaceutical company is focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pain. It has a market cap of $814.88 million and its earnings are expected to grow 1.39% next year. The stock has soared 70.3% in the year-to-date time frame and has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Cronos Group Inc.

This company is engaged in the investment in firms which are licensed to produce and sell medical marijuana. With a market cap of $2.12 billion, the stock has an estimated earnings growth of 750% for the next year. It has surged 22.9% so far this year and carries a Zacks Rank #3 (read: 5 Best Stocks of the Top ETF of August).

GW Pharmaceuticals

This is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform in a broad range of disease areas. The company has an estimated earnings growth rate of 22.17% for the next fiscal (ending on September 2019). It has a market cap of $3.88 billion and has gained 6.7% so far this year. GW Pharmaceuticals currently has a Zacks Rank #3.

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