When most people think of marijuana stocks, the last thing they think of is dividends. For the most part, this is an accurate characterization. The legal marijuana industry is still very young, and new companies in growing industries need money to expand. Therefore, they don't have excess capital to pay out as dividends. This doesn't instantly make them bad investments; it just means that as a shareholder you are hoping to make money through capital appreciation (a rising stock price) as opposed to dividend income in the near term. Furthermore, U.S. investors in the marijuana space tend to currently focus on a handful of Canadian companies that have enjoyed the opportunity to list on U.S. exchanges.
Some investors love dividend stocks, and lucky for those investors there are a few companies in the cannabis industry that pay dividends or that have paid them in the past. While the marijuana industry has been broadly struggling in recent months, these are the top dividend-paying marijuana stocks. All figures are as of May 31, 2020.
The legal marijuana industry is still very young, and new companies in growing industries need money to expand.
AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)
AbbVie Inc., the manufacturer of Marinol (dronabinol), has been paying quarterly dividends consistently since the company was spun off from Abbott Laboratories in 2013. The company remains one of the most popular marijuana pharmaceuticals developers. At the time of this writing, AbbVie's annual dividend yield was 4.9%. The company's next dividend of $1.18 is set to be paid on August 14, 2020.
Altria Group (MO)
Although Altria Group is primarily known as one of the largest tobacco companies in the world, it more recently has entered the cannabis space. In early 2019, the company paid $1.8 billion for a 45% stake in cannabinoid producer Cronos Group (CRON). While Altria is not a direct player in the cannabis industry in the way of some of the other stocks on this list, cannabis nonetheless represents a non-trivial portion of its business. Altria offers a dividend yield of 8.8%. The company's next dividend of $0.84 is set to be paid on July 10, 2020.
Associated British Foods Plc. (LON – ABF) (OTC – ASBFY)
Although Associated British Foods' main business is the processing and manufacturing of food, their wholly-owned subsidiary British Sugar cultivates cannabis for the production of GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex. The company has been paying semi-annual dividends consistently (as is British custom, versus the U.S. standard of quarterly payments) for at least the last 18 years. At the time of this writing, Associated British Foods' annual dividend yield was 1.67%. The company's most recent dividend was £0.117 per share (~$0.15) and was paid on July 6, 2018.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB)
Major cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis Inc. completed the open market sale of its Australis Capital unit in November of 2018. While Aurora has not paid a traditional dividend to investors as of this writing, the spin-off of Australis yielded a somewhat similar result. Effectively, the sale of Australis represented a roughly 1% one-time dividend for shareholders.
Compass Diversified Holdings Inc. (CODI)
Compass Diversified Holdings owns a majority interest in hemp food producer Manitoba Harvest. At the time of this writing, Compass Diversified Holdings' annual dividend yield was 8.7%. The company's most recent dividend of $0.36 was paid on April 23, 2020.
Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. (IIPR)
NYSE-listed cannabis real estate investment trust (REIT), Innovative Industrial Properties started paying a dividend in 2017. REITs are commonly associated with dividends because they are generally required to pay them to retain their tax status as a REIT.
Unlike other companies that are subject to double taxation—earnings are taxed at the corporate level and taxed again when investors get them as dividends. REITs generally don't pay corporate income tax as long as they payout at least 90% of their taxable income as dividends. This means the income is only taxed once. Shareholders pay income or capital gains taxes on their REIT dividends depending on the nature of the income from the REIT.
Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. pays a 4.5% dividend yield. The company's next dividend of $1.06 per share is set to be paid on July 15, 2020.
Invictus MD Strategies (TSXV – IMH) (OTC – IVITF)
Invictus MD Strategies Corp. doesn't have a regular dividend, but we included it here because the company has paid one in the past. The company is a platform for licensed cannabis producers across Canada. In the fall of 2016, Invictus MD paid a CAD $1,000,000 dividend (~0.108/share) after profitably exiting some investments.
Iwasaki Electric Co. Ltd. (JPX – 6924)
Iwasaki Electric Co. Ltd. is an electronics company focused on specialty lighting applications. Iwasaki Electric's wholly-owned subsidiary Eye Hortilux is a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of grow lights targeted at cannabis cultivators and more. At the time of this writing, Iwasaki Electric's most recent dividend was 40¥ a share (USD 0.35), with an ex-dividend date of March 27, 2019. Based on this, the company's annual dividend yield is 3.45%.
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG)
Scotts Miracle-Gro is helping gardeners with a different kind of "grass": marijuana. Although the company doesn't "touch the plant," Scotts has invested heavily in the space. In 2015, the company's Hawthorne Gardening Co. subsidiary purchased General Hydroponics. Scotts Miracle-Gro also has a significant stake in the desktop hydroponics company AeroGrow International—trading over-the-counter as AERO. The company's most recent dividend of $0.58 per share was paid on June 10, 2020. SMG's annual dividend yield is 1.8%.