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 which 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. These are the top dividend-paying marijuana stocks. All figures are as of October 27, 2019.
The legal marijuana industry is still very young, and new companies in growing industries need money to expand.
AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: 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. However, in early January, AbbVie revealed that its drug Imbruvia had failed a key portion of a clinical trial to test its effectiveness against metastatic pancreatic cancer. At the time of this writing, AbbVie's annual dividend yield was 5.72%. The company's most recent dividend is $1.07 per share, which was paid to qualifying investors on August 15, 2019. Its next dividend is also $1.07 per share, slated to be paid on November 15, 2019.
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. (NYSE: 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 7.30%. The company's most recent dividend of $0.36 was paid on October 24, 2019.
Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. (NYSE: 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 (meaning 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 pay out at least 90% of their taxable income as dividends. This means the income is only taxed once. Shareholders pay income and/or capital gains taxes on their REIT dividends depending on the nature of the income from the REIT.
Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. pays a 4.34% dividend yield. The company increased its quarterly dividend to $0.35 in October of 2018, to $0.45 in March of 2019 and to $0.60 on July 15, 2019. The most quarterly dividend also marks a significant increase: dividends of $0.78 per share were paid on October 15, 2019.
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 of 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 2.04%.
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: 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 (OTC: AERO). The company's most recent dividend, increasing from $0.55 to $0.58 per share, was paid to investors on September 10, 2019. SMG's annual dividend yield is 2.34%.