Why This Cannabis Stock Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving

Over the past decade, the rise of the cannabis industry has created a lot of wealth for investors. Those who invested early likely saw their investments double or triple in just a few short years. For example, my investment in Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE: IIPR) -- a real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in leasing industrial space to medical marijuana operators -- grew over six times in just five years.

Growth at this scale is impressive by any measure, but when coupled with the company's high-paying dividends and opportunity for future growth, it's understandable to see why Innovative Industrial Properties is the gift that keeps on giving.

Marijuana in stocking with Santa hat.

Image source: Getty Images.

Double-digit growth with a bow on top

Innovative Industrial Properties is one of the unique REITs in the market today, being the first and only REIT in the medical marijuana field. The company, which has now amassed a portfolio of over 103 Properties totaling 7.7 million rentable square feet across 19 States, uses a sale-leaseback structure to lease industrial space to existing medical marijuana operators. In the fourth quarter of 2021, IIPR added 27 fully leased properties to its portfolio in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and North Dakota.

The company is rather young, first going public in 2017, but since its IPO, share prices have grown 66%, and investors have earned an over 71% return on an annualized basis. Moreover, in the nine months ended 2021, revenues jumped 82%, and diluted net income per share is up 46%, while adjusted funds from (AFFO) operations, a metric similar to earnings per share, is up 32.8%. But 2021 wasn't just an extraordinary year. Quarter over quarter, the company consistently outperforms expectations -- and there's still room to grow.

The gift of dividends

Because REITs benefit from a tax-advantaged structure, they are required to pay at least 90% of earnings to shareholders, meaning they can be a great source for reliable dividend income. Innovative Industrial Properties has increased dividends 15 times since its IPO, with its most recent increase in Q3 2021. Investors today can receive a 2.3% dividend return, which isn't stellar. But considering its payout ratio is only 87%, and it's incredibly well-positioned in terms of cash and debt, its dividend is both reliable and safe.

It's very likely dividend payouts will continue to climb as the company achieves further growth. And considering 14 states have yet to legalize marijuana for medical use, there's a lot of room to expand in the future.

10 stocks we like better than Innovative Industrial Properties
When our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Innovative Industrial Properties wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

*Stock Advisor returns as of December 16, 2021

Liz Brumer-Smith owns Innovative Industrial Properties. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Innovative Industrial Properties. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for Smart Investing to get the latest news, strategies and tips to help you invest smarter.