Movers and SHAKERS
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Apple’s Marijuana Decision Will Lead to Many Critical Decisions for Investors
Taking emotion out of investing is important. The recent news that iPhone users can purchase marijuana and other products containing THC through the Apple App store has implications for portfolios beyond just wider U.S. cannabis acceptance. Although it helps to know Apple is confident in the regulatory future, this is just part of the possible investor benefit. Discovering early which apps are becoming the most downloaded, and evaluating the business models to assess if they provide for-profit and growth, may make exploring technology companies surrounding MJ as or more worthwhile as the overall lift this gives to the entire industry.
Apple’s Previous Policy
|Apps that encourage consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store. ... Facilitating the sale of controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies), marijuana, or tobacco is not allowed.|
Apple had updated its policy that banned cannabis delivery apps from the iPhone store with exceptions for “licensed or otherwise legal cannabis dispensaries.” In July, Apple approved its first MJ delivery app. The first on the phone is Eaze.
The addition of this first app means a great deal to the legal marijuana industry. Apps that have been added since include Beta, Caliva, and Pineapple Express. Weedmaps, which helps users find local dispensaries, had already been approved and available since they did not sell product. The app instead helps to locate dispensaries.
Message for the Industry
Fortune lists Apple as #6 on its 500 list of largest companies. The amount of pull, insight, and legal “firepower” that makes Apple who they are, suggests that they are confident that being part of the transfer of marijuana, which is still a federal offense, should not cause them trouble. In short order, the amount of weed transferred or delivered through an app on their product could break all previous records of marijuana sales.
Delivery App Ranking
In order to determine which MJ delivery apps are being downloaded the most, you can consult with free services that report on app downloads. Techspot provides a weekly roundup of downloaded apps on Apple. This could be a good starting point to find active companies. From here, for those companies that are publicly traded, search for the ticker on Channelchek and other top-tier trusted sites for information on growing companies.
News of Apple's inclusion of MJ delivery apps is a great sign for the entire industry. Selecting winners within different segments of the industry, and there are many, requires tools to determine where activity is, insight into management, discovering which company’s have better business models, and building a company that will either grow or be acquired at a premium.
As with other areas of investing, there is no crystal ball. Using a website to watch what companies are downloaded and Channelchek to review numbers and other news, may provide an edge.
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