Let's face it: Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth are pretty much in a league of their own among marijuana stocks. They have the biggest market caps, the highest production capacities, and the most significant international operations.
Which smaller Canadian marijuana stock has the best shot at joining the ranks with these top-tier players? By smaller, I'm referring to small-cap stocks with market caps of less than $2 billion, which excludes Cronos Group and Tilray from consideration.
The three obvious candidates are Aphria (NYSE: APHA), Organigram (NASDAQ: OGI), and HEXO (NYSEMKT: HEXO). Here's why these companies seem to have the best chances of joining Aurora and Canopy at the top of the pack.
Image source: Getty Images.
My view is that Aphria is the most likely smaller marijuana stock to make the big leap. Actually, I think that Aphria probably has the most upside potential of any of the Canadian marijuana producers with $1 billion or higher market caps for several reasons.
Aphria ranks in third place behind Aurora and Canopy in terms of production capacity. It can produce 115,000 kilograms on an annual basis currently and is on track to boost its capacity to around 255,000 kilograms annually by the end of this year.
The company also has a solid international presence already -- and it's in global markets where the greater long-term growth potential lies. Aphria was, along with Aurora, one of three companies to win approval to cultivate medical cannabis in Germany. It's in a strong position to reach the rest of Europe and is positioned well in Australia and Latin America, too.
These attributes combined with Aphria's relatively attractive valuation could make the company a prime candidate for partnering with major players outside of the cannabis industry. Landing the right partner just might catapult Aphria into the top tier.
Organigram is beating Aurora, Canopy Growth, and nearly every other Canadian marijuana stock in one key arena -- stock performance. Its share price enjoyed a nice bounce from the approval to be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. This is a big step for Organigram since it was behind many of its peers in listing its shares on a U.S. exchange.
The company is no slouch when it comes to production capacity. Organigram is on course to have an annualized production capacity of 113,000 kilograms by the end of this year.
Although Organigram is smaller than Aurora and Canopy, it claims supply agreements with nine provinces and a signed letter of intent with Quebec that would give the company a presence in all of Canada's provinces. It's also in great shape for the Canadian cannabis edibles market that is scheduled to open later this year. And the company has a launching pad in Europe with its collaborations with Alpha-cannabis in Germany and Serbian hemp producer Eviana.
Like Aphria, Organigram doesn't have a big partner outside of the cannabis industry. But the company's low production costs, industry-leading gross margins, and overall potential could catch the attention of some major players in the alcoholic beverages, consumer packaged goods, and/or tobacco industries.
HEXO is sort of the oddball of the three smaller marijuana stocks that could join the ranks of Aurora and Canopy Growth. The company already has a key partnership with Molson Coors Brewing to develop cannabis-infused beverages.
In addition, HEXO is a favorite of at least one Wall Street analyst. Bank of America's Christopher Carey likes the company's partnership with Molson Coors but especially views HEXO's position in the adult-use recreational marijuana market in Quebec, Canada's second-largest province in terms of population.
Last year, HEXO scored a massive supply agreement with Quebec. The deal gives the company a market share of at least 30% for the next few years. HEXO should have ample capacity to serve the market as it's on track to produce 150,000 kilograms of cannabis per year.
One key for HEXO to vault into the upper echelon of Canadian marijuana stocks is to increase its international presence. The company has a start with its partnership with Greek cannabis operator Qannabos. HEXO could also line up additional big partners, the company's preferred strategy to entering the U.S. hemp market.
I think that Aphria has the best shot at moving up to the big league with Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth, but I wouldn't dismiss the possibility that either Organigram or HEXO could get there sooner. However, it's certainly not a foregone conclusion that any of these companies will become top-tier players.
Canopy Growth's cash from its deal with Constellation Brands and the relationship with the big alcoholic beverage maker gives the company a major advantage that could be sustainable over the long run. Aurora is taking a different partnership path by seeking deals that don't involve equity stakes, but it's one that could make the company even more formidable in the future.
Once companies establish a gap between themselves and the rest of the field, it's hard for others to close the distance. If any smaller marijuana producers can do it, I suspect that it will be either Aphria, Organigram, or HEXO. But jumping into the top ranks is easier said than done.
让我们来面对吧：奥罗拉（Aurora） Cannabis 和 Canopy Growth 在大麻类股中几乎属于自己。它们拥有最大的市场份额、最高的生产能力和最重要的国际业务。
哪种规模较小的加拿大大麻库存在与这些顶级玩家的排名中表现最好？我指的是市值不到20亿美元的小型股，不包括 CronosGroup 和 Tilray 。
三个明显的候选人是 Aphria （ NYSE ： APHA ）、 Organigram （ NASDAQ ： OGI ）和 HEXO （ NYSEMKT ： HEXO ）。这就是为什么这些公司似乎有最好的机会加入奥罗拉（Aurora）和光标的顶部的包装。
图片来源： Getty Images 。
我的观点是， Aphria 是最有可能实现大飞跃的较小的大麻库存。事实上，我认为 Aphria 可能是加拿大大麻生产商中最具上升潜力的，因为有几个原因，其市值超过10亿美元或更高。
在产能方面， Aphria 排名第三，仅次于奥罗拉（Aurora）和 Canopy 。目前，该公司每年可生产11.5万公斤，并有望在今年年底前将年产能提高到25.5万公斤左右。
这些属性加上 Aphria 相对有吸引力的估值，可能使该公司成为与大麻行业以外的主要参与者合作的主要候选人。找到合适的合作伙伴可能会使 Aphria 进入高层。
在一个关键的领域——股票表现——器官谱系正在击败奥罗拉（Aurora）、 Canopy Growth 以及几乎所有其他加拿大大麻股票。从获准在纳斯达克( Nasdaq )上市以来，该公司股价出现了不错的反弹。这是 Organigram 迈出的一大步，因为该公司在美国交易所上市的股票落后于许多同行。
尽管 Organigram 的规模小于奥罗拉（Aurora）和 Canopy ，但它声称与9个省签订了供货协议，并与魁北克签署了意向书，这将使该公司在加拿大所有省份都有业务。这也是加拿大大麻食品市场的一个很好的形式，计划在今年晚些时候开放。该公司与德国的阿尔法大麻公司和塞尔维亚大麻生产商 Eviana 在欧洲有一个发射台。
像 Aphria 一样， Organigram 在大麻产业之外没有大的合作伙伴。但该公司的低生产成本、行业领先的毛利率以及整体潜力，可能会吸引一些酒精饮料、消费品和/或烟草行业的主要参与者的注意力。
HEXO 是三只规模较小的大麻股票中最奇怪的一只，它们可能加入奥罗拉（Aurora）和 Canopy Growth 的行列。该公司已经与 MolsonCoors Brewing 建立了关键的合作伙伴关系，以开发大麻饮料。
此外， HEXO 是至少一位华尔街分析师的最爱。美国银行( Bank of America )的克里斯托弗•凯里( Christopher Carey )喜欢该公司与 Molson Cooks 的合作关系，但尤其看好 HEXO 在加拿大人口第二大省魁北克省成人娱乐用大麻市场的地位。
去年， HEXO 与魁北克达成了一项大规模供应协议。该交易使该公司未来几年的市场份额至少达到30%。HEXO 应该有足够的能力来服务市场，因为它正处于每年生产15万公斤大麻的轨道上。
HEXO 要跻身加拿大大麻库存的上层，关键之一是增加其国际影响力。该公司与希腊大麻运营商 Qanabos 建立了合作关系。HEXO 还可能与更多的大合作伙伴合作，这是该公司进军美国大麻市场的首选策略。
我认为 Aphria 在与奥罗拉·坎纳比斯和 Canopy Growth 的大联盟中有最好的表现，但是我不认为 Organigram 或 HEXO 都有可能更快的到来。然而，这些公司中的任何一家都将成为顶级参与者，这肯定不是一个放弃的结论。
Canopy Growth 通过与 Constellation Brands 的交易以及与这家大型酒精饮料制造商的关系获得的现金，使该公司获得了长期可持续的主要优势。奥罗拉（Aurora）正在采取另一种伙伴关系的方式，寻求不涉及股权的交易，但这可能使公司未来更加强大。
一旦公司在自己和其他领域建立了差距，其他公司就很难缩小差距。如果任何较小的大麻生产者能够做到这一点，我怀疑它将是 Aphria ， Organigram ，或 HEXO 。但要想跻身最高行列，说起来比做得更容易。