Two cannabis stocks are surging thanks to new legal cannabis markets

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Green Thumb and Cresco Labs are beginning to look good as potential investment targets

The beginning of this year was marked by the initiation of legal recreational cannabis sales in Illinois, which was already seeing a boom in the medical marijuana market that was legalized in 2013. Since its launch, the recreational market has been flourishing, too, bringing amazing benefits to companies that are operating in the Prairie State. Particularly, two cannabis ventures are getting the biggest advantage from this new legal market, which still has a lot of potential for growth.

Illinois residents purchased a total of $39.2 million in January, in just the first month of legalization. Since then, the sales numbers have remained strong, although January still holds the record in sales. A total of $35 million of marijuana was sold in February and another $36 million in March; April’s sales were even stronger with $37.3 million.

The first company that is surging thanks to its business activities in Illinois is Green Thumb Industries (GTI), which is currently operating 44 retail stores in 12 US states. It is one of the few cannabis stocks that are actually profitable, and it has reported triple-digit revenue growth in the past year. Just in Illinois, it is already operating seven stores and has three more licenses to launch three more dispensaries.

Another company soaring and picking up benefits of the Illinois market is Cresco Labs, also with a revenue growth metric that went up 215% compared to the same period last year. Besides the booming sales in Illinois, the company also has solid operations in California and Pennsylvania, which are also markets in constant growth. According to management’s forecasts, the Illinois market could become a $1 billion annual industry by the end of this year and Cresco opened six stores already in the state – the last one in May. This last store is located in Danville, which is a perfect positioning to draw out of state customers, too.