Cultivating Returns: The Best Cannabis REITs of March 2024

March 2024’s Premier Cannabis REITs

This week, the spotlight shines on top Cannabis Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), pivotal players in the burgeoning U.S. cannabis sector. As state-level legalization expands, these REITs offer investors a unique entry point. They finance the growth of dispensaries and cultivation centers. The promise of high yields magnifies this sector’s allure, especially in a market carving its niche amidst regulatory challenges. Investors are keenly watching these REITs. Overall, they seek to capitalize on the industry’s upward trajectory. Their performance is a barometer for the sector’s health and potential.

The U.S. cannabis industry is poised for significant growth, fueled by legislative tailwinds and increasing social acceptance. Technical analysis and proper risk management are crucial for navigating this volatile landscape. They help investors identify trends and make informed decisions. In addition, analysts forecast a robust future, with sales potentially hitting unprecedented highs. Yet, the market’s volatility demands a strategic approach. Investors must balance the lure of high returns against the risks inherent in a developing industry. This ensures a judicious investment strategy, maximizing potential gains while mitigating risks.

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  1. Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR)
  2. NewLake Capital Partners, Inc. (OTC: NLCP)
  3. Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance, Inc. (NASDAQ: REFI)

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc.

Among cannabis REITs, Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIP) is unique. It was established in 2016 with a focus on establishments offering medical marijuana. IIP purchases holds and manages specialty industrial properties. These properties are leased to operators with prior expertise and state permissions. As of 2023, IIP had 111 properties spread throughout 19 states. Most of them reside in California, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. These states have substantial medical cannabis markets. IIP’s multi-domain presence demonstrates its strategic methodology.

Contracts for triple-net leasing are included in IIP’s business plan. Under these arrangements, the tenant bears the majority of the property expenditures. This partnership provides IIP with a consistent and predictable funding stream. Their financial stability depends on it. The company’s growth parallels the rise of the US cannabis market. IIP has steadily grown its portfolio since its establishment. This growth is a reflection of the growing demand for cannabis-related real estate. Investors can purchase cannabis-related real estate through Innovative Industrial Properties at a reduced regulatory risk. This is because it places a lot of attention on characteristics that can be used in medicine.

Full Year 2023 Highlights

In 2023, Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP) showcased a robust financial performance, marking a significant year of growth and expansion. The company generated total revenues of approximately $309.5 million, up 12% from 2022, underscoring its strong position in the cannabis real estate sector. Net income for common stockholders hit around $164.2 million, translating to $5.77 per share, reflecting a solid 5% increase over the previous year. Additionally, both adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) and normalized funds from operations (Normalized FFO) saw increases of 10% and 9%, respectively, demonstrating IIP’s operational efficiency and profitability. Dividend payouts continued their upward trend, with $7.22 per share declared, highlighting IIP’s commitment to delivering shareholder value. Strategic investments, including property acquisitions and lease amendments, alongside a notable sale of a California property portfolio, further emphasized IIP’s dynamic and growth-oriented operational strategy.

The company’s engagement in sustainability, community, and governance was evidenced by the publication of its third annual Sustainability Report. IIP’s property portfolio expanded to 108 properties across 19 states, totaling 8.9 million rentable square feet, a testament to its strategic expansion and footprint in the cannabis industry. For the fourth quarter of 2023 alone, IIP reported a 12% increase in total revenues compared to the same period in the previous year, with net income for common stockholders at approximately $41.3 million. The end of the year also saw the execution of a Loan Agreement, enhancing IIP’s liquidity and financial flexibility. This comprehensive performance across financial metrics, strategic acquisitions, and commitment to sustainability positions IIP strongly as it navigates the growing cannabis sector, with a clear focus on leveraging opportunities for expansion and maximizing shareholder returns.

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NewLake Capital Partners, Inc.

Real estate for the cannabis business is NewLake Capital Partners, Inc.’s area of expertise. They purchase real estate and then lease it to operators with state licenses. They have retail stores and cultivation centers in their business. This arrangement guarantees NewLake consistent rental income while giving operators access to financing.


When I last checked, NewLake had a sizable portfolio of properties across several states. It is most prevalent in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and California. These regions are essential cannabis markets in the United States. Their advantageous locations support some of the largest operators in the field.

Third Quarter 2023 Financial Highlights

NewLake Capital Partners, Inc. published financial results for the third quarter of 2023 that showed stable performance in key indicators from quarter to quarter. $11.5 million in revenue and $6.0 million in net income for common stockholders were the same. In addition, the reported amounts for Adjusted Funds from Operations (AFFO) and Funds from Operations (FFO) were $10.1 million and $9.6 million, respectively. Even though $20.2 million was allocated to financing tenant improvements (TIs), the company’s $31.1 million in cash and cash equivalents demonstrated its liquidity. Due to one tenant’s nonpayment of rent, year-over-year comparisons showed modest drops in all categories, which had a negative impact on revenue, net income, FFO, and AFFO.

During the quarter, the company’s stock repurchase program saw the repurchase of 608,152 shares at an average price of $13.02. Additionally, a $0.39 dividend per common share was declared. These were the operational highlights. Notable events included selling a cultivation facility in Palmer, Massachusetts, and a lease amendment with Revolutionary Clinics in Massachusetts. Furthermore, NewLake provided funding for TIs totaling about $2.6 million over three properties. TIs were funded, and purchases were the primary forms of investment activity for the nine months that concluded on September 30, 2023. One noteworthy transaction was the growth of a Missouri agricultural plant.

Along with its projection for 2023, the company reaffirmed its AFFO guidance, which showed a slight improvement over the prior year. In addition, on March 11 at 11:00 a.m. ET, NewLake Capital Partners will have an earnings call for the fourth quarter and full year of 2023.

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Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance, Inc. (REFI)

Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance, Inc. is a prominent player in the finance sector of the cannabis market. They specialize in credit solutions and funding for real estate. Their services help entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry at various stages of their business life cycle. Chicago Atlantic acts as a go-between for the financing needs and growth potential of the cannabis industry.


The company has an extensive portfolio, with numerous locations funded in significant states. As a result, in areas where legal marijuana markets are flourishing, they are well-represented. These include, among the states, California, Illinois, and Michigan. Their purposeful focus on these areas demonstrates their commitment to supporting the growth of the cannabis industry.

Third Quarter 2023 Financial Results

Chicago Atlantic reported a portfolio with total loan commitments of about $355.9 million as of September 30, 2023. This comprises $11.2 million scheduled for future funding across 27 investments and $344.7 million previously funded. The portfolio’s weighted average yield to maturity climbed slightly to 19.3%. The coverage of real estate collateral stayed at 1.5 times. Also, there was a small increase in the loan to enterprise value ratio, 42.5%. Variable interest rate loans had a decline from 88% to 81%.

Chicago Atlantic provided $32.8 million to new borrowers out of $35.4 million in gross originations during the third quarter. $10.9 million in principal repayments were made up of this. On October 13, 2023, the business distributed a $0.47 cash dividend per share on a quarterly basis. $13.7 million was the net interest income, and $3.9 million was the total expenses before credit loss provisions. The rise in distributable earnings to $10.5 million, or $0.57 per share, occurred. The increase in book value per share to $15.17 can be ascribed to earnings that exceeded dividend payments. The company reiterated its financial estimate for 2023 and keeps its leverage ratio at roughly 23 percent.

Top Cannabis REIT Picks for March 2024: Where Growth Meets Opportunity

As the U.S. cannabis industry continues to flourish, top Cannabis REITs like Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP) emerge as compelling watches this week. Overall, their impressive financial performance in 2023, including significant revenue growth and solid net income increases, positions them as key beneficiaries of the industry’s expansion. In addition, these REITs offer investors a unique blend of real estate stability and cannabis sector growth potential. With the cannabis market expected to expand further, driven by ongoing legalization and social acceptance, REITs involved in this space are poised for continued success. Investors should keep a close eye on these entities. They represent a strategic opportunity to tap into the growth of the cannabis industry while mitigating risks associated with direct investment in cannabis production and sales.

Employing technical analysis and proper risk management strategies is crucial when investing in Cannabis REITs. Investors should analyze trends, support and resistance levels, and historical performance to make informed decisions. Diversification within the portfolio can also help manage risk, as the cannabis industry remains subject to regulatory and market volatility. Understanding the unique dynamics of the cannabis market, including legal developments and consumer trends, will be essential. As the industry grows, so does the potential for Cannabis REITs. But this comes with increased scrutiny and the need for strategic financial planning. In general, investors should approach these opportunities with a balance of optimism and caution, ready to navigate the complexities of this evolving market.

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