The biggest pension fund in the U.S. has increased its exposure to marijuana stocks.
Barron’s has reported that although the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, commonly known as Calpers, has a ban on investing in tobacco stocks, it is free to invest in companies that produce marijuana for recreational use, and marijuana products.
In the fourth quarter, Calpers more than tripled its holdings of Tilray (ticker: TLRY), a Canadian marijuana grower, a form the pension filed last week to the Securities and Exchange Commission shows. It ended 2018 with 5,617 Tilray shares, up from 1,617 shares at the end of the third quarter. The Tilray stake is now worth a relatively small $430,370, but that’s up from the value of the stake at the end of the third quarter, which was $232,000.
Calpers declined to comment for this article.
Calpers also bought 221,582 additional shares of Constellation Brands (STZ) in the fourth quarter to end 2018 with 808,944 shares. Constellation, a maker of beer, wine, and spirits, has a 37% stake in Canadian marijuana producer Canopy Growth (CGC), and also owns warrants that would lift the stake to 56% if exercised. Barron’s reported this week that analysts are bullish on Constellation because of that stake in Canopy. [Read more at Barron’s]