Last month YOLO, or the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF, began trading, making it the first active exchange-traded fund (ETF) domiciled in the United States to deliver dedicated, fully-invested cannabis exposure.

Because of its active management component, YOLO can perform the necessary adjustments to its portfolio in quicker order versus a passive index-based strategy. According to AdvisorShares, this is of particular benefit given that the cannabis marketplace rapidly evolves, which can make way for a number of market fluctuations that can occur with investing in this niche space.

“We feel cannabis stands poised to become a market disruptor and long-term emerging growth opportunity, especially as societal, business and regulatory landscapes evolve,” said Dan Ahrens, managing director of AdvisorShares and portfolio manager of YOLO. “We believe YOLO may provide a compelling case to investors seeking emerging growth and dedicated cannabis exposure for their portfolios.”

YOLO seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in both domestic and foreign cannabis equity securities. This active ETF allocates across a universe of primarily U.S. and Canadian cannabis companies engaging in legal business which span different industries, including those specializing in consumer products. YOLO’s portfolio management team carries deep experience in the capital markets and a well-established expertise of investing in highly-regulated areas of the markets including cannabis.

Some of the top holdings in the YOLO portfolio come from a wide swath of marijuana participants, including marijuana growers, processors, suppliers, retailers, and drug makers. The list is comprised of more than 20 companies such as Village Farms International, Inc., HEXO Corp., Canopy Growth Corporation, Aurora Cannabis Inc., Neptune Wellness Solutions, Inc., Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc., Aleafia Health, Inc., WeedMD, Inc., Greenlane Holdings, Inc. Class A, and Khiron Life Sciences Corp.

YOLO cannot invest in U.S.-based companies unless those companies businesses are legal at the federal level. Even with the many regulatory barriers faced by potential issuers of cannabis ETFs, MJ’s success indicates there is appetite for these products, and YOLO aims to capitalize on that boom.

“Until now, the Nasdaq has not been willing to list companies that have U.S. ‘plant touching’ cannabis operations,” said cannabis lawyer David Feldman, a partner at Duane Morris. “What’s interesting is that they didn’t tie this to Nasdaq, they tied it to legalization.”

Here is the current YOLO ETF Holdings as of May 23, 2019:

Stock TickerSecurity NumberSecurity DescriptionShares/Par (Full)Price (Base)Traded Market Value (Base)
Portfolio Weight %
OGIBQ963P6ORGANIGRAM HOLDINGS INC701,155.007.225,064,388.808.88%
IIPR45781V101INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROPER47,000.0086.614,070,670.007.14%
TGODBG0DCR1GREEN ORGANIC DUTCHMAN HOLDI1,315,531.003.013,955,089.126.94%
APHA03765K104APHRIA INC582,933.006.413,736,600.536.55%
CTST137800207CANNTRUST HOLDINGS INC654,517.005.693,724,201.736.53%
VFF92707Y108VILLAGE FARMS INTERNATIONAL237,359.0013.513,206,720.095.62%
HEXO428304109HEXO CORP437,095.006.652,906,681.755.10%
CARA140755109CARA THERAPEUTICS INC155,103.0018.432,858,548.295.01%
CGC138035100CANOPY GROWTH CORP61,100.0044.562,722,616.004.78%
ACB05156X108AURORA CANNABIS INC319,595.008.252,636,658.754.62%
NEPT64079L105NEPTUNE WELLNESS SOLUTIONS I576,682.004.092,358,629.384.14%
EMHBYQ0XN5EMERALD HEALTH THERAPEUTICS841,388.002.732,298,498.884.03%
CRBP21833P103CORBUS PHARMACEUTICALS HOLDI296,095.007.272,152,610.653.78%
ALEFBDRXWQ2ALEAFIA HEALTH INC1,651,236.001.141,887,687.213.31%
TLRY88688T100TILRAY INC-CLASS 2 COMMON39,000.0044.791,746,810.003.06%
FIREBFN2HL7SUPREME CANNABIS CO INC/THE1,154,878.001.341,543,152.252.71%
NTECM53644106INTEC PHARMA LTD289,845.005.141,489,803.302.61%
WMDBDH43N9WEEDMD INC1,146,767.001.251,438,672.882.52%
ARNA40047607ARENA PHARMACEUTICALS INC25,850.0053.21,375,220.002.41%
RIVBF5HVC9CANOPY RIVERS INC392,480.003.271,284,861.412.25%
KHRNBDGH0L6KHIRON LIFE SCIENCES CORP512,350.002.321,190,450.232.09%
GNLN395330103GREENLANE HOLDINGS INC – A76,254.0015.171,156,773.182.03%
ZYNE98986X109ZYNERBA PHARMACEUTICALS INC83,275.0013.531,126,710.751.98%
PYX74737V106PYXUS INTERNATIONAL INC57,340.0017.841,022,945.601.79%


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