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 Ticker Security Number Security Description Shares/Par (Full) Price (Base) Traded Market Value (Base)
Portfolio Weight %
OGI BQ963P6 ORGANIGRAM HOLDINGS INC 701,155.00 7.22 5,064,388.80 8.88%
IIPR 45781V101 INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROPER 47,000.00 86.61 4,070,670.00 7.14%
TGOD BG0DCR1 GREEN ORGANIC DUTCHMAN HOLDI 1,315,531.00 3.01 3,955,089.12 6.94%
APHA 03765K104 APHRIA INC 582,933.00 6.41 3,736,600.53 6.55%
CTST 137800207 CANNTRUST HOLDINGS INC 654,517.00 5.69 3,724,201.73 6.53%
VFF 92707Y108 VILLAGE FARMS INTERNATIONAL 237,359.00 13.51 3,206,720.09 5.62%
HEXO 428304109 HEXO CORP 437,095.00 6.65 2,906,681.75 5.10%
CARA 140755109 CARA THERAPEUTICS INC 155,103.00 18.43 2,858,548.29 5.01%
CGC 138035100 CANOPY GROWTH CORP 61,100.00 44.56 2,722,616.00 4.78%
ACB 05156X108 AURORA CANNABIS INC 319,595.00 8.25 2,636,658.75 4.62%
NEPT 64079L105 NEPTUNE WELLNESS SOLUTIONS I 576,682.00 4.09 2,358,629.38 4.14%
EMH BYQ0XN5 EMERALD HEALTH THERAPEUTICS 841,388.00 2.73 2,298,498.88 4.03%
CRBP 21833P103 CORBUS PHARMACEUTICALS HOLDI 296,095.00 7.27 2,152,610.65 3.78%
ALEF BDRXWQ2 ALEAFIA HEALTH INC 1,651,236.00 1.14 1,887,687.21 3.31%
TLRY 88688T100 TILRAY INC-CLASS 2 COMMON 39,000.00 44.79 1,746,810.00 3.06%
FIRE BFN2HL7 SUPREME CANNABIS CO INC/THE 1,154,878.00 1.34 1,543,152.25 2.71%
NTEC M53644106 INTEC PHARMA LTD 289,845.00 5.14 1,489,803.30 2.61%
WMD BDH43N9 WEEDMD INC 1,146,767.00 1.25 1,438,672.88 2.52%
ARNA 40047607 ARENA PHARMACEUTICALS INC 25,850.00 53.2 1,375,220.00 2.41%
RIV BF5HVC9 CANOPY RIVERS INC 392,480.00 3.27 1,284,861.41 2.25%
KHRN BDGH0L6 KHIRON LIFE SCIENCES CORP 512,350.00 2.32 1,190,450.23 2.09%
GNLN 395330103 GREENLANE HOLDINGS INC – A 76,254.00 15.17 1,156,773.18 2.03%
ZYNE 98986X109 ZYNERBA PHARMACEUTICALS INC 83,275.00 13.53 1,126,710.75 1.98%
PYX 74737V106 PYXUS INTERNATIONAL INC 57,340.00 17.84 1,022,945.60 1.79%
X9USDBLYT BLACKROCK TREASURY TRUST INSTL 62 193,097.67 1 193,097.67 0.34%
CASH -132,480.86 100 -132,480.86 -0.23%


For more investing news, visit