The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSEArca: MJ) and the Canada-based Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (HMMJ) are off to a strong start in 2019 as both crossed the $1 billion mark in assets this week.

This is not the first time HMMJ crossed that milestone, last achieving the feat back in October when Canada legalized marijuana. As for MJ, like most U.S. equities, it got racked by the volatility in November and especially December as the ETF fell below its 200-day moving average.

However, MJ is up about 40 percent to start 2019 and HMMJ is up close to 50 percent. HMMJ was the first ETF to track the cannabis industry when it first arrived in the marketplace on April 2017.

MJ and its cannabis stock holdings experienced exponential growth in 2018 and could see more of the same in 2019. Neal Gilmer, a research analyst with Haywood Securities, is projecting that the US cannabis market could be worth between US$15.9 and US$21.7 billion by the year 2022.

“We remain positive on the cannabidiol (CBD) market and believe that CBD could be removed from its Schedule I classification driving further adoption across the US and likely driving solid interest and investments from companies outside of the cannabis sector,” Gilmer wrote in a research note.

U.S. AG Nominee Not Looking to ‘Upset Settled Expectations’

William Barr, U.S. President Trump’s nominee for the vacant Attorney General post left by Jeff Sessions, said he would not go after marijuana businesses in states with legislation that legalize cannabis operations. Barr’s comments came under heavy questioning from New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

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