Marijuana buds are packaged for sale at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of their grand opening in Northglenn, Colorado Dec. 31, 2013.
Rick Wilking/Reuters

Green Bulls: Investors flock to marijuana stocks

While the Dow and S&P rang in the New Year with its first negative start to a year since 2008, a trio of marijuana stocks was pure diesel.  

Stocks opened down on Thursday after a one-day holiday market closure and continued to slide, but despite market trends, and buoyed by heavy media coverage of the nation’s first legal sales of marijuana on Wednesday, investors appear to be paying attention to the mean green money machine.

Leading the pack is Medbox, Inc. (MDBX) a business that sells and services sophisticated marijuana storage and vending machines. Currently valued at $357 million, the company’s stock shot up almost 50% before settling down for a gain of 35% at 24.70, its highest close since October.

Finishing at a close second GrowLife, Inc. (PHOT) logged an impressive 31% increase in share price with the penny stock closing near $0.20, matching the highest valuation of the company in over one year. The California-based company manufactures a range of plant-growing systems marketed towards the marijuana industry. When markets closed Thursday, GrowLife had a market cap topping $140 million.  GrowLife president Marco Hegyi told MSNBC that his company is looking forward to continued growth as retail sales will commence in Washington state later this year, and that he, “appreciates that investors recognize that GrowLife is one of the few fully-reporting, revenue generating companies in this dynamic and growing industry.”

In third with the bronze is Medical Marijuana, Inc. (MJNA) whose share price more than doubled to $0.32 during mid-day trading before settling down to a close at $0.19 and a gain of more than 22%. With 48 employees, a market cap of $180 million, and more than three years of trading history, MJNA is perhaps the most mature marijuana player available to investors today. MJNA is also unique in that it produces pharmaceutical products containing marijuana compounds including non-psychoactive therapeutic products used to treat certain types of epilepsy and autism.

Colorado and Stock Market

Green Bulls: Investors flock to marijuana stocks