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Cannabis investing’s latest bet: A new marijuana ETF with the ticker YOLO


Cannabis investing’s latest bet: A new marijuana ETF with the ticker YOLO

You only live once, but when it comes to cannabis, your investing options are seemingly endless.

Case in point: Last week saw the debut of a new marijuana-themed exchange-traded fund called the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF, an actively managed fund with nearly $2.5 million assets under management. Trading under the ticker YOLO, the ETF is backed by BNY Mellon and holds shares of Canadian growers like Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth.

A few things about this particular fund set it apart from its 3-year-old counterpart, the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF, ticker MJ. First, it’s actively manage, which means that it aims to outperform the broader cannabis space with the help of a. Professional money manager second, it’s bank-backe, which lends credibility.

“The previous fund here, MJ, had to kind of do a bit of an end-around” with its backers, ETF.com Managing Director Dave Nadig told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” on Monday. “They sort of turned a Latin American real estate fund into a marijuana fund. … They had to go get Wedbush, a broker-dealer, to hold the assets. And that’s fine, but the difference is it’s not a bank. It’s not regulate like a bank, and a lot of institutional investors really care about these things.”

AdvisorShares got around those hurdles by putting together a preapproved list of holdings with BNY Mellon, Nadig said.

“Because it’s actively manage, obviously they need to know what’s OK and what’s not OK” to trade, he said. “So they’re working through their ‘OK’ list, and they’ve put together a portfolio which, when you look at it, looks. Like a pretty darn good pure-play cannabis ETF.”

Another important distinction is YOLO’s list of holdings, which includes 20 stocks involved either directly or tangentially in the marijuana. Trade nadig pointed out just how “pure” that looks in comparison to MJ, which invests in companies like gardening product maker Scotts Miracle-Gro and tobacco giant Philip Morris in the hopes they’ll get into the space.

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