Global marijuana stocks are expected to reach $63.5 billion by 2024, meaning that if you aren't already considering investing in cannabis, now might be an optimal time—particularly because people have never been more in need of the stress-relief that this product can provide.

Before investing, if you're a total beginner, you'll need to start building your investment portfolio. Apps like Robinhood can help you buy, sell, and monitor stocks in minutes, while sites like Vanguard provide more comprehensive options. Then you'll want to set aside an investment budget, which will look different for everyone. In general, you'll want to invest around 10 percent or less of your portfolio into individual stocks.

Here are five steps you need to take in order to invest successfully in the cannabis industry.

Understand the different types of marijuana stocks you can invest in

There are two main types of marijuana stocks you can invest in: medical and recreational. In the United States, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and can be prescribed by doctors. CBD is one of the more popular types of medical marijuana and has been proven to be an effective way of combating epilepsy, as well as several other rare diseases.

The other, riskier option is to go ahead and invest in recreational marijuana. 11 U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana, but it's been legal in Canada since 2018.

Decide what type of product you want to invest in

If you're going to invest in marijuana, you have three main options. You might invest in a cannabis grower and retailer, such as Canopy Growth; you might invest in a cannabis biotech company like GW Pharmaceuticals, which focuses on developing cannabinoid drugs; or you might choose to invest in a company that creates products for cannabis growers.

Do your research on your company of choice

Now that you know a bit more about how to go about investing, it's time to do your research. Companies that can grow cannabis for a lower cost will be more competitive, and companies with international connections can be more reliable. It's also important to examine whether the company you're investing in is growing sustainably. Scroll through reports from the past few years to see which companies are strongest and most promising.

Money Done Right suggests that you break your research down into two parts:

  1. Fundamental analysis (which focuses on key information like quarterly profits and income)
  2. Technical analysis (which focuses on price performance and stock price patterns; this takes more effort and might require some outside help)

Regardless, you'll probably want to invest in a variety of cannabis companies. Apps like 420 Investor, Stash, and MarketWatch can help you keep track.

4. Know the risks

Cannabis is definitely a volatile industry. It remains federally illegal in the U.S., and though the industry is expanding, initial stocks have performed shakily. You may want to consider investing in medical marijuana products first before leaping into the recreational sphere.

5. Try out these companies

Despite the risks, some cannabis companies have performed better than others. Some of the best-reviewed marijuana stocks in April 2020 were:

Innovative Industrial Properties

This is a real estate investment trust that focuses on the medical cannabis industry. "A high-pedigree management team and strong business fundamentals helped IIPR raise $250 million in January despite the tight market," said Michael Underhill of Capital Investments in Wisconsin. "The stock's more than 25% year-to-date increase compares favorably to the -15% return of the North America Marijuana Index."

Curaleaf Holdings

This company operates in 12 states in the U.S., and it's America's only cannabis producer that works in the medical, recreational, cultivation, processing, and dispensary sectors. It has a "reported third quarter pro forma revenue of $129 million and adjusted EBITDA of $9 million."

Cronos Group

This Canadian-based investment group is dominating the international medical marijuana market. With a cash balance of CA$1.47 billion at the end of the third quarter, Cronos is growing fast.

Canopy Group

Canopy reported a $2.07 billion in cash equivalents in January. Plus, they now have a license to grow hemp in New York and have launched a massive cultivation facility. They also launched First & Free, an online company that sells hemp and CBD products, and they've partnered with Martha Stewart to sell their products.

Tilray

Tilray is another great option in the CBD sphere. The company acquired Manitoba Harvest, a stock worth $419 million Canadian dollars, in February 2019, allowing the company to spread its hemp distribution capabilities around the world.

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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.