More and more states (over 35) have already legalized medical and recreational marijuana to some degree. So, is now a good time to buy Pot Stocks, or should I wait until the Feds give the thumbs up?

Pot Stocks

Stoners who own Pot Stocks

In my world, I consider comedians like George Carlin and Cheech and Chong my countercultural heroes. They represent good times, great friends, and gut-busting belly-laughs – all before realizing that I should have been appalled.

And as a backdrop to this week’s topic – appropriate.

Should I Buy Pot Stocks Now?

A frequent question I ask myself, “should I buy into Pot Stocks, now that more and more states are legalizing the recreational use of marijuana?” My answer: It depends on my expectations.

Pot Stocks for Building Wealth
(Not Likely)

If I think I will make money from the long-term asset growth of Pot Stocks, then I will be disappointed. The current crop of available Pot Stocks is mostly Canadian or small-scale U.S. Medical Marijuana companies. Although I can find listings for some quality corporate Pot Stocks within the U.S. Stock Markets, most are extranational corporations or were developed as speculative only. And once the U.S. legalizes marijuana, most of these stocks will be obliterated.

If I’m focused on wealth building, I can buy plenty of other much more profitable stocks.

Pot Stocks for Pocket Cash
(Highly Possible)

But, as a short-term cash maker, I can consider trading on Pot Stock’s volatility.

Of all the stocks I have in my portfolio, my Pot Stocks are the most neurotic. They fly off the charts on any sort of legalization rumors. Then they crash into a deep depression when Stock-Stonners realize that nothing is happening. Then some Congressman will say something about legalization, and the cycle starts over.

Picking a Pot Stock with enough volume to have a well-developed Option Chain will let me sell low-probability Cover Calls or Cash Secure Puts for maximum premiums. Options trading volatile Pot Stocks can easily yield an excellent monthly income.

Pot Stocks – The Next Bitcoin?
(Derisive Snort)

To be honest, most of us Pot Stock owners invested because of the excitement of buying Penny Stocks that could explode with the next multibillion-dollar industry. But for me, I can say that I really didn’t think this through.

Speculating that commercialized marijuana will be a big industry for the U.S. is reasonable. And when compared to the cryptocurrency markets, buying Pot Stocks early (like Bitcoin) and watching the stocks supernova (like Bitcoin) is a siren song.

There is a problem comparing a burgeoning marijuana market with cryptocurrency. Before Bitcoin, there was no viable cryptocurrency market. But for marijuana, when the U.S. Government recognizes it as legal, it will fall into the middle of the magnetar sector called Pharmaceuticals.

So if I think that any of my Canadian Stocks will stand a chance – I must be smoking something!


Is Marijuana Legal in the U.S.?

A growing number of states are legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. In those state’s legal systems, limited possession of marijuana is not a prosecutable offense. So, if I get pulled over for a traffic stop or drawn into a state-legal battle (for whatever reason), my possession of a small amount of marijuana will not be an issue. But I cannot say the same thing if I get arrested in an Airport, Bus Station, or any premises under Federal jurisdiction.

Marijuana Is a Section 1 Drug

The DEA still classifies marijuana as a Section 1 substance. Section 1 also includes drugs like heroin and LSD. Thus, possession of marijuana remains a severely prosecutable offense in Federal Court. This classification is why no US-based corporation deals in manufacturing or distributing anything that contains the recreational use of THC. If I were to register as a recreational marijuana corporation in the U.S., I would have to conform to the SEC, OSHA, and many other Federal guidelines, thus putting my company under Federal jurisdiction.

What Happens to My Stocks if the Feds Legalize Marijuana?

To disclose, I own three separate Pot Stocks – CRON, ACB, and MJNA. I bought these shortly after Canada legalized recreational marijuana nationwide, and the excitement sent these assets soring. But unfortunately, after the buzz subsided, all these Pot Stocks crashed back to what they were before we all went nuts. Sad!

But it is good to question what would happen to my Pot Stocks if the Federal Government legalized recreational marijuana. My most speculative answer – they will all be vaporized before my eyes.

Marijuana as a Section 5 Drug?

Currently, marijuana is a Section 1 narcotic. So it stands shoulder to shoulder with heroin and LSD. But what would happen if the Fed reclassifies weed as Section 5 – putting it on the same level as aspirin and haemorrhoid cream.

(The Fuzz)

First: The FDA will pull out their long prepared document of marijuana regulations. There will be requirements for packaging, labeling, potency tests, and calories. There will be required warnings, age restrictions, inspections, and taxes. I would suspect that the requirements for manufacturing and distributing marijuana will be on the same level and cigarettes and alcohol.

New laws will govern how and where marijuana can be imported. Canada and Mexico will fall under the USMCA, while new rules of quarantine, inspections, and testing will be established for other countries.

(The Munchies)

Second: Current major manufacturing companies will also pull out their well-vetted plans to be the dominant providers. Imagining the least – Bayer will make THC Gummy Bears. Anheuser Bush will carve out thousands of acres of their barley crop to grow the weed to make THC drinks. And the Marlboro Corporation will start importing Central American marijuana by the metric ton.

(the Pushers)

Third: Popular distribution channels for under-the-table pot will flip from the local High School or the shadowy next-door neighbor to CVS, Walmart, and every liquor store in America.


My thinking is, any existing reefer corporation that I have the pleasure of owning stocks will be obliterated once the Federal Government legalizes recreational marijuana – and legalization is inevitable. These smaller companies will be bought out, crushed by regulations, or just be no match for the mega-corporations.

I do believe that marijuana will be a multi-billion dollar boost to the economy but mostly diluted through existing like-product companies. So buying into companies that will be the most prominent players in manufacturing and distribution (like those suggested above) may allow me to ride the coattails of their new revenue streams. (I wonder what company deals in roach clips?)

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This Week’s Market Sentiment

This Market Sentiment Section is typically completed by midday Monday morning. By the time this journal is published, it will be a week old.

(As of 06/20/2021)

In this section, I review five indicators: VIX, Put/Call Ratio, S&P 500, Consumer Sentiment Index, and Geopolitical events that could affect the market’s direction. I will use these indicators to help guide my trading decisions for this week.

Geopolitical Tree-Shakers (GTS):

Geopolitical events can be breaking news, political machinations, Federal Reserve musings, or even Twitter Trends. They are events that can abruptly change the dynamics of the current markets.

GTS is like a lit fuse to a bomb. The fuse can be fast or slow, and the bomb can easily be a dud. But I need to watch this closely as an indicator. The GTS can significantly disrupt all the other indicators at the drop of a hat.

  • Biden’s $6 Trillion Budget will stoke the inflation fire
  • Infrastructure Bill (a Roe-A-Dope?)
  • Feds tiptoe into Tapering
  • Labor shortages are stoking inflation fears
  • Rising interest/inflation rates will be a continued background pressure for some time

The far-left Democratic Progressives’ grandiose, go it alone, spending plan is getting a lot of air time. I do not believe this $6T budget has a chance to pass as advertised in this Congress (not every Democratic in the Senate is a Marxist). If it does, it will not survive the next Congress. However, I do believe an Infrastructure initiative is required. It was required in the Trump Administration as it is now.

The inevitability that 2021 inflation will rise over 2020 is well established and mostly baked into the current market values. But the factually reported increase will still be a bit hard to swallow (if the 6T budget is passed, it will significantly exacerbate inflation).

With the Marketeers so jumpy, if someone sneezes “inflation,” the markets will have a reflexive sell.

This week’s GTS suggests that stocks will continue to slow from the aggressive growth of the past four years. As a result, I foresee my Spread’s underlying assets will slow its volatility (smaller premiums to collect) and continue to move positively to sideways – depending on how the Feds slide into tapering over this summer.

I feel good about the short-term market prospects, but I should be better prepared for a scarier ride.

I will initially set the DEFCON (Damocles Options Trading Readiness Signal) to 4.

Setting DEFCON to 4

VIX: Broad Market Volatility

The VIX is an emotion-gauge for the general investing population. It is thought to be driven by the Marketeers’ current level of greed or fear. As one-month forward-looking volatility, it is not designed to tell us which direction the market will be going, but more of how fast it can get there.

A VIX of 15% is assumed to be a market at rest. Since the intrinsic nature of the Stock Market is to move up, a VIX close to 15% or below will have an innate tendency to rise.

CBOE Market Volatility Index - 06/20/2021
CBOE Market Volatility Index – 06/20/2021

The 1-month Regression Channel for the VIX showed the Markets had a rough last three trading days. The Federal Reserve meeting last Wednesday spoke about the need to tapper the COVID Stimulus – a topic we have all been expecting for months. And just like the bratty children the Marketeers are – they had a fit.

The VIX ended last week at 20,7%, up from 15.7% the week before. The 9-Day SMA is still below the 50-Day SMA, but the current VIX shot up above 9-Day SMA.

These values suggest the Marketeers are looking closely at how inflation may affect their portfolio. But I think that most of the concern has already been factored in.

Even a sideways market is good at times.

Maintaining DEFCON = 4


Put/Call Ratio:

Put Options are frequently used as protections against existing investments falling. When the ratio between Put Options bought versus Call Options bought is above 1, then this is an indicator that the Marketeers are buying insurance to what they may see as declining Markets. Conversely, when the Put/Call Ratio falls below 1, then there is a general sense that the broader Markets will increase, and more investors are buying more than selling.

S&P 500 Put/Call Ratio - as of 06/20/21
S&P 500 Put/Call Ratio – as of 06/20/21

The Put/Call Ratio for the S&P 500 went north. The 9-Day SMA continues to stay below the .05 line for three weeks in a row but is ready to move up more. This is agreeing with the VIX that there is concern about how inflation will rob value from stocks. But the magnitude of that concern is not massive. The first one/two days next week will tell.

(Even though the P/C Ratio over the past month averaged above the .5 line, it is still far below the “Head for the Hills” 1.0 line.)

Maintaining DEFCON = 4

Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI):

I’m searching for a new Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) chart as provided by the University of Michigan.

A low CSI index is a general dissatisfaction with our current management of U.S. economic policies. This dissatisfaction will imply that something has to change. A high satisfaction rating suggests approval of the current policy management and implies market stability.

Consumer Sentiment as of 6/13/2021
Consumer Sentiment as of 6/13/2021

This week’s CSI has not changed from last week. But if I was a betting man, I would say it moved down due to the announced Interest Rates.

Maintaining DEFCON = 4


Market Indexes:

DOW (DJX) = 33,290 – down 3.5% from 34,480 last week. (4 week deviation: 323 down from 210 last week)
S&P 500 (SPX) = 4,166 – down 1.9% from 4,247 last week. (4 week deviation: 25.54 down from 34.64 week)

The S&P 500 is a stock market index that tracks the 500 largest companies in the U.S. This index represents about 80% of all the capitalization for the country. The S&P is widely considered the best indicator of how all the U.S. markets are performing.

Daily S&P 500 Index - Four Months Trend (Updated 06/20/2021)
Daily S&P 500 Index – Four Months Trend (Updated 06/20/2021)

Market Thrashing

4-Week Thrashing of DJX = +/- 323 points or 1.0% of the market’s volume is up from 0.6% last week.
4-Week Thrashing of SPX = +/- 25.54 points or 0.6% of the market’s volume is down from 0.8% last week.

This week’s Market Index thrashing approached 1%, depicting a jump in nervousness from the Marketeers and adds credence to the other indicators. But most of this thrashing was recorded after the Fed meeting last Wednesday. So this looks more like a kneejerk reaction than a Market Trajectory change.

The Markets took an end-of-week tumble due to the Wednesday Fed news that rising interest rates will begin in 2023, then took a bigger hit Friday when the schedule was changed to 2022.

The S&P 500’s thrashing was mixed between indexes, with the trajectory moving mainly sideways. But the 4-week and 4-month trajectory confirm that we are still bullish on these indexes.

Maintain DEFCON = 4

My sentiment for this coming week:

Of the five indicators:

  • the GTS is confirming already acknowledged concern about rising inflation/interest rates – YAWN
  • the VIX is confirming short-term paranoia but still has a positive outlook – YAWN
  • the P/C Ratio shows a minor concern of a market pullback – YAWN
  • the CSI shows a consumer base getting excited about our economic future – YEAH
  • the Market Movement inching bullish – YEAH

I need to be prepared for the market to move sideways and maybe a little down for the new few weeks. I still have a positive outlook with my Entry Rules.

Trading Readiness Level for this week


This week, I will focus on:

This is the first week in a while that I feel comfortable with my guesstimated market direction.

With falling volatility comes falling premiums. So, this week I’m going to increase my weekly dollar risk to $3,000 to allow me to open two 15 Strike-Wide Vertical Bull Put Credit Spreads. I’m also going to look for Spreads a little more headroom. This will yield much less premiums with a higher risk (ROI will be smaller).

  • One or two 15 Strike-Wide spreads this week totaling < $3.0K risk) as the Markets see fit
  • Spread term of 8-weeks or less
  • Probability of OTM > 83%

Profit and Loss Statement

(As of 06/25/2021)

Balance Sheet

Beginning Account Balance$16,000.00$17,811.04$18,333.88
Deposits (Div. & Int.)$0.65$0.00$0.00
Withdraws (paycheck)-$1,800.00-$300.00-$300.00
Premiums on Open$4,343.01$741.00$172.00
Premiums on Close-$300.00-$58.00-$20.00
Fees Paid (total)-$60.84-$11.22-$3.06
Ending Account Balance$18,182.82$18,182.82$18,182.82
Total Gain/Loss$2,182.82$371.78-$151.06

Progress Graph

Running P&L – As of 06/25/21

(Note: the negative weekly results for weeks 4, 8, 12, 17, 21 and 25 are when I withdrew $300 from the Trading Account for my paycheck.)

My Performance vs. SPY

Hypothetically, instead of depositing $16,000 in my Options Trading Account, could I have done better if I bought $16,000 of the ETF/SPY instead?

Options Trading SPY
Initial Investment
(As of Jan 4, 2021)
(43.39 shares @ $368.55)
Funds Added$4,343.66
(Dividends Reinvested)
Funds Removed-$359.82
(Early Close & Fees)
(Fractional Shares Sold)
Ending Balance$19,983.84
(43.70 shares * $425.10 CV)
As of 6/24/2021

Schedule for this Week

Goals for this week: (06/21/2021 – 06/25/2021) (Week #25)

  • Document lessons learned or new thoughts
  • Open one or two wide-strike spread
  • Update Trading Log as trades occurs


  • Determine/update this week’s market sentiment section
  • Calculate/record Put/Call Ratios for all stocks on the watch list
  • Review/tweak Trend-Channels for all stocks in the watch list
  • Set target expiration dates for all Options as follows:
    • Bull Credit Spreads: Aug 13 (6-8 weeks)
      Note: If there are no Options Chains published for the 8-week expiration, then use the next Options Chain down from 8-weeks (7-weeks, 6-weeks). Beyond 4-week expirations, if only the monthly chains are available to trade.
  • Look up Ex-Dividend dates for positions in/approaching ITM (MarketWatch/Calendar)
  • Stage possible trades for all watch list stocks by 10:00 AM
  • NO TRADING BEFORE 10 AM. (Let the Market find its direction after the weekend.)
  • Watch one Webcast or take one online mini-course to be completed by Friday.

Tuesday – Thursday:

  • Review how yesterday’s staged trades moved. Adjust premiums to take advantage of movements.
  • Submit a couple of Spreads, but keep a close watch. If one is accepted, cancel the others (we want only one new active trade per day).
  • Be mindful of Entry Rules.


  • Review the total technical dollars at risk for this week. If significantly below $500, then submit additional spreads if prudent.
  • Update and post weekly journal (this blog) with any lessons learned or strategy changes.

This Week’s Trade Activity

(As of 06/25/2021)

Spread Count Summary:

Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread4282
Vertical Bear Call Credit Spread000
Vertical Bull Put Debit Spread000
Vertical Bull Call Debit Spread000
Margin Interest100

Current Dollars at Risk:

Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread$14,035.$9,359.$2,828.
Vertical Bear Call Credit Spread$0.$0.$0.
Vertical Bull Put Debit Spread$0.$0.$0.
Vertical Bull Call Debit Spread$0.$0.$0.
Iron Condor$0.$0.$0.
Total Dollar Risk$14,035.$9,359.$2,828.
Max Risk Allowed$16,000.00$12,000$3,000.

Vertical Spreads Opened This Week

(06/21/2021 – 06/25/2021)

DIA: 320p/310p  – Open 06/24/21 – Expires 08/06/21 – Max Gain = $71.00 – Open Price = $341.52
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=83.2%, Headroom=-6.3%, Max Loss=$929, ROC 7.5%, 43d Dev = $1.56

Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread – DIA – Short: 320 Put – Long: 310 Put

Entry Rules for Vertical Bull Put Credit Spreads:

  • Current maximum dollars at risk < $16,000? Yes ($14,035)
  • Max dollar at risk this week < $3,000? Yes ($2,828)
  • Max time to have any dollars at risk < 8 weeks (<56 days)? Yes (43 days)
  • Long-term trend (four months) bullish? Yes (see chart)
  • Short-term trajectory of the underlying bullish? Yes (see chart)
  • Put/Call Ratio < 1, (or falling if it is > 1)? Yes (0.7 down from 1.0)
  • Current price above 9-Day SMA?: Yes (see chart)
  • 9-Day SMA above 50-Day SMA?: No (see chart)
  • Short-strike < 1 SD below the current price? Yes (1SD=$322.83)
  • Short-strikes Prob-OTM > 83%? Yes (83.2)
  • Short-Strike price below the trend channel at expiration?: Yes (see chart)
  • Current price within the bottom 1/2 of Trend Channel?: Yes (see chart)
  • Long-strike at maximum width (>= 10)? Yes (10 strike width)

The broader markets bounced back from the manic behavior of last week, but I did not readjust the parameters for my week’s Entry Rules.

Because I opened a 20 strike-wide spread earlier this week, I was limited to only 10 strike option here.

QQQ: 315p/295p  – Open 06/22/21 – Expires 07/30/21 – Max Gain = $101.00 – Open Price = $345.02
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=85.1%, Headroom=-8.7%, Max Loss=$1,899, ROC 5.3%, 38d Dev = $6.89

Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread – QQQ – Short: 315 Put – Long: 295 Put

Entry Rules for Vertical Bull Put Credit Spreads:

  • Current maximum dollars at risk < $16,000? Yes ($13,106)
  • Max dollar at risk this week < $3,000? Yes ($1,899)
  • Max time to have any dollars at risk < 8 weeks (<56 days)? Yes (38 days)
  • Long-term trend (four months) bullish? Yes (see chart)
  • Short-term trajectory of the underlying bullish? Yes (see chart)
  • Put/Call Ratio < 1, (or falling if it is > 1)? Yes (1.0 down from 1.4)
  • Current price above 9-Day SMA?: Yes (see chart)
  • 9-Day SMA above 50-Day SMA?: Yes (see chart)
  • Short-strike < 1 SD below the current price? Yes (1SD=$323.29)
  • Short-strikes Prob-OTM > 83%? Yes (85.1)
  • Short-Strike price below the trend channel at expiration?: Yes (see chart)
  • Current price within the bottom 1/2 of Trend Channel?: No (see chart)
  • Long-strike at maximum width (>= 10)? Yes (20 strike width)

Of all my Spreads in my Watch List, this was the best showing after the Market Meltdown last week. As of now, the Markets are fairly flat as we wait for Powell to testify tomorrow.

I open this position with a spread-width of 20. Primarily because a QQQ position closed early. This early close cost me $20, so I went 5 strikes wider on this position to make up the difference.


Vertical Spreads Currently Cooking

(As of 06/25/2021)

SPY: 375p/360p  – Open 06/18/21 – Expires 07/30/21 – Max Gain = $70.00 – Open Price = $416.54
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=86.9%, Headroom=-10.0%, Max Loss=$1,430, ROC 4.8%, 42d Dev = $4.62

QQQ: 315p/300p  – Open 06/15/21 – Expires 07/30/21 – Max Gain = $113.00 – Open Price = $342.62
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=81.9%, Headroom=-8.0%, Max Loss=$1,387, ROC 8.1%, 44d Dev = $6.54

SPY: 400p/390p  – Open 06/10/21 – Expires 07/23/21 – Max Gain = $85.00 – Open Price = $423.75
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=78.8%, Headroom=-5.4%, Max Loss=$915, ROC 8.3%, 43d Dev = $2.93
Now: Prob. OTM=73.4%, Headroom=-3.9%, IV%=13.2%

QQQ: 310p/295p  – Open 06/09/21 – Expires 07/23/21 – Max Gain = $116.00 – Open Price = $337.24
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=81.9%, Headroom=-8.1%, Max Loss=$1,384, ROC 8.3%, 44d Dev = $6.17
Now: Prob. OTM=87.3%, Headroom=-9.8%, IV%= 13.2%

SPY: 385p/370pp  – Open 06/03/21 – Expires 07/16/21 – Max Gain = $85.00 – Open Price = $419.10
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=85%, Headroom=-8.2%, Max Loss=$1,415, ROC 5.9%, 43d Dev = $1.15
Now: Prob. OTM=93.0%, Headroom=-12.8%, IV%=12.9%

SPY: 390p/365pp  – Open 05/27/21 – Expires 07/16/21 – Max Gain = $160.00 – Open Price = $420.24
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=81.4%, Headroom=-7.2%, Max Loss=$2,340.00, ROC 6.8%, 50d Dev = $3.79
Now: Prob. OTM=83.7%, Headroom=-6.3%, IV%=14.4%

QQQ: 295p/280pp  – Open 05/21/21 – Expires 07/02/21 – Max Gain = $104.00 – Open Price = $329.59
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=84.8%, Headroom=-10.4%, Max Loss=$1,369.00, ROC 7.4%, 42d Dev = $7.19
Now: Prob. OTM=96.7%, Headroom=-14.0%, IV%=13.9%

DIA: 315p/305pp  – Open 05/21/21 – Expires 07/02/21 – Max Gain = $60.00 – Open Price = $343.45
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=85.7%, Headroom=-8.3%, Max Loss=$940.00, ROC 6.3%, 42d Dev = $2.86
Now: Prob. OTM=88.2%, Headroom=-5.4%, IV%=4.0%

Vertical Spreads Closed This Week

(As of 06/25/2021)

QQQ: 300p/285pp  – Open 06/01/21 – Expires 07/16/21 – Max Gain = $100.00 – Open Price = $332.00
(Vertical Bull Put Credit Spread)
At Open: Prob. OTM=84.1%, Headroom=-9.7%, Max Loss=$1,400, ROC 7.1%, 45d Dev = $6.67
At Close: Prob. OTM=94.9%, Head Room=-13.1%, IV%=13.4%, ROR= 5.7%

Cost to open: $1.00 premium collected * 100 shares = $100.00
Cost to close: $0.20 premium paid * 100 shares = $20.00
Net Profit= $100.00 to open – $20.00 to close = $80.00 – fees
Actual ROR = $80.00 / $1,400.00 = 5.7%

This position closed 24 days early (almost 4 weeks) with an 80% of max gain trade trigger – a realized profit of $80 in 2.5 weeks.





Even though I have tried to make it clear that this blog is my personal trading journal, it has been suggested by others that I, nevertheless, include a general disclaimer. So here goes…

“This blog and the information contained herein is not intended to be a source of advice or analysis concerning the material presented. The information and/or documents contained in the blog do not constitute investment advice.”