Ascend Wellness Revenues, Losses Improve in Q1

The company announced the hiring of John Hartmann as CEO, effective May 15.

Ascend Wellness Holdings Inc. (CSE: AAWH.U) (OTCQX: AAWH) posted a 34% revenue increase year-over-year, but the company still lost nearly $19 million in its first quarter of 2023, thanks to “operating costs and tax expenses.”

Ascend’s overall revenues shot up to $114.1 million from $85 million a year prior, and losses shrank by 33%, from $27.8 million lost in Q1 2022 to $18.5 million lost this year so far.

Executive Chairman Abner Kurtin said in a release he was “proud” of the “record revenue” the company pulled in, and interim co-CEO Frank Perullo added that Ascend is “laser focused” on cash generation this year.

However, Ascend’s balance sheet has just $73.3 million in cash compared to over a quarter billion dollars in total debt as of March 31.

The company has kept busy expanding its footprint in 2023. In the first quarter, it opened new stores in Bedford, Massachusetts, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and then in April it also opened a new dispensary in Tinley Park, Illinois.

Also in April, Ascend closed on the acquisition of four new dispensaries in Maryland – where recreational cannabis sales will commence in July – from Devi Holdings Inc. The deal brings Ascend’s total cannabis retail footprint to 31 dispensaries in seven states.

Its wholesale business has also steadily increased, particularly in Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio, Ascend reported, and net wholesale revenues were up 13% sequentially to $31.4 million, though the company did report wholesale revenue declines in Michigan.

Management Moves

Ascend also announced the hiring of CEO John Hartmann, who will start work effective May 15. Hartmann previously served as president of BuyBuy Baby and as CEO of True Value Company, according to a press release. He is also currently an independent director for the boards of Boyd Group Services Inc. (TSX: BYD) and HD Supply Inc., a subsidiary of The Home Depot.

Hartmann also has been appointed to the Ascend board of directors. Perullo will continue to serve on the board and will transition to a role as strategic advisor. The other interim co-CEO, Dan Neville, will return to his role as CFO and will step down from the board.

John Schroyer

John Schroyer has been a reporter since 2006, initially with a focus on politics, and covered the 2012 Colorado campaign to legalize marijuana. He has written about the cannabis industry specifically since 2014, after being on hand for the first-ever legal cannabis sales on New Year’s Day that year in Denver. John has covered subsequent marijuana market launches in California and Illinois, has written about every aspect of the marijuana trade, and was part of the team that built the cannabis industry’s first-ever trade show, MJBizCon. He joined Green Market Report in 2022.

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