Curaleaf, Green Thumb Both Bullish Despite Very Different Financials

Execs say their focus is on focused growth in 2023.

Massachusetts-based Curaleaf lost more than a third of a billion dollars in 2022. Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries, by contrast, made $12 million last year and $9 million in just its first quarter of 2023.

Despite that gulf between them, the tone of each of the multistate operators’ earnings calls held last week was remarkably similar in tone: bullish on the future of the cannabis industry.

Different Markets

Perhaps the biggest notable difference was that Curaleaf’s bullishness had just as much to do with its international footprint as its domestic U.S. operations.

In Germany, for instance, Executive Chairman Boris Jordan said Curaleaf expects its brand Four 20 – acquired just last fall – to double in size with expected reforms on the way that will give rise to nonprofit cannabis clubs. Curaleaf also has cannabis interests in the United Kingdom.

“Our European expansion is a big place where we’re going see a significant growth in ’24, ’25 and ’26,” Jordan said during Curaleaf’s earnings call on May 1. “The total market patient count could increase three to five times, putting us in a great position to rapidly increase Four 20’s already strong brand awareness.”

GTI leadership, meanwhile, conveyed that they’re content to keep grinding out profits in the U.S. with heads down, “playing the long game.”

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” CEO Ben Kovler said during the company’s call on May 3.

Kovler went on to note that GTI plans to open 15 dispensaries this year across Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The company’s national store count is already at 79.

Similar Approach

Where Jordan and Kovler overlapped was on the subject of acquisitions. While both said that they’ll remain open to good possibilities, they also hedged and said there’s a glut of distressed assets, which will make them both cautious when it comes to M&A.

“I wouldn’t look for massive transformational M&A. We know the difficulties of integration and what’s associated with that. So the bar remains very, very high,” Kovler said. “It’s not so attractive out there.”

Industry-wide for 2023, Jordan predicted, “consolidation is going to be a major, major theme,” and said Curaleaf will keep its options open.

“You won’t see Curaleaf running off and doing the historic type of deals we did, large transactions. You’re going to see us do tuck-in acquisitions at the right prices,” Jordan said. “We need to be very, very careful in doing transactions that are going to be good for our business.”

Outlook for Reform

Jordan, however, was noticeably pessimistic on the topic of U.S. cannabis reform. He noted Curaleaf’s participation in a lawsuit filed against the state of New York, called a recent dispute with New Jersey regulators over retail licenses a “capricious and vindictive” move, and said he’s done making predictions about marijuana reforms getting through Congress after the bitter defeat of the SAFE Banking Act in December.

“There is a lot of momentum in D.C. that finally get something done,” Jordan said, referring to the recent reintroduction of SAFE. “However, we are out of the business of predicting anything in Washington. We’ve learned our lesson.”

With that caveat, Jordan shared that “what I’m hearing is they’re trying to get (SAFE) out of the Senate by July, and into the House in September with a vote in the House of Representatives somewhere in the fourth quarter, and try to get a signature of the president going into the December. That’s the target.”

John Schroyer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest cannabis news delivered right to your inbox

The Morning Rise

Unpack the industry with the daily cannabis newsletter for business leaders.

 Sign up

About Us

The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


Recent Tweets

Back to Top

Get the latest cannabis news delivered right to your inbox

The Morning Rise

Unpack the industry with the daily cannabis newsletter for business leaders.