Harvest Health Touts Arizona Potential During Earnings Call

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTCQX: HRVSF) reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2020 after the market closed on Tuesday with revenue rising 86% to $61.6 million. This was a sequential increase of 11% compared to $55.7 million in the second quarter of 2020. The company delivered a net loss was $2.1 million for the third quarter, compared to a net loss of $39.1 million in the third quarter of 2019 and $18.3 million for the second quarter of 2020.

During the third quarter of 2020, Harvest opened one new dispensary in Phoenix, Arizona, and one new dispensary in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. As of September 30, 2020, Harvest owned, operated, or managed 37 retail locations in seven states, including 15 open dispensaries in Arizona. Harvest owned and operated dispensaries exclude retail locations serviced through Interurban.

Making The Case For Arizona

During the recent 2020 elections, Arizona voters said yes to Prop 207, a ballot initiative to allow and implement recreational cannabis sales in the state. CEO Steve White noted that this initiative was unique because it established some aspects of what the eventual program would look like. “Because the license structure is specifically detailed in the initiative, we have a high level of confidence in our understanding of how licensing will work and the maximum number of potential competitors that can operate unless and until the market structure is changed at the ballot box.,” he said on the company’s earnings call. He went on to add, “As outlined in Prop 207, existing medical operators may apply for a recreational license on January 19, 2021.”  The Arizona Department of Health Services has 60 days to approve or reject the application. If it isn’t rejected it is then approved.

“Theoretically, this timeline may permit recreational cannabis sales at the end of the first quarter of 2021,” said White.  He cautioned that such a transition often doesn’t happen without bumps. ” As we have seen in other instances where existing medical markets were expanded to include recreational use, we expect that there could be some regulatory delays, logistical constraints or supply shortages in connection with the rollout. But given the maturity and stability of the Arizona medical market, we would expect these hiccups to be relatively short-term and readily addressable in nature.”

The Arizona market is estimated to reach $2 billion at maturity. The recreational licenses will be fully vertical like the medical market. White stated that existing operators in good standing in the medical market may apply for a recreational license, which means up to 130 recreational license applications may be submitted. In counties with less than 2 dispensaries, the state may issue additional licenses in order to reach a minimum of 2 licenses per county, adding approximately 10 or so store fronts.

“Unlike other dispensaries, those newly permitted locations must remain within the county. At some point in the future, 26 social equity licenses may also be issued. One way to estimate the expected average performance of the store would be to take the conservative $2 billion total market size and divide it by 166 stores. Based on our view of the market, we have a high degree of confidence that 166 store locations represent a fair approximation of the total retail footprint in the state. Applying those metrics, the average store would realize a little more than $12 million per year in revenue. In practice, of course, some storefronts will underperform or exceed the average revenue generated per store. With the recent acquisition of 3 additional licenses in Arizona, Harvest expects to be operating at least 18 of those stores.”

On November 2, Harvest announced a settlement of ongoing litigation with Devine Holdings which resulted in Harvest getting three vertical medical licenses in Arizona in exchange for the forgiveness of the outstanding $10.45 million receivable owed to Harvest by Devine Holdings. Harvest will also have the right of first refusal on 4 additional vertical medical licenses in Arizona. “We are very pleased with this resolution,” said White.

Huge Debt

Harvest ended the third quarter of 2020 with approximately $63 million in cash and $294 million in debt. The company said it had sufficient capital to service its debt in 2020 and 2021. On October 28, Harvest completed a bought deal financing, raising gross proceeds of approximately $34.5 million. Debt service for the remainder of the year is approximately $15.2 million and the company extended the debt maturity of $6.5 million due in October 2020, by one year to October 2021.

Harvest Health noted that it terminated the agreement to sell two additional California retail assets to Hightimes Holdings for $6 million on October 2. The sale of eight California retail assets to Hightimes was completed in June. On October 30, Harvest completed the purchase and license transfer of THChocolate, including licenses for cannabis and cannabis products manufacturing in Colorado.

Guidance

Harvest Health increased its 2020 full year revenue target to exceed $225 million up from its prior target of $215 million to $220 million. The company said that the magnitude of its full year revenue in excess of $225 million depends on the timing of a number of events and processes, including potential divestitures of noncore assets, which may result in a decrease in revenue. The revenue forecast includes continued growth driven by retail dispensary openings, same-store sales growth, and new and expanded cultivation and manufacturing operations. “Forecast for 2020 assumes no impacts or disruptions that we don’t successfully manage, including those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CFO Deborah Keeley.

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the CEO, Co-Founder, and Editor-In-Chief of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Masters degree in Business Journalism from New York University.


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