Cresco Labs Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtMarch 25, 2021
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Cresco Labs Inc. (OTCQX: CRLBF) released its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020. Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $162.3 million, an increase of $9.0 million or a 6% increase over the third quarter of 2020. Cresco Labs reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of $23 million versus last year’s net loss of $45 million. The company beat the Yahoo Finance analyst estimate for revenue of $161 million in the quarter.

For the full year, Cresco delivered revenue of $476.3 million, an increase of $347.7 million or a 271% increase over 2019’s revenue of $128 million. The company said that growth was driven by cultivation expansion in Illinois and Pennsylvania as well as strong sequential same-store growth. Cresco trimmed the net loss from $65 million in 2019 to $36 million in 2020.

“2020 was a remarkable year for Cresco Labs. We dedicated our resources to the most strategic markets, grew our leadership as the number one wholesaler of branded cannabis products, executed high efficiency retail, and generated substantial operating leverage as we scaled. We laid out our objectives at the beginning of the year and we executed on what we set out to accomplish, resulting in the largest year-over-year revenue growth among tier one MSOs,” said Charles Bachtell, Co-founder and CEO of Cresco Labs. “In 2021, cultivation expansions are underway and we are executing accretive M&A as we repeat our playbook in more states. Our best-in-class execution was on display in 2020 and it’s what you can expect from Cresco Labs for years to come.”

The company is on solid ground financially with current assets at the end of December at $361.8 million, including cash and cash equivalents of $136.3 million. The company had a working capital of $167.1 million and total debt, net of issuance costs of $184.5 million.

Acquisitions

Following the end of 2020, Cresco has been busy building its cannabis empire with numerous acquisitions. In January 2021, Cresco agreed to buy Bluma Wellness Inc. (OTCQX:BMWLF), a vertically integrated operator in Florida. On February 16, 2021, the company closed its acquisition of four Ohio dispensaries previously operated by Verdant Creations, LLC and its affiliates. On March 18, 2021, Cresco said it would acquire all of the issued and outstanding equity interests in Cultivate Licensing LLC and BL Real Estate LLC, a vertically integrated Massachusetts operator.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtMarch 18, 2021
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Cresco Labs (OTCQX:CRLBF) said it was buying Massachusetts-based Cultivate Licensing LLC and BL Real Estate LLC  for roughly $90 million, plus an earnout of up to $68 million. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“At the precipice of a transformational moment in U.S. cannabis, now is the time to further our leadership in the country’s largest and most important markets. Through this acquisition, Cresco Labs will immediately vault to a top 3 share position in Massachusetts, the third $1B+ cannabis market where we’ve achieved this status,” said Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs.

Cultivate brings to Cresco approximately 42,000 sq. ft. of flowering canopy with a planned indoor expansion of approximately 20,000 sq. ft. The company has two operational dispensaries in Leicester and Framingham and a third dispensary in Worcester is expected to open in the second quarter of 2021.

Terms Of The Deal

The deal consists of $15,000,000 in cash and shares of Cresco having an aggregate value equal to $75 million. The remaining portion is structured as an earnout based on the achievement of certain EBITDA target thresholds in 2021, up to $68 million. An amount equal to approximately 12.5% of any earnout payments earned by seller shall be paid in cash. The remaining portion of any earned earnout payments shall be satisfied via the issuance of Cresco shares.

Massachusetts delivered nearly $1 billion in total retail sales in 2020, including the robust expansion of the medical program and despite 6 weeks of lost sales due to COVID-19 restrictions on the adult-use market. $83.4M in adult-use sales for the 4 weeks ending 3/7/21 was the largest 4 week total to date. It is the second-highest per-gram pricing within U.S. adult-use markets and a strong margin profile achievable through vertical integration and emphasis on wholesale. Currently, it is a supply-constrained market and the largest adult-use market in the North East.

“We continue to demonstrate our ability to execute operationally and make accretive investments to accelerate growth. Cultivate has been a trailblazer and an operational standout since the early days of the Massachusetts market. Like us, the Cultivate team is focused on growing premium flower, offering a full suite of branded products, delivering the best customer experience at retail, and elevating the cannabis industry to a new level of professionalism and social responsibility.” Mr. Bachtell continued, “This will also mark the fourth state in which we operate the maximum number of retail stores. Once again, we look forward to executing our playbook and demonstrating the growth and leverage that can be achieved by going deeper in strategic states. At a period of industry inflection, we are cementing our leadership in a deliberate manner as the most important company in cannabis.”


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJanuary 14, 2021
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Cresco Labs (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) is buying Florida-based Bluma Wellness Inc. (CSE: BWEL.U) (OTCQX: BMWLF) in an all-stock deal valued at $213 million. Bluma Wellness operates as “One Plant Florida” and has seven strategically located dispensaries with eight more locations under legal control with plans to open.

“Our strategy at Cresco Labs is to build the most strategic geographic footprint possible and achieve material market positions in each of our states. With Florida, we will have a meaningful presence in all 7 of the 10 most populated states in the country with cannabis programs – an incredibly strategic and valuable footprint by any definition. We recognize the importance of the Florida market and the importance of entering Florida in a thoughtful way – we identified Bluma as having the right tools and key advantages for growth. Bluma is known for having best-in-class cultivation in the state of Florida, a differentiated retail experience and omnichannel offering with effective delivery, a clear pathway to scale and an incredible management team. We have a proven track record of integrating assets in strategic states, improving fundamentals, and amplifying operations to take share in the most competitive cannabis markets,” said Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs.

Terms

The terms of the deal include Bluma shareholders receiving 0.0859 of a subordinate voting share of Cresco Labs for each Bluma Share held. The Exchange Ratio implies a price per Bluma Share of approximately $1.12, representing a premium of approximately 29% based on the closing price of Bluma Shares on the CSE as of January 13, 2021.

Last month, Bluma reported that its net revenue for the third quarter of 2020 increased by 47.7% from the prior quarter.  The revenue growth was driven primarily by the organic growth of existing dispensaries and the opening of additional retail dispensaries in the third quarter. Additionally, One Plant Florida has seen a steady increase in the average price per gram of medical cannabis flower sold, attributable to the market’s continued recognition of One Plant Florida’s premium medical cannabis products. Net income for the third quarter of 2020 was approximately $300,000.

Bluma used to be called Sol Global, but in 2019 changed its name. The company explained that “Bluma” is an ancient Hebrew word that means to flower, bloom, r blossom. It selected this name based on a key principle of the business: to ensure that its patients and consumers utilize the plant-based products to enhance their daily lives, namely to bloom and thrive.

“Bluma’s high-quality cultivation operations, scaled delivery platform, and strategic retail investments combined with Cresco Labs’ track record of execution and capital allocation creates the best path forward to accelerate growth for our business in Florida,” said Brady Cobb, CEO of Bluma. “Our vision for Bluma and One Plant Florida has always been to cultivate remarkable experiences through exceptional cannabis. Our management team took the responsibility to seriously assess potential partners and we’re thrilled to be joining an organization that aligns operationally and shares our passion for creating quality cannabis products.”

 


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonNovember 24, 2020
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‘Tis the season for America’s favorite foodie holiday, and whether turkey, tofurkey, or none of the above are on the menu, this is sure to be a Thanksgiving like no other. With Covid-19 spikes turning the U.S. map red and growing concerns about the capacity of states to handle an even higher coronavirus positivity rate if citizens choose to gather, some thought leaders in the cannabis industry are taking a stab at predicting the impact on Thanksgiving sales.

Cannabis compliance technology company Akerna (NASDAQ: KERN) anticipates a 78% increase over average daily sales for 2020 during this Thanksgiving weekend, hitting $270 million between November 25 and November 28. James Arendt, Akerna’s Business Intelligence Architect, explains that the huge sales spikes typically happen on Green Wednesday and Black Friday as most dispensaries are closed on Thanksgiving Day, but this hasn’t prevented Thanksgiving from being one of the Top 5 sales holidays of the year. A trend that is expected to continue in 2020.  

Akerna projects that the average order total will be around $83.30 for adult-use consumers and $128.46 for medical consumers. This is an increase of roughly $13 over average order totals for the rest of the year. Cannabis flower is predicted to be the top seller, garnering 42% of sales with cartridges and pens coming in a strong second at 37%. Male users will likely make up the majority of consumers at 64%, with under 30’s and 30-40 year-olds making up a combined 58% of the top consumers over Thanksgiving.

Akerna’s data doesn’t make correlations with anticipated sales and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but Joe Caltabiano, founder of cannabis and medical marijuana company, Cresco Labs, (OTC: CRLBF) highlights the fact that cannabis was deemed essential at the pandemic’s outset. “At the same time,” he adds, “we saw regulators rapidly adopt emergency rules allowing online ordering, curbside pick-up, and delivery in areas where it’s permitted.” These measures will no doubt contribute to keeping cannabis sales strong for Thanksgiving, as retail sales increased by 40% after the measures were taken and remained high even after the stimulus paid out by the federal government in April was exhausted. Caltabiano posits that the pandemic has made consumers even more comfortable with ordering online as a safer and more convenient purchasing option, with retailers offering special deals for those who choose to purchase online, further brightening the prospect for chart-topping Thanksgiving totals.

Caltabiano also predicts that the money saved on airfare, hotels, or other travel-related expenses by those choosing the “safer at home” approach this Thanksgiving may lead to a pandemic holiday trend of self-care. “This year’s new tradition could be treating oneself with an eighth of premium flower instead of buying a bottle of wine for the family dinner.” Between that and the fact that other pandemic-era holidays such as the 4th of July and Labor Day have seen increased retail sales, Caltablano thinks retailers will have ample reason to give thanks once Thanksgiving 2020 is done and dusted.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtNovember 18, 2020
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Cresco Labs Inc.  (OTCQX: CRLBF) released its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ending September 30, 2020, with revenue hitting $153.3 million. This was a 63% sequential increase over the second-quarter revenue of $93 million and an even bigger jump over last year’s revenue of $36 million for the 2019 third quarter. This also easily beat the Yahoo Finance average analyst estimate for revenue of $115 million. Cresco Labs attributed the increase in revenue to wholesale growth driven by an increase in harvests from expanded capacity in Illinois and Pennsylvania and strong growth in California. Retail growth was driven by strong sequential same-store growth and two new store openings in Illinois.

The company also delivered a net income of $4.9 million for the quarter versus last year’s net loss of $85 for the same time period last year.

“Cresco Labs entered the third quarter firing on all cylinders achieving record levels of revenue, profitability, and cash flow. We remain the number one operator in the industry focused on, and delivering results in, the wholesale distribution of branded products. Our retail is outperforming, and we are generating substantial operating leverage,” said Charles Bachtell, Co-founder and CEO of Cresco Labs. “Comparing Q1 to Q3, we increased revenue by $87 million while keeping SG&A flat. The investments we made to support growth are paying off, and as a result our profitability has grown dollar for dollar with gross profit. Because of the decisions we’ve made, the changes we’ve managed through and the hard work devoted by our team over the last 12 months, Cresco Labs has substantiated itself within the very top tier of the industry and confirmed the value that is driven by our differentiated strategy. This is a unique story of strategic breadth, depth and execution. As we look toward our next phase of growth, it’s rinse and repeat – the playbook will be applied to more states and, again, we will achieve meaningful, material market positions.”

Operational gross profit as a percentage of revenuwas 53%in the quarter as compared to 47% in the prior quarter driven by increased efficiency in our expanded Illinois and Pennsylvania facilities. The adjusted EBITDA  was $46.4 million, which was an increase of 182% sequentially driven primarily by higher revenue, increased operational gross profit across our largest markets and strong SG&A control which dropped dramatically as a percentage of revenue.

The company also noted that its net cash provided by operating activities was $17.8 million, compared to $9.9 million used in Q2. The increase in cash provided by operating activities was driven by increased operating leverage across the business as the Company scales.

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtAugust 21, 2020
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Cresco Labs Inc.  (OTCQX: CRLBF) stock dipped following the company’s solid results for the second quarter ending June 30, 2020. Despite beating analysts’ estimates on revenue and market share gains, traders focused on the company’s earnings miss and the stock slid by over 4% to trade at $6.82. The average price target is $8.59 and the stock has been on a huge run over the summer as it has moved from $2.05 in March to $7.70 on August 17.

After the market closed on Thursday, Cresco reported that its revenue rose sequentially by 42% to $94.3 million. The company also said on its earnings conference call that it achieved positive free cash flow in the month of June. Analysts at Yahoo Finance on average expected revenue of $76 million. So, this was a substantial beat.

The company missed the analyst average estimate for earnings be reporting  -$0.09, while the estimate was for -$0.06 per share. The company delivered a net loss of $4.7 million, which was less than last year’s net loss of $13.4 million for the same time period.

Cresco said that its revenue increased sequentially by more than 30% in every U.S. market, with the exception of Massachusetts. The company noted that its wholesale growth was driven by product popularity in California and first harvests from expanded capacity in Illinois and Pennsylvania. Retail growth was driven by strong sequential same-store growth of 31% and two new store openings in Illinois.

Charles Bachtell, Co-founder, and CEO of Cresco Labs said on the company’s earnings call, “In the two states where we have the leading market share, Illinois and Pennsylvania, both have reached a $1 billion in run-rate sales. Illinois is set to issue its next 75 retail licenses, a catalyst to more consumer demand, and increase opportunities for our wholesale business.”

The net losses included unrealized gains and losses on mark-to-market instruments that fluctuate until obligations are settled, changes in fair value of biological assets, interest expense, and tax expense. However, the adjusted EBITDA was $16.5 million, an increase of 419% sequentially. Th e company said this was achieved while integrating Origin House during the quarter and was driven primarily from higher revenues and increased operational gross profit in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Illinois

Cresco Labs planted its flag in the state of Illinois and is now reaping the benefits of going hard in the state. Bachtell said on the call that state retail grew by 18% from Q1 to Q2. “Our existing Illinois stores grew sales by 37%. A testament to the effectiveness of our retail leaders and teams, nearly 75% of our retail revenue growth was driven by existing stores with the impact of recently announced store openings still to be seen in Q3 and Q4.”

He noted that the Sunnyside model is producing stronger same-store sales, attracting more customers, and achieving a disproportionate share of the market. “As we recently announced, we just opened our ninth retail location in Illinois, the most stores of any operator in the state. Sunnyside Schaumburg is located adjacent to the largest shopping mall in Illinois and at the heart of one of the densest areas of stores, hotels, and restaurants in the state,” he added.

Pennsylvania

The company pointed out that even though Pennsylvania is a medical-only state, it is still one of its largest markets. It is currently hitting a billion dollars in run-rate sales.  “We have room to grow in Pennsylvania from a retail footprint standpoint. We have currently licenses to open up six stores and you can have licenses to open up 15. So, there’s definitely still headroom there,” said Bachtell. Pennsylvania now has nearly 390,000 people registered in the medical program, roughly the same number as Florida, making it one of the most important medical markets in the country.

California

Bachtell also said the company was taking market share in California. “California retail sales grew 10% quarter-over-quarter while Cresco Labs total California revenue increased by 41%. We are taking share. Revenue from Continuum distribution was up 35% sequentially, driven by owned brands like Cresco, Mindy’s, Floracal, and High Supply, as well as continued strength from core partner brands,” he said on the company call.

“Wholesale penetration continued to grow in Q2 and we’re now distributing to nearly all of the states tier 1 dispensary’s. While we’re encouraged by the substantial increase in gross margin during the quarter, we’re even more excited about the immense gross profit opportunity offered by the state in 2020 and beyond. With a continued focus on increasing operating leverage, we’ve optimized the portfolio of brands in our platform, appointed new leadership in the state with extensive CPG and distribution experience, and completed a thorough value chain analysis to further improve the efficiency of our distribution business. California remains one of the most important cannabis markets in the world. And with improving regulations and state retail sales projected to reach $7 billion by 2025, California will continue to be a key driver of growth for Cresco Labs.”

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJuly 1, 2020
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Cresco Labs Inc. and Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIP) have closed on the acquisition of a property in Massachusetts with a leaseback agreement. The property is approximately 118,000 square feet of industrial space and the deal is valued at $7.8 million.

Cresco is a true leader in quality, customer experience, and patient care in its core markets, and we are pleased to further expand our long-term real estate partnership with them in Massachusetts,” said Paul Smithers, President and Chief Executive Officer of IIP. “The Massachusetts regulated cannabis industry is still in its early stages, and is emerging as one of the strongest medical and adult-use cannabis markets on the East Coast. Our transaction with Cresco represents our fifth property acquisition in Massachusetts, and we are firmly committed to being a strong real estate partner to the industry here for many years to come.”

Cresco Labs has agreed to a long-term, triple-net lease agreement for the property, which it plans to operate as regulated cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensing facility upon completion of redevelopment. Cresco said it is expected to complete additional tenant improvements for the property, for which IIP has agreed to provide reimbursement of up to $21 million. Assuming full reimbursement for the tenant improvements, IIP’s total investment in the property will be approximately $28.8 million.

A String Of IIP Deals


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonJune 1, 2020
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With terms like “social distancing”, “quarantine”, and “safer at home” orders now common parlance thanks to the Covid-19 global pandemic, it seems an odd time to forge ahead with opening new retail establishments, yet several determined cannabis companies are betting on a better future and doing just that.

 Small business website “The Balance” itemizes the expenses associated with opening a storefront, which include licensing fees, rent, inventory, staffing, and equipment to name a few.  To open even a small business in an inexpensive city or town can cost thousands of dollars. Factor in the extra costs retailers will have to swallow to stay within Covid-19 guidelines for reopening such as plexiglass cashier guards, protective equipment for staff, and restrictions on the number of customers allowed in the store at any one time, and the overhead becomes untenable for many current and aspiring shop owners.

New Dispensaries

Despite these factors, companies like cannabis product manufacturer Green Thumb Industries, cannabis testing laboratory Cannasafe, and cannabis retailer Canna Provisions are expanding their enterprises.

Green Thumb Industries (OTC:GTBIF)  announced that it would be opening its fourth retail location in the Las Vegas, NV area on May 13, as well as the eighth store in Illinois on May 28. This makes for a total of forty-five storefronts nationwide for Green Thumb, with four new locations opening since the Covid-19 crisis began. 

Green Thumb’s approach involves an emphasis on efficient curbside pick-up and delivery strategies to safeguard customer and staff safety. In a May 26 press release about the new Illinois location, Green Thumb Industries founder and chief executive Ben Kovler stated that his company has “continued to move forward through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to provide jobs and much-needed access to well-being through the power of cannabis during these difficult times, as demonstrated by the opening of Rise Niles, our fourth opening since the crisis began.”

Cresco Labs  (OTCQX:CRLBF) opened Sunnyside River North, the first Illinois adult-use dispensary in Chicago in the prestigious River North neighborhood. Sunnyside opened for adult-use cannabis sales on May 28th for online orders and in-store pick up that day through a pop-up retail experience. “We are thrilled to be opening the first adult use store in Chicago under the state’s new legislation and to provide an example of what normalized and professionalized cannabis looks like with a location in a traditional business district, a local and diverse operating team and a tremendous amount of community input and support,” said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs’ CEO and Co-founder.

Cresco Labs has said it has implemented procedures system-wide to eliminate wait lines, crowding, and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the River North location will launch with online orders only through Sunnyside.shop. Once customers receive a text notification that their order is ready, they can check-in at the Guest Experience Center at 22 W. Hubbard to be entered into the virtual pickup queue.

Meanwhile, Cannasafe has announced the opening of three new ISO-accredited laboratories in Oregon, Florida, and Illinois to help meet the increased demand for cannabis during the pandemic. Canna Provisions has opened a new storefront in Easthampton, MA with another in nearby Holyoke slated to open shortly. Another Lee, MA location shut down due to the pandemic will also be reopening. Canna Provisions is using a quick transaction model involving ID checks, a wireless ATM card reader, and frequent sanitizing to facilitate safe customer interface while offering additional support via Zoom links and instructional videos to help customers understand the new system. 

These considered moves by some of the industry’s best-known names have all of the makings of successful ventures, especially given the attention to the potential infection hazards inherent in storefront retail. Still, as demand for cannabis continues strong and companies build capacity to meet that demand, it remains to be seen whether Covid-19 and a potential “second wave” will frame a gamble on the future of in-person sales as one worth taking or not.


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueMay 28, 2020
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It’s time for your daily hit of cannabis financial news for May 28th, 2020. 

On the Site

Canopy River Tightens Belt, Cuts Employees

Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTC: CNPOF) is laying off employees and cutting back on spending as the company focuses on positive cash flow. The venture capital firm that specializes in cannabis companies said that it is streamlining its operations to preserve its cash on hand.

The company said in a statement that it is making the following changes:

  • A material reduction in the Company’s operating cash outflows, including a reduction in headcount, directors’ compensation, marketing expenses, and general corporate expenses of a minimum of 35% from the Company’s fiscal 2020 operating cash outflows on a normalized basis;
  • A focus on generating positive cash flow from operations for fiscal 2021 (year ended March 31, 2021); and
  • A focus on maximizing returns on existing assets.

MedMen Says COVID Has Hurt Sales

On the company’s earnings conference call, interim CEO Tom Lynch said, “Unfortunately, COVID has impacted our sales since the end of March; we’re down in April overall, but have seen a steady increase since. While we’re still not back to our normal levels, pre-COVID, particularly in California, we’re optimistic about our ability to recapture traffic as soon as stay at home orders are lifted.”

MedMen also noted that its Nevada location had suffered saying, “We saw a decrease in overall sales in this market, particularly given the impact that the pandemic has had on tourism into Las Vegas, we’re encouraged about the recent decision to open up cannabis retail again, and have already begun to see a steady ramp-up in revenue.”

In Other News

Aurora Completes Acquisition of Reliva, LLC

Canadian cannabis company, Aurora, has completed the acquisition of hemp-derived CBD company, Reliva. 

“We are pleased to have closed the Reliva transaction ahead of schedule. The partnership between Aurora and Reliva is expected to create a market leading international cannabinoid platform that we believe can deliver robust revenue and profitable growth,” said Michael Singer, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO of Aurora. “I would like to officially welcome Miguel Martin and his team to Aurora, and look forward to increasing Aurora’s operating scale, international reach, and product and brand diversity while in parallel, we remain focused on delivering Adjusted EBITDA profitability in Canada for the benefit of all shareholders.”

Cresco Labs Announces First Quarter 2020 Results

Multi-state operator Cresco announced a record revenue of $66.4 million in Q1 of 2020. This is a 60% growth over 2019’s Q4. The company also revealed the largest cultivation expansion in their company’s history, adding 6x cultivation space in Illinois and 4x the cultivation space in Pennsylvania. There was a 144% increase year over year from Q1 of 2019 to Q1 of 2020. 


StaffStaffApril 23, 2020
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Cresco Labs Inc.  (OTCQX:CRLBF) completed its agreement to sell the company’s Marshall, MI property to Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) in a deal valued at approximately $16 million. The previously announced sale included $11 million in funding for tenant improvements. The property represents approximately 115,000 square feet of industrial space in aggregate. The stock popped over 4% on the news to lately trade at $4.42.

“We are pleased to announce the successful completion of yet another sale-and-leaseback transaction,” said Cresco Labs CEO and Co-founder Charlie Bachtell. “This is directly aligned with our stated strategy of unlocking valuable capital and building a stronger foundation to support revenue growth, expand our retail presence across Michigan and enhance shareholder value. IIP has been our long-term capital partner across multiple states, and we are pleased to team up with them once again.”

The company said that this sale marks Cresco’s fifth completed sale-and-leaseback transaction, the fourth with IIP, which has unlocked a total of nearly $123 million in the last seven months. Cresco Labs will also enter into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement with IIP and will continue to operate the property as a licensed cannabis cultivation and processing facility upon completion of redevelopment.

 


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