Cresco Labs Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJuly 1, 2020
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8min940

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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7min2820

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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5min1660

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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2min3220

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.

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 16, 2020
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4min9360
In another sign of Illinois state market domination, Cresco Labs  (OTCQX:CRLBF) completed the expansion of its cultivation facility in Lincoln, IL, which is the largest in the state. The company also finished the first phase of expansion at its Kankakee facility.
Cresco is the only operator in Illinois with three cultivation sites that are licensed to grow up to 630,000 square feet of flowering canopy. These expansions add almost 180,000 square feet of additional indoor and greenhouse cultivation space, bringing the total cultivation space to 215,000 square feet across all three of its Illinois facilities.
“The expansion of our Illinois cultivation footprint at both our Lincoln and Kankakee facilities enables us to quickly bring additional capacity to such a growing, high-demand market, support supply to our statewide dispensary and wholesale network, and simultaneously cater to both medical and recreational consumers in our home state,” said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs’ CEO and Co-founder. ” The completion of these two fully-funded, industrial-scale expansion projects demonstrates the many strengths of Cresco’s team and our unique ability to continually execute on plan. Due to our phased construction schedule, our first harvests from the additional capacity recently occurred and they will bring limited incremental supply to market toward the end of May and significantly ramp up through Q3. This should dramatically increase sales in the state and help to address the current supply-demand imbalance,”.
Market Domination
The adult-use market in Illinois has been projected by Marijuana Business Daily to potentially generate up to $2.5 billion annually, depending on how many tourists take part in purchasing cannabis products. Cresco currently sells into 100% of licensed dispensaries in Illinois and has maintained its leading market share of wholesale sales in the state. The Company sells its Remedi, Cresco, Reserve, High Supply and Mindy’s Chef Led Artisanal Edibles products wholesale throughout Illinois, and the Company’s products are currently available at every dispensary in the state.
Furthermore, to meet the increasing demand in the state, the company has also bolstered its retail presence through its Sunnyside dispensaries. The company currently operates five dispensaries. It recently received approval to open its sixth location, and it has licenses to open an additional four. The company has announced its intention to open locations in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, as well as Danville, Schaumburg and South Beloit in Illinois.
Bachtell added, “We are proud to have the largest production capacity in this market, a widely-recognized portfolio of branded products and a rapidly growing retail footprint. The increase in profitability we expect to see over the course of the year will demonstrate the value of Cresco’s stated strategy of going deep in key states and focusing on brands and wholesale distribution.”

Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueFebruary 13, 2020
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4min6030

Its time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for February 13th, 2020. 

On the Site

Meet the Weedy Award Finalists 

The founder and Editor of WeedWeek, Alex Halperin, has created the Weedy Awards, with winners being announced on February 28th in Hollywood. Awards will be presented in categories like best grow, the most socially responsible company, the best delivery company, the best edibles, and the people’s choice cannabis celebrity. 

Aurora Cannabis Stock Slides as Revenue Falls

Canadian-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) saw its shares falling in early trading after the company said that revenues fell in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 ending December 31, 2019. Aurora reported that its total net revenue reported in Canadian dollars fell 26% sequentially to $56 million in the second quarter from $75 million in the first quarter of 2020. It was higher than the 2018’s second quarter, which delivered net revenue of $54 million.

Neptune Wellness Delivers Solid Quarter as Sales Increase

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc.  (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) announced its financial results for its fiscal third-quarter ending December 31, 2019. Total revenues for Neptune were $9.1 million, a sequential increase of $2.6 million or 41% over the second quarter ended September 30, 2019. This was also an increase of $2.6 million or 40% compared to $6,538 for the three-month period ended December 31, 2018. 

In Other News

SLANG Worldwide Partners with Cali Cannabis Cookie Company 

SLANG Worldwide Inc. (CNSX: SLNG), leading cannabis consumer packaged goods company, has partnered with Cookies, a leading California-based cannabis brand. 

Pursuant to the deal, SLANG will bring Cookies’ products to the Oregon market. 

Cresco Labs Expands C-suite

Cresco Labs will name marketer Greg Butler as its first-ever Chief Commercial Officer. Butler has past supported the brand in a CMO capacity, developing the commercial growth strategy for the brand. He has strong plans to develop Cresco’s market in 2020, as well as promoting diversity and social equity in the cannabis space. 


StaffStaffFebruary 3, 2020
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5min7810

Monday looks to be the closing day on deals with Cresco Labs and Curaleaf.

Cresco Labs

Cresco Labs (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) closed on its recently announced non-brokered credit agreement for a senior secured term loan of $100 million. Cresco Labs says it has an option to increase the size of the facility to a maximum of $200 million. Curaleaf said it will use the money to pay for the expansion of operations in Illinois, closing and integration costs associated with pending acquisitions, and other strategic growth initiatives in key markets.

Charlie Bachtell, CEO, and Co-founder of Cresco Labs said, “The closing of this financing is an important event and was driven by the incredible opportunities we at Cresco have before us. We have worked to create a credit facility that strengthens our balance sheet in a non-dilutive manner – with no warrants nor convertibility to equity. This transaction demonstrates that capital is available to the top operators in this industry who demonstrate a disciplined strategic focus, a responsible allocation of capital, and a track record of operational execution. We are especially pleased to have closed the transaction with such a high-quality group of investors who have displayed a dedicated commitment to the long-term success of Cresco as we continue to execute our vision – to build the most important company in cannabis.”

The Senior Loan is for either an 18-month or 24-month term, at the lender’s option. The Loans bear interest at a rate of approximately 12.7% per annum for 18-month loans and approximately 13.2% for 24-month loans, payable quarterly in arrears.

Curaleaf

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) said that it closed its acquisition of vape brand Select on February 1Curaleaf’s acquisition of Cura Partners, Inc. who are the owners of the Select brand, includes Select’s manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and sales operations marketed under the Select brand name, including all intellectual property.

“The close of the Select deal is a major milestone in Curaleaf’s history and marks an unprecedented phase of growth for our company,” said Joseph Lusardi, CEO of Curaleaf. “As we’ve scaled, Curaleaf has pioneered the U.S. cannabis industry, and we’re incredibly excited about the future and our leadership role in it. Our entire organization is focused on accelerating our growth as a combined company with two of the fastest-growing cannabis brands in the country.”

Select founder  Cameron Forni will take on the role of President of Select. Curaleaf Chief Financial Officer Neil Davidson will now be the company’s Chief Operating Officer effective immediately. Mr. Davidson will manage the company’s cultivation, processing and manufacturing capabilities with a focus on driving growth and operational efficiencies across the entire organization. Former Chief Operating Officer Stuart Wilcox will transition to a new role, leading business expansion efforts in emerging markets.

The news comes on the heels of Curaleaf’s acquisition of the Acres Cannabis vertical operations in Nevada, and the awarding of preliminary retail and processing licenses in Utah.

“Curaleaf has always been a fast-paced, performance-driven company, and we continue to attract best-in-class talent to fill key management roles. We’re thrilled to be expanding our leadership bench to include individuals with unmatched expertise combined with a deep passion for this business,” said Lusardi.


StaffStaffJanuary 23, 2020
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4min12030

Cresco Labs (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) announced it has entered into a credit agreement for a senior secured term loan for an initial amount of up to $100 million, with a mutual option to increase the size of the facility to a maximum of $200 million. Cresco said it expects to complete an initial drawdown of up to $100 million on or about January 30, 2020. The stock was recently trading at $6.32, above its year low of $4.47, but below the 52-week high of $14.39.

“This agreement reflects the strength and growth potential of the national platform Cresco has built as well as our ongoing commitment to execute a superior capital agenda for the benefit of shareholders,” said Charlie Bachtell, CEO, and Co-founder of Cresco Labs. “Through this deal, we have diversified the Company’s funding sources, improved our cost of capital in a non-dilutive manner and given ourselves flexibility in a dynamic capital environment. As we enter 2020 and our business continues to increase its positive free cash flow, Cresco is well-positioned to continue growing its foothold in the most strategic cannabis markets in the U.S., while building the most important company in the industry.”

The company said that the proceeds from the Senior Loan will be used to fund the expansion of operations in Illinois, closing and integration costs associated with pending acquisitions, and other strategic growth initiatives in key markets.

Balance Sheet Moves

Over the last quarter, the company has been making moves to strengthen its finances through a number of deals. In December, the company said it would sell its Lincoln, Illinois cultivation facility to GreenAcreage Real Estate Corp. (GreenAcreage), for $50 million. In November, Cresco announced a sale-and-leaseback agreement for its Marshall, Michigan and Yellow Springs, Ohio facilities, which totals $38 million. Cresco was also forced to amend its $800 million merger with Origin House, due to a combination of market forces and falling stock prices. After making some changes to the merger, which included an Origin House equity financing worth around $30 million, the value of the deal fell to roughly $416 million.

Illinois

The legal adult cannabis sales in Illinois have gotten off to a very strong start with almost $11 million in sales in the first week alone. Cresco Labs said on the first day it had served 3,145 people at its five Sunnyside Dispensaries located in Lakeview, Elmwood Park, Champaign, Buffalo Grove, and Rockford, Illinois. They sold 9,258 cannabis products, including Cresco’s house of brands and items from other Illinois suppliers, with the average ticket price being $135.

Loan Details

According to the company statement, members of the management and board of directors will also be participating as investors in the Senior Loan. Each commitment under the Senior Loan may be for an 18-month or 24-month term, at the lender’s option. Loans made on the initial closing date will bear interest at a rate of approximately 12.7% per annum for 18-month loans and approximately 13.2% for 24-month loans, payable quarterly in arrears. The terms of the Senior Loan were negotiated at arm’s length with the agent and lead investor and include customary restrictive covenants.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJanuary 8, 2020
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3min15770

As the cannabis industry faces pressure, the valuation retractions have caused several proposed deals to unravel. The lastest is between Bhang Inc. (CSE: BHNG) (OTCQX: BHNGF) and CannaRoyalty Corp. d/b/a Origin House (CSE: OH) (OTCQX: ORHOF). Bhang and its wholly-owned operating subsidiary, Bhang Corporation has terminated its agreement with Origin House and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Kaya Management, Inc.

With regards to the termination agreement, Bhang will get royalty payments, input materials, manufacturing equipment, Bhang-branded finished goods, and Origin House shares, collectively valued at approximately $1.1 million.

Bhang has said that it will use Trava, Inc. and Herban, Inc. to make Bhang-branded products in California. In addition, Bhang said that it has also contracted Shelf-Life Distributing to distribute these Bhang-branded products across California. The company stated that moving from a licensing model to a direct-to-retail model will allow it to control the use of its brand while substantially increasing its footprint throughout California and realizing operations-derived revenue rather than royalties.

Last month,  the company said that Jamie L. Pearson, Bhang’s Interim President, would assume the role of President & CEO, overseeing day-to-day management and strategic initiatives

Origin House

Earlier this week, Origin House said that it had received a final order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approving the plan for Cresco Labs Inc. to buy all of the shares of Origin House. The company said it expected to close the deal soon. Originally announced in April, this deal was valued at C$1.1 billion or C$12.68 per Origin House Share (based on the Exchange Ratio and the closing price of Cresco Labs Shares on March 29). The deal looked to be the largest public company acquisition in the history of the U.S. cannabis industry.

The combined company will be one of the largest vertically-integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the U. S.; a leading North American cannabis company, by footprint; and one of the largest cannabis brand distributors.

Origin House has not made a comment regarding the termination of the deal with Bhang.


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueJanuary 2, 2020
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5min25311

The highly anticipated adult-use cannabis program in Illinois rolled out yesterday morning. The maximum amount of dispensaries allowed in the state for 2020 is 185, though only 43 licenses were approved at the time of the state’s new industry launch. Six of these approved licenses were not able to begin sales on the 1st for various reasons. 

The open dispensaries hosted a huge turnout for those hoping to be among the first to purchase recreational cannabis products in Illinois. Chicago based Cresco Labs expected as such and rented out an entire nearby coffee shop for patrons to take shelter from the cold while they wait. Among one of the first to purchase was Julia Stratton, lieutenant governor of Illinois. She told the Chicago Tribune she purchased gummies at the Sunnyside dispensary in Chicago.

Cannabis giant, Green Thumb Industries opened a store called Rise Joliet in Illinois. Rise Joliet brings GTI’s total store count to 40 nationwide. Founder and CEO Ben Kovler says, “January 1 was a historic day in Illinois as adult-use cannabis sales launched in Illinois, and we’re honored that Rise Joliet is part of that history. Our stores that sell to all adults 21+ – Rise Mundelein, Rise Canton, Rise Joliet, and 3C Joliet – have served thousands of people so far and the energy and enthusiasm from new customers has been overwhelming.”

Cresco Labs announced that they served 3,145 people at its five Sunnyside Dispensaries located in Lakeview, Elmwood Park, Champaign, Buffalo Grove and Rockford, Illinois on the first of the year. They sold 9,258 cannabis products, including Cresco’s house of brands and items from other Illinois suppliers, with the average ticket price being $135.

Though Illinois voted yes to this program with great enthusiasm, many are not impressed with the taxes. This receipt a customer shared from yesterday’s rollout shows the high taxes in Illinois on adult-use cannabis. There were seven different taxes on this purchase, the medical standard tax, local sales tax, local excise tax, Illinois sales tax, Illinois recreational tax on a product with less than 25% THC, Illinois recreational tax on an infused product, and Illinois recreational tax on a product with greater than 35%. The total tax on this purchase added up to $75.85. 

There is also concern that the state is putting profits above its citizens who are medical cardholders. Illinois medical marijuana program launched in 2014. Illinois had one of the strictest medical cannabis laws in the state, but until the adult-use cannabis program patients usually had no problems obtaining their medicine. 

Darren Miller, cannabis advocate, patient, and entrepreneur credits his life to cannabis. He was denied his medicine two days before the rollout of the adult-use program. The dispensary where he has purchased his medicine for years without issue, claimed low supply when he went to purchase it. On January 1st, thousands of folks got their recreational product without issue. Miller says, “They went from about 50 kinds of cannabis flower to three overnight. Then the recreational thing starts and all of a sudden they have no problem finding product to sell for major money markup. All of the patients who have been going there for four years, we actually saw this coming. We called it, and now we are witnessing it.”

The adult-use market in Illinois has been projected by Marijuana Business Daily to potentially generate up to $2.5 billion annually, depending on how many tourists take part in purchasing cannabis products. 

 



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