Curaleaf Archives - Green Market Report

StaffStaffJuly 1, 2020
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8min5670

Editors Note: This is a guest post.

More and more countries decide to legalize cannabis and give entrepreneurs a chance to make money and keep the economy. 

In 2019, the marihuana stocks were supposed to prove their worth on Wall Street by generating steady profits. However, things didn’t go according to the plan. Many investors missed opportunities due to high tax rates and supply issues in the United States and Canada. These obstacles helped the black market to thrive and left marijuana stock investors just heart-broken – no one could predict the government’s roadblocks. 

Despite all these setbacks, some pot stocks still have good market value. Do you want to learn how entrepreneurs legally make money on selling cannabis these days? Just keep reading:

Canopy Growth And Its Bright Start

Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (also known as Tweed Marijuana) was founded by two friends – Chuck Rifici and Bruce Linton, in 2013. 

In 2019, the company became the largest cannabis company in the world thanks to its value of shares and market capitalization. The company has even survived all challenges in 2019 without losing a single employee. During the crisis, there were 3200 employees in Canopy Growth. 

These days, Canopy Growth is legally selling their products to 16 other countries (Spain, Germany, Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Czech Republic, Chile, etc.). At the end of 2019, the company set up a partnership with a UK-based think-tank called Beckley Foundations, which will allow them to start selling medical cannabis all around the UK as well.

David Klei, the new CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation, says that it is only the beginning of their company. In 2019, they also announced the release of edible cannabis products such as chocolates and beverages. The company might show even more surprises at the end of 2020. Mr. Klei has a point – it is only the beginning.

Curaleaf Holdings and its Cannabis King named Boris 

Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF) is a Canadian company that produces and distributes cannabis-based products around the world. There is one special thing about the company. As the owners of the company state on their website and in numerous interviews, research and advocacy help them to become leaders in the competitive industry.

In 2020, Curaleaf operated more than 57 dispensaries around the US and Canada. No wonder, Boris Jordan, the chairman of Curaleaf, is called a Cannabis King in the American mass media. 

GW Pharmaceuticals 

GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) is a pharmaceutical company based in the UK. It helps to treat patients with multiple sclerosis with the help of natural cannabis. 

In 2018, their cannabis-based products such as Sativex and Epidiolex were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. We can find their products in London, Prague, and Las Vegas dispensaries

In 2020, the net worth of the company is $3.21 billion. At the moment, the company has its branches in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the US. 

Cronos Group

Cronos Group (CRON) is an innovative global cannabinoid company with an office in New York. In 2019, the company received a $2.4 billion equity investment from Altria Group ( the largest producer of tobacco).

Investors consider Cronos Group one of the most cash-rich pot stock in the industry. The company was founded in 2016 and was run by only 2o employees at the beginning. Right now, there are almost 1000 employees in Cronos Group. Mike Gorenstein, CEO of the company, says that they have even more ambitious plans for the future. 

Tilray 

Tilray (TLRY) is another cannabis company that has a great place in the stock market. Tilray is a Canadian pharmaceutical company that has operations in the unites States, New Zeland, Portugal, Australia, Germany, and Latin America. 

All you need to know about Tilray is that it is one of the first medical cannabis producers in North America. 

Once marijuana was legalized in the United States, Tilray was the first cannabis company legally exporting their products to Americans. The company debuted on the Nasqad Stock Market with $17 per share.

In 2018, the price increased to $214 per share. However, the crisis in August 2019 brought Tilray’s founder Brendan Kennedy back to Earth – the price crashed to $29 per share. Despite such a failure, the company is still afloat, with the capital of $1.18 billion. 

The Bottom Line 

The cannabis industry is growing rapidly around the world. We might expect even more companies on the market in the near future. However, at this point, entrepreneurs need more support from the government. 

Politicians might not be interested in helping the pot business. On the other hand, they should be the ones wanting to fight the illegal drug trade. Supporting local cannabis companies will not only help to generate the requisite public revenues and provide jobs but will also help to protect users from poor quality cannabis-based products. 

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 4, 2020
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4min3100

Grassroots Cannabis has sold two facilities it operated in North Dakota to Scythian Real Estate. Scythian purchased the properties from Grassroots Cannabis for $3.4M. Grassroots is going to lease back the properties. Grassroots Cannabis will continue to operate both North Dakota locations under the name Herbology, offering high-quality medical marijuana products including flower, concentrates, tinctures, vape pens and topicals, as well as one-on-one patient consulting.

“This sale-and-leaseback agreement with Scythian represents a non-dilutive capital solution for Grassroots Cannabis as we expand our retail operations,” said Steven Weisman, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-founder of Grassroots Cannabis.

Curaleaf (OTC:CURLF)  announced it was acquiring Grassroots in 2019, but the deal has yet to close. In May, Curaleaf said it is still working through state approvals and hopes to close by the end of the second quarter.

Joseph Lusardi, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf said in the company’s recent earnings release, “We expect the pending completion of our purchase of Grassroots, the largest private vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator, to affirm our position as the world’s largest cannabis company by both revenue and operating presence.”

Scythian Deal

The acquisition includes a recently renovated 4,500-square-foot facility located at 310 US-2 in Devils Lake and a newly constructed 4,995-square-foot facility located at 318 24th St. East in Dickinson.

“Scythian is committed to working with cannabis operators like Grassroots Cannabis that have a proven track record of success,” said Randy Roberts, Partner at Scythian. “Both of these locations are well-positioned to support the long-term growth of Scythian’s portfolio as we continue to identify opportunities with highly sophisticated operators in quality markets.”

Scythian’s investment fund is currently valued at nearly $40 million with 18 assets under management, including various locations operated by The Green Solution in Colorado. The firm is raising an additional $25 million in capital to fulfill an existing acquisition pipeline across multiple states.

Acreage Holdings has announced early in April it was closing the North Dakota dispensary. The North Dakota location operated under Acreage’s “Botanist” banner — reopened as Pure Dakota Health, according to the state’s Division of Medical Marijuana.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtMay 18, 2020
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6min2640

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.  (OTCQX: CURLF) reported increased revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020. Total revenue for Curaleaf in the first quarter of 2020 increased by 174% to $96.5 million versus $35.3 million in the first quarter of 2019. Total revenue for the first quarter of 2020 increased 28% sequentially.

The net loss for the first quarter was $15.5 million, compared to a net loss of $10.8 million in the first quarter of 2019. The net losses declined from the fourth quarter which was $26 million. The company said that the increase was primarily driven by a $14.7 million increase in income tax expense largely resulting from deferred taxes associated with biological assets, a $9.1 million increase in depreciation and amortization, a $2.7 million increase in share-based compensation, both of which are non-cash, a $9.7 million increase in one-time charges, primarily business development, acquisition and financing related, and a $7.2 million increase in interest expense offset by a $13.3 million change in the fair value of biological assets.

“Curaleaf delivered record first-quarter results, highlighted by managed revenues exceeding our outlook as well as a 45% sequential improvement in Adjusted EBITDA,” said Joseph Lusardi, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf. “Overall, Curaleaf remains well-positioned for improving top and bottom-line performance in 2020 driven by our organic growth initiatives as well as strategic acquisitions. We expect the pending completion of our purchase of Grassroots, the largest private vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator, to affirm our position as the world’s largest cannabis company by both revenue and operating presence.”

Detailed Revenue

Retail revenue increased by 197% to $56.6 million during the quarter, compared to $19.0 million in the first quarter of 2019. Growth in retail revenue was primarily due to organic growth and new store openings in FloridaMassachusetts, and New York, along with the acquisitions of three dispensaries in Arizona, two dispensaries in Nevada, and from Maryland due to the addition of the HMS/MI businesses and Elevate Takoma.

Wholesale revenue increased by 134% to $20.4 million during the quarter, compared to $8.7 million in the first quarter of 2019. Growth in wholesale revenue was due primarily to the addition of Select and as a result of the increased number of adult-use dispensaries in Massachusetts.

“The strength of our financial performance in the first quarter also drove improved operating cash flow,” said Mike Carlotti, Chief Financial Officer of Curaleaf. “Combined with the strength of our balance sheet, which was improved by the $300 million senior secured credit facility that closed in January 2020, this has allowed us to remain opportunistic in terms of investing in the business, as well as, pursuing strategic acquisitions.  Most notably, in early February, we successfully completed the acquisition of Select. In early April, we completed the acquisition of Arrow, achieving a key objective of vertically integrating our operations in Connecticut and providing us new dispensaries in three of Connecticut’s largest metro-areas.” The company had $176.4 million of cash, $281.5 million of outstanding debt net of unamortized debt discounts and 507.7 million fully diluted shares outstanding.

Looking Ahead

In March, Curaleaf acquired three Arrow Alternative Care (AAC) dispensaries in the state of Connecticut. AAC operates three out of 18 total stores currently operational in the state. The company also said in March that it would acquire Colorado-based edibles company BlueKudu for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2011, BlueKudu is one of Colorado’s oldest and most experienced edible manufacturers. Known for utilizing high-quality ingredients sourced from Rainforest Alliance Fair Trade Certified Farms, BlueKudu employs culinary experts and an extraction process that provides a cleaner and more natural oil to create artisanal cannabis products with vegan and gluten-free options. The company says it is available in 200 locations.

Carlotti added, “Looking forward, we currently anticipate the continued rise in managed and pro forma revenue, with sequential growth in the second quarter of 2020 despite temporary COVID-19 related restrictions that occurred in Massachusetts and Nevada.”


StaffStaffMarch 24, 2020
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4min6690

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) said it will acquire three Arrow Alternative Care (AAC) dispensaries in the state of Connecticut. AAC operates three out of 18 total stores currently operational in the state. Its first store opened in Hartford in 2014, the second in Milford in 2017, and the Stamford store opened its doors in January 2020.

Curaleaf is already one of four licensed growers in Connecticut and currently operates a 60,000 square foot cultivation facility in Simsbury that provides high-quality cannabis products to over 40,000 patients throughout the state. The acquisition will now allow Curaleaf to be vertically integrated, providing products to the patients directly as well as through existing wholesale channels.

“Arrow Alternative Care’s stores are the gold standard of pharmacy-like operations in Connecticut. They have grown a large, dedicated patient base by providing exceptional service and quality products,” said Joe Lusardi, CEO of Curaleaf. “This acquisition will be immediately accretive and provides Curaleaf with vertical integration in Connecticut. We can now bring the knowledge we’ve cultivated through our experience across 15 states to Connecticut’s medical cannabis patients directly.”

Essential Services

The company said that it has received an Essential Services Designation in key markets which will allow the company to continue to meet the needs of its customers. Curaleaf noted that the designation means that like pharmacies and grocery stores, Curaleaf dispensaries provide an essential service to communities and are authorized to remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly and we are responding as quickly as possible to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our customers. We have never been more committed to providing our vital services and products and will continue to do everything we can to fulfill that mission while protecting the wellbeing of our dedicated employees. In these difficult times, we will be hiring employees and working with local organizations to provide job opportunities to those who are out of work,” said Joseph Lusardi, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf.

Curaleaf dispensaries will remain open in ArizonaFloridaMaineMarylandMassachusetts (medical only), Nevada (delivery only), New JerseyNew York, and Oregon. Curaleaf said it has adjusted its dispensary schedule to accommodate increased demand and prioritize vulnerable customers, including dedicated hours for seniors. The company is also enforcing social distancing, increasing sanitation and hygiene measures and using technology to minimize contact and increase safety by working to employ curbside delivery, mobile pre-ordering, express pickup, and a waitlist ordering app.

Curaleaf is working to minimize risk to its customers and employees by collaborating closely with local and statement governments, and implementing new procedures, technologies and policies at its dispensaries.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtMarch 2, 2020
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4min11700

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE:CURA) (OTCQX:CURLF) said it will acquire Colorado-based edibles company BlueKudu for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2011, BlueKudu is one of Colorado’s oldest and most experienced edible manufacturers. Known for utilizing high-quality ingredients sourced from Rainforest Alliance Fair Trade Certified Farms, BlueKudu employs culinary experts and an extraction process that provides a cleaner and more natural oil to create artisanal cannabis products with vegan and gluten-free options. The company says it is available in 200 locations.

Colorado is the second largest cannabis market in the US, with sales surpassing $1.7 billion in 2019,” said Joe Lusardi, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf. “With over eight years of operating history, BlueKudu has developed a strong brand for customers seeking premium cannabis products in a diverse range of flavors and formulations. BlueKudu’s established production and distribution capabilities will allow Curaleaf to seamlessly enter the market and expand the Select brand presence in the state of Colorado.”

DionyMed Connection

The acquisition made no mention of BlueKudu’s planned deal with the bankrupt DionyMed (OTC:DYME). Last April, DionyMed said that it had signed a term sheet for an exclusive multi-state distribution and intellectual property licensing agreements with Virginia’s Kitchen, LLC d/b/a Blue Kudu. At that time, the deal was valued at $5.5 million. BlueKudu products were going to be added to the DYME Chill platform, which was that ill-fated company’s product to unseat Eaze delivery service. In turn, Blue Kudu said it would license and distribute DionyMed’s brands to its more than 200 dispensary customers, including the Winberry Farms vape cartridges.

The deal was only described as pending, so with this acquisition, it seems safe to assume it never closed amid the financial problems of DionyMed. In a twist of fate, Eaze acquired DionyMed’s rights to retail licensee Hometown Heart (HTH) depots in Oakland and San Francisco, and now has oversight of HTH’s day-to-day operations. There was also no mention of BlueKudu with regards to that deal.

Through the purchase, expected to close upon regulatory approvals, Curaleaf said it will operate an 8,400 square foot infusion kitchen and processing facility in Denver, CO. The strategic move supports the Company’s planned expansion of its recently acquired Select brand throughout the state of Colorado.

The company produces a combination of edibles from gummies to chocolates and has introduced one cookie that looks very similar to the Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie.


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueFebruary 26, 2020
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10min8480

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for February 26th, 2020. 

On the Site

U.S. Hemp Could Benefit from the Coronavirus

As a major supplier of cut-rate hemp fiber and CBD for the world market, China has proven stiff competition for United States’ suppliers both domestically and internationally. The disruption of that supply chain by the coronavirus outbreak means that U.S. producers could finally gain an advantage in domestic and international markets.

MedMen Reports Revenue Of $44 Million, But A Net Loss Of $96 Million

MedMen Enterprises Inc.  (CSE: MMEN) (OTCQX: MMNFF) delivered its financial results for the second quarter of 2020 ending December 28, 2019. Revenue across MedMen’s operations in California, Nevada, New York, Illinois, and Florida increased to $44.1 million for the quarter, up 50% year-over-year and 11% sequentially. 

The net loss for the quarter was a staggering $96 million versus last year’s $64 million. The loss per share was ($0.09) versus last year’s ($0.23), so some improvement there.

Surviving Legalization 

Green Market report republished a story from Cannabis Law Report, diving into what has happened to the Emerald Triangle, and specifically Humboldt County, since legalization. The article is a response to the article “Cannabis Regulation: The Struggle of Small Farmers,” written by Lance Griffin. The responding article notes that legalization has been a disaster for Humboldt County, but not necessarily for their growers and shifts some of the blame of the financial crisis of Humboldt County since legalization to the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission, and pins the greatest responsibility of Humboldt County’s financial disaster on the “cadre of consultants, experts and advisors who took so much money for knowing only a little more than their clients.”

 

Acreage Holdings Reports 2019 Revenue Of $74 Million, Net Loss Of $195 Million

 

Acreage Holdings, Inc. (ACRG-U.CN) (ACRGF) delivered fourth-quarter revenue of $21.1 million and full-year 2019 revenue of $74.1 million, a 101% and 251% increase, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2018.

The net loss was a whopping $65 million versus last year’s $29 million for the same time period. The net loss for the full year was a staggering $195 million versus the fiscal year 2018’s loss of $32 million. 

 

Nevada Publishes List of Cannabis Test Failures

The Nevada Department of Taxation issued a Public Health and Safety Notice Advisory 2020-05 on February 21, 2020, advising consumers and patients to avoid consuming marijuana which was listed in the notice. The affected marijuana failed secondary microbial testing conducted by an independent testing laboratory. The cannabis was tested for yeast and mold, bile-tolerant gram-negative bacteria, coliforms, and Aspergillus. The products were sold at the following dispensaries: 

  • Rise (owned by GTI or Green Thumb Industries)
  • Essence
  • Thrive Cannabis Marketplace
  • MMJ America
  • Fine Cannabis Dispensary
  • Jardin Premium Cannabis Dispensary
  • Curaleaf
  • ShowGrow
  • Blum
  • Nevada Made Marijuana
  • Jenny’s Dispensary
  • Las Vegas ReLeaf
  • Sahara Wellness
  • Top-Notch Health Center
  • Deep Roots Harvest
  • Acres Cannabis
  • The Source
  • Thrive Cannabis Marketplace
  • Exhale
  • Silver Sage
  • The Grove
  • Oasis Cannabis and The Dispensary NV

Products were from various strains and the statement said that there was no reason to believe that the dispensaries or cultivators had any knowledge that the products exceeded allowable limits.

In Other News

3 Sixty Announces Interim CFO

3 Sixty, a Canadian company that works closely with the cannabis industry offering security solutions, has announced Candice Matthews as the interim CFO of the company alongside her current duties as the Director of Finance. 

“The Board and I have full confidence in Ms. Matthews’ ability to lead our finance operations in the short term, and we expect a seamless transition once the new CFO has been recruited in the near future,” said Thomas Gerstenecker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer.

Nutritional High Announces Non-Binding Letter of Intent with Calyx Brands, Inc. 

Nutritional High International Inc, a cannabis oils and edibles company has announced its non-binding letter of intent to sell a controlling interest in Calyx Brands, a cannabis distribution and logistics company based in California. Closing is expected in the second quarter of 2020. 

“Current challenges in the capital markets have been especially acute for distributors, who require working capital to grow their business,” commented Dakota Sullivan, CEO of Calyx. “We see this as an opportunity to combine our distribution reach with our new Partner’s supply chain and flower business to form a powerful, end-to-end brand.”

Harvest One Announces Sale of Non-Core Interest in Burb and Lillooet Property Totaling Proceeds of $2.3 Million

Harvest One Cannabis Inc. has announced its entry into a definitive agreement to sell its interest in Burb Cannabis Corp, a British Columbia based cannabis retailer, along with its interest in the Lillooet, British Columbia based 398-acre site, dubbed the “Lillooet Property.” Harvest One has agreed to sell its 19.9% equity stake in Burb back to the founders of Burb and has forgiven a shareholder loan with a face value of $250,000 in exchange for total cash consideration of $1,512,600. Per the Lillooet Transaction, Harvest One has entered into a contract to sell the Lillooet Property for cash consideration of $770,000. The transaction is scheduled to close on March 31, 2020.

AYR Strategies Q4 Revenue Increases to $32.3 Million 

Vertically-integrated cannabis company AYR Strategies reported a total revenue increase of 75% to $124.2 million compared to $70.9 million, and an Adjusted Gross Profit increased 78% to $63.0 million compared to $35.5 million. 

Enviva Reports Q4 Earnings 

Enviva has announced its Q4 earnings. For the fourth quarter of 2019, the company reported a net income of $0.9 million, adjusted net income of $17.2 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $53.3 million. 

For the full year of 2019, it reported a net loss of $2.9 million, an adjusted net income of $33.4 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $141.3 million. 


StaffStaffFebruary 3, 2020
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5min7940

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.


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueJanuary 29, 2020
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4min6270

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for January 29th, 2020. 

On the Site

Top 10 Most Influential Communication Professionals To Watch In Cannabis 2020

Green Market Report compiled a list of the 10 most influential communication professionals in cannabis to keep an eye on. The list is Daniel Yi, Chief Communications Officer at Shryne Group Inc., Rosie Mattio Founder & CEO of Mattio Communications, Jason Erkes, Chief Communications Officer at Cresco Labs, Gia Moron, Founder and CEO of GVM Communications, Inc, Linda Marsicano, VP Corporate Communications at Green Thumb Industries, Alex Howe, Head Of Corporate Communications at Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc., Shawna Seldon Mcgregor, Founder & CEO of Maverick Public Relations, Lewis Goldberg, Managing Partner at KCSA Strategic Communications, Evan Nison, Founder & CEO of Nison Co., Heidi Haller Groshelle, Founder & CEO of Groshelle Communications

EcoGen Closes on $40 Million Private Placement

US-based company, EcoGen Labs, is continuing to expand and grow as it successfully closes on a $40 financing arrangement through private placement. EcoGen has a solid strategy for the utilization of this transaction, the plans include supporting the further development of its facilities, focusing on its research and development, and the expansion of marketing and sales divisions.

Cuomo Plan for Social Equity Forgets Minorities

Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY) announced his plans to legalize cannabis for adult use in his state budget speech last week. If we look closely at the Cuomo cannabis plan there are red flags. According to Cuomo’s budget, “the program will limit the number of producers and retail dispensaries to guard against a market collapse.”

States that have limited licensing markets face serious product shortages, increased consumer cost, and greater startup expenses that ultimately keep illicit markets going. Fewer licenses at higher costs mean fewer entrepreneurs. In many markets the initial capital requirements are so high minority entrepreneurs can’t compete.

“Hot Plants” Prove Problematic for Hemp Entrepreneurs

Current  issues plaguing hemp producers in 2019 are coming to light, and industrial hemp poses a new challenge: how to bring a crop in under the .3% THC limit mandated by the federal government

A hemp plant can “go hot” (aka experience a spike in THC levels) due to using a new seed variety, environmental factors, or a plant left to flower for too long. This can lead to what the National Law Review article describes as “excessive non-compliance and crop destruction”, not to mention devastating financial losses for growers.

In Other News

Curaleaf Set to Open First Adult Use Cannabis Dispensary on Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA /OTCQX: CURLF) is going to be the first adult-use dispensary in Cape Cod, the facility is set to have its grand opening on February 6th, 2020.

“We are very excited to bring the first adult-use cannabis dispensary to Cape Cod. Provincetown is a vibrant community where we plan to hire over 30 people and become engaged with the cultural activities, charities and local initiatives that are important and make the Outer Cape and Provincetown so special,” said Patrik Jonsson, President of Curaleaf Massachusetts.

Driven Deliveries to Acquire Humboldt Heritage Inc.

Driven Deliveries has announced its decision to purchase Humboldt Heritage Inc., a cannabis company based in Northern California.

The acquisition is expected to add an additional $20M to the company’s 2020 revenue forecast.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJanuary 15, 2020
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3min9830

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) said that it has upsized and closed a Senior Secured Term Loan Facility from a syndicate of lenders totaling $300 million. The notes for Curaleaf will bear interest at a rate of 13.0% per annum, payable quarterly in arrears, with a maturity 48 months from closing.

The company said that the proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt, satisfy transaction fees and expenses from previously announced acquisitions, fund capital expenditures and for general corporate purposes. The sole placement agent for the Facility is Seaport Global Securities LLC.

“We are pleased with the upsizing and closing of the deal at what we believe to be attractive terms,” said Joseph Lusardi, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf. “Most importantly we strengthened our balance sheet without diluting our existing shareholders. With the completion of this transaction, we have ample liquidity to execute on our strategy and are well-positioned to take advantage of the significant market opportunities that exist in this space.”

In October, Curaleaf amended its deal with Select. At the time Lusardi said, “We remain extremely confident in the strength and operations of the Select business and of the long-term prospects of the cannabis sector as a whole. We look forward to bringing our companies together to lead this industry as it continues to mature and grow. Expiration of the HSR waiting period was a key milestone in closing this transaction and we continue to work with state regulators to receive the necessary approvals with a target closing date of January 1, 2020.”

Utah

Earlier this week, Curaleaf said that it had received an important new permit in the state of Utah. The company announced in a press release Tuesday that it has won preliminary approval for a processing license there.

“We are pleased with the progress we are making in the state of Utah. Aligned with our strategy, this processing license puts us closer to achieving vertical integration in the state, which gives us greater control of production while lowering costs for patients,” said Lusardi. “We look forward to providing the people of Utah with increased access to high quality and reliable cannabis products.”

While pending final approval, the new license will allow the company to complete a Utah processing facility right away.

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtDecember 19, 2019
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15min7650

The Green Market Report sat down with Curaleaf’s CEO Joe Lusardi at last week’s MJ Biz conference in Las Vegas NV. This interview has been edited for grammatical purposes.

Debra Borchardt:             The Select deal – you brought those numbers I guess to a new reality. Where are you now with that transaction? Because you’ve pretty drastically changed the valuation on that.

Joe Lusardi:                         I’m not sure I’d characterize it that way. What I would say is that we reduced the base consideration. The transaction, if they do what we think they’re going to do, will be 90 million shares. So it’s just, we restructured it to de-risk it and make some of the consideration an earnout. And we thought that that was the prudent thing to do given what was going on in the vape environment.

Now you’re maybe aware that the Massachusetts vape ban lifted today. The CDC is saying that we’ve already reached the peak of people showing up with lung disease. And that started the decline, which all points to the fact that the problem is largely from the black market. So we’re actually pretty confident in that category overall, and that consumers are going to come back to that form factor, and we feel pretty good about the transaction, to be honest. And I think it’s also important to know that the Select brand is not just the vape brand, it’s a family of products. So you’re going to be seeing a number of new products from Select over the coming months. One is a gummy that’s now available in a couple of markets. You’re going to see a spray, a tincture, and a couple of other novel form factors in the Select brand. So we feel good about the transaction.

Debra Borchardt:             Were you surprised at all with any of the Select sales numbers when you really started to peel back some of the layers on Select? Because I had heard a lot of rumors out in the market about Select before you guys got interested in them.

Joe Lusardi:                         There’s no manipulation of the numbers. I mean we did a pretty thorough diligence of the business. What I would say is that they clearly felt the impact of the vape crisis. We did a thorough vetting of the transaction before we did the deal. We’re very optimistic. Again, I said that consumers are becoming more aware that they should buy regulated products. Select’s whole brand ethos is about safety and quality, and I think you’ll continue to see that as they pioneer new hardware and new products. So I think we felt very good with the transaction. We’re trying to close it on January 2nd. We’re working with regulators right now. We’ve cleared the DOJ HSR review, which is a pretty big event. So everything looks to be on track for early January close.

Debra Borchardt:             You just put in a new executive, Joe Bayern, a president that was from INDUS Holdings, but he seemed like he had mostly a CPG background. We’re seeing a lot of that within the cannabis industry, this whole hiring of CPG executives. What is the thought process for you guys behind that?

Joe Lusardi:                         I would characterize Curaleaf as an early-stage consumer product company. And I think people that come out of that industry, that have a depth of knowledge and building brands, building infrastructure and taking companies from small to bigger is highly relevant for where we are in our growth curve. So I’m ecstatic that he joined the team. He’s a bit of a unicorn in that he also had cannabis experience. But that’s not why we hired him. We hired him for his experience before cannabis.

It’s helpful that he’s been in the industry for 11 months and we don’t have to explain Cannabis 101. But we hired him because he has worked on some very significant transformations of businesses, including Cadbury, Dr. Pepper, Snapple, he was on the senior team that built VOSS Water, which is now a premier global water brand. So he’s a very capable executive, has skills that I certainly don’t have. And it’s going to be a huge addition to the team.

Debra Borchardt:             So you just mentioned that Select has got new products coming out. What’s really your strategy then for 2020?

Joe Lusardi:                         The marketing people would kill me if I say too much more. But what I’ll tell you, we really think that consumers are coming to cannabis and they’re looking for a variety of form factors. So you know, flower already represents less than half the sales and in most states, vapes are coming out strong and the edible category continues to grow. And so I think that’s where you’re going to see a lot of development in 2020, particularly for brands like Select. And I think that those products are really exciting because they’re consumer packaged goods, right? And so they lend themselves to marketing, form factors, predictability, consistency, and really brand building. So that’s why we’re really excited about what we have ahead of us.

What makes Curaleaf unique is that when we close Grassroots in the spring, we will have a platform unlike any other cannabis company really in the world. And what’s really exciting is we’re going to take the number one brand from the West Coast and move it all across the United States. So Select will be the number one brand in most major markets in the country for 2020, and no one else is going to do that.

Debra Borchardt:             When you look at Illinois and Michigan, everybody’s saying Michigan is going to be the next big market. Oh no, it’s Illinois. Which is it?

Joe Lusardi:                         It’s Illinois.

Debra Borchardt:             Illinois?

Joe Lusardi:                         That’s not debatable, it’s 13 million people in 55 stores. The numbers stack up really well. It’s just math, I’m not a genius.

Debra Borchardt:             But I’m sure you’ve heard people say the same thing like, “Oh, Michigan is going to be the big one.”

Joe Lusardi:                         Look, I think Michigan is a really interesting market. It has a very prolific caregiver market that has a huge amount of patients in the state. It’s really, really going to come down to how the market structurally changes, because you have a lot of what I would say, activity, that hasn’t always necessarily fit within the framework or the regulations. There’s been a lot of caregivers and a lot of dispensaries that are operated that were not fully licensed by the state. And so if they can corral all that activity and really push it out through the regulated channel, unlike California, then Michigan has a chance to be a very big market, a regulated market. There’s no denying that both Michigan and California are big cannabis markets, that’s for sure undeniable, but can they be good regulated markets? We’ll see. California clearly is struggling with that concept.

Debra Borchardt:             And Massachusetts recently started their adult-use sales. Everybody was saying, “Oh, all the New Yorkers are going to go across the state lines, and that really doesn’t seem to be happening. I think a lot of people thought that Massachusetts was going to be the domino that was going to tip a lot of the other Northeastern states. And that doesn’t really seem to have happened.

Joe Lusardi:                         Massachusetts. My home state has clearly not lived up to expectations in 2019. I would say that that was largely driven by factors out of the operator’s control. It was really driven by how the government rolled out the program. I think that only now the state has 30 stores open. So this…

Debra Borchardt:             And they’re disappointing. I’ve been in a couple of them and I’m like, “You got to be kidding me.” But I’m used to going to California dispensaries, and such.

Joe Lusardi:                         I mean California has had a 20 years quasi-legal marijuana market. So you’re not going to get there tomorrow. But it’s also true that because Massachusetts has been, I’ll say deliberately in rolling out the program, it’s supply constraint. So you don’t have a diversity of manufacturers. You don’t have a diversity of growers. You don’t have a diversity of stores, there isn’t a really prolific wholesale market.

It’s a very challenging operating environment right now. The early numbers are promising. I think 2020 will be a big year for Massachusetts. It will be a big leap forward. We just opened our first adult-use store in November. We’re going to open up two more, one in Provincetown, we think in early 2020 and then another in the state. So it’s going to be a good year for Curaleaf and I think that as more operators get open, the market will develop, there’ll be more specialization in manufacturing. There’ll be more products, and the shelves will fill up, and it’ll be a more wholesome retail experience, but it’s unreasonable to expect it will be like California. It’s just, we don’t have that history. Right? The East Coast has been very deliberately rolled out with a limited number of players, very capital intensive.

Debra Borchardt:             Very, very conservative.

Joe Lusardi:                         So it’s going to take time. But I mean anecdotally, if you go to the stores out in the Berkshires and you’d go in the parking lot, there’s a lot of New York license plates in those parking lots. And what I would also say is that I do think it will be a catalyst in 2020 because it’s putting a lot of pressure already on Connecticut. If it had rolled out the program faster, the pressure would have been greater. But Connecticut clearly needs to address a massive budget shortfall and I think they’re going to look to cannabis as one avenue.

Maine is going to go adult use this spring. Governor Mills has been fantastic and is really driving the program. So you’ll have two Northeast states, Connecticut is under a lot of pressure. New York, the dialogue is going to be very active in January through March, I mean the Lieutenant Governor came out today and said that it’s long overdue. So that’s interesting. And Governor Murphy in New Jersey said he’s going to take another crack at it, so it’s going to happen. Governor Wolf in Pennsylvania supports it. Progress is not linear or sometimes quick, but I genuinely feel like maybe the dominoes are falling, not as fast as people hope, but they’re going to fall.

Debra Borchardt:             So it sounds like you’ll be ready to put a close to 2019. 2020 looks a lot more promising.

Joe Lusardi:                         I have to say for Curaleaf, despite the pain in the equity markets, this is a fantastic year for our business. We had a major inflection point in Q3 we showed 30% top-line growth for the second quarter in a row, we’re adjusted EDITDA positive two quarters in a row. We’re opening stores, we’re executing on our business. We’re turning all of the investment we’ve made into cash-generating assets. So this is the best year in our company history. I mean, it was really a great year, operationally. 2020 sets up to be even better.



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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


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