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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Open More Stores and Bankroll Florida Legalization

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Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) had a busy 2022 expanding and finishing off its blockbuster acquisition of Arizona-based Harvest Health & Recreation. By contrast, this year the company plans to spend more time keeping its head down and focusing on making money.

“We’re coming off of a multiyear investment cycle, primarily focused on building supply chain and distribution capacity,” CEO Kim Rivers explained during an investor call this week, referring to Trulieve’s $246 million in overall losses last year, noting that a lot of that was due to finalizing details on the acquisition of Harvest Health & Recreation in late 2021.

Rivers said Trulieve’s two top goals for 2023 are “one, maximize cash generation and preservation; and two, make strategic investments to support future growth.” The company will also add more retail stores in various states to its footprint, she said.

To that end, CFO Alex D’Amico said the company plans to open 15-20 new stores in 2023, compared with the 25 it opened last year, and will relocate another six. And capital expenditures are projected to be down by about 50% the coming year, he said, which will save the company millions.

State Expansion

Trulieve’s plans include getting new facilities open in Georgia and Connecticut, and the company has hopes that recreational markets will launch in Pennsylvania and Maryland, which are both dependent on the state legislatures to act, Rivers said.

But she also made clear that bankrolling the Florida adult-use campaign, Smart & Safe Florida, is one critical “strategic investment” because of how much it could change the industry landscape in the Sunshine State. Trulieve has already invested $25 million into the ballot measure, and Rivers said the company won’t be stopping there.

“The most impactful upcoming opportunity for Trulieve is the potential launch of adult-use sales in Florida,” Rivers told shareholders. “As such, Trulieve intends to continue financial support of the Smart & Safe Florida campaign for an adult-use ballot initiative. … With 22 million residents and 138 million annual tourist visits, we believe Florida will be a top legal cannabis market reaching $6 billion in annual revenue.”

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