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The Cannabist Company Plans to Exit Florida Entirely Amid $10m Cost Saving Initiative

The Cannabist Company, formerly Columbia Care, has announced a string of cost cutting measures that will make the company ‘look very different by the end of this year’.

As part of a new corporate restructuring programme, the US cannabis multi-state operator plans to ‘rightsize’ its footprint to ‘maximize profitability’, seeing it exit the Florida market altogether.

Its entire Florida estate, including 14 retail stores, three cultivation and manufacturing facilities and its state license will be divested, with LOIs for multiple transactions and $2.75m of deposits already in place.

According to the company, in Q1 of 2024, its Florida operations accounted for just 5% of its total revenues, but it lost the company nearly $20m in the final quarter of 2023.

Another underperforming retail store in Trinidad, Colorado, is due to close, reducing the company’s footprint in the state to 22 stores.

Elsewhere, in New York, medical cannabis stores in Manhatten and Rochester, New York, have closed permanently, although the company says it is searching for new locations, and remains focused on growing the adult-use wholesale segment in the state. A further two stores in Brooklyn and Riverhead have seen their hours reduced.

Meanwhile, the company says it is continuing its expansion into Virginia, having opened a its 11th retail location on June 11, and plans to open its third location in New Jersey by the end of the year.

In Ohio, The Cannabist Company is preparing for the expected onset of adult use sales by the end of June. The company has expanded its garden to 85% capacity and aims to reach 100% by the second half of 2024. Additionally, upgrades are being made to its five operational retail locations to handle the anticipated increase in volume. The company is also developing three new retail locations and plans to rebrand its existing five locations under the Cannabist name.

“As we have made clear since the beginning of 2024, under new leadership, The Cannabist Company will look very different by the end of this year in terms of our operational footprint, overhead expenses, and de-risked financial profile,” said David Hart, who was promoted to CEO in January. 

“Our focus is on building a better business, positioned for profitability and long-term sustainable growth. We are decisively leaning into the markets that are best positioned for growth and strategic upside, while also monetizing underperforming and non-core assets. In Florida, for example, our asset base is not commercially optimized, with more cultivation capacity than our retail locations require. Our retail footprint and cultivation and manufacturing capacity are better suited to balance other operators’ portfolios, meanwhile we will eliminate loss-making operations and bring in non-dilutive capital.”

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