Two Canadian cannabis retail chains report sales growth, net losses

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Two of Canada’s biggest cannabis retail chains have posted increasing quarterly revenues as the nation’s adult-use marijuana market continues to grow.

Toronto-based Meta Growth Corp. reported recreational revenue of roughly 13.7 million Canadian dollars ($10.4 million) for the quarter ended May 31, an increase of 1.8% over the previous quarter.

Meta Growth’s net loss for the quarter was nearly CA$23.2 million, including a CA$22.1 million impairment loss related to stores in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The company divested its medical cannabis assets in the quarter and acquired two new recreational stores in Ontario.

As of May 31, Toronto-based Meta operated 23 stores in Alberta, one in Saskatchewan and eight in Manitoba, including three in partnership with First Nations.

Another Meta store, operating in Manitoba in partnership with a First Nation was closed during the quarter “due to continued poor financial performance.”

Meta attributed its losses in the previous eight quarters largely to “the lack of critical mass in store count required to generate sufficient earnings to cover the company’s corporate expenses and startup costs.”

The retailer is being acquired by competitor High Tide in a deal that will create Canada’s largest adult-use marijuana retailer with 63 stores and plans for more.

A competing Canadian retailer, Fire & Flower Holdings Corp., had 51 stores operating as of the end of its quarter on Aug. 31, including 40 in Alberta, seven in Saskatchewan, two in Ontario and one each in Manitoba and Yukon Territory.

Quarterly revenue from Fire & Flower’s retail stores was nearly CA$23.4 million, an increase of nearly 27% over the previous quarter’s retail revenue.

Total revenue, including wholesale distribution and digital analytics, was CA$28.6 million.

Fire & Flower’s net loss for the quarter was CA$29.1 million, including a CA$18.3 million loss related to the revaluation of derivative liabilities and CA$8.2 million in finance costs.

Adult-use cannabis sales have grown mostly sequentially since legalization in October 2018, reaching a record CA$201 million in June.

Meta Growth Corp. trades on the TSX Venture Exchange as META.

Fire & Flower trades as FAF on the Toronto Stock Exchange.