ICR Inc. held its retail conference in Orlando, FL this week. This “invitation only ” event is mostly retail operations and restaurant/food businesses. It is heavily attended by the investment community looking to get updates on big names like Lululemon (LULU), but also to see where the buzz is for up and coming private companies. This year the conference started to include cannabis companies in the mix.
On the public side, MedReleaf’s (MEDFF) CEO Neil Closner made a presentation and on the private side emerging company Acreage Cannabis Holdings (formerly High Street Capital) presented to a packed room. MedMen’s Jim Carmack was part of a panel that was hosted by Cowen & Co. analyst Vivien Azer, which included MedReleaf, Acreage and me for Green Market Report. There was tremendous interest in the industry from the crowd that had little awareness of the size and growth of cannabis companies.
Cannabis panel at the ICR Inc. conference in Orlando, FL. From left to right, Kevin Murphy CEO Acreage Cannabis Holdings, Vivien Azer Cowen & Co., Debra Borchardt GMR, Neil Closner CEO MedReleaf and Jim Carmack Managing Director of Development MedMen
In his presentation, Closner said that he expected substantial consolidation and the winners will emerge. He noted that MedReleaf already has a 20% market share and he expects his company to be one of the winners. Revenue for the fiscal year of 2017 increased 109% over the fiscal year 2016. For the first half of fiscal year, 2018 revenues are up 4% versus the same time period for 2017.
Closner believes his company will be a winner because most of his competitors had failed to turn a profit. MedReleaf has taken a page from the pharma playbook and zeroed in on patients that would result in the highest volume of prescriptions and usage. The