MedMen: the "Starbucks of the weed" falls from above

Financial problems for retailer MedMen are a warning to the industry

MEDMAR is the best-known cannabis retailer in the United States. Yet in what could be a warning to the U.S. cannabis industry, she is struggling to raise funds to cover her growing losses. His struggles show the challenge faced by cannabis companies in their operations in states where high taxes and clinic restrictions have driven prices up. In California, the main market of MedMen, highly regulated companies find it difficult to compete with customers with illicit resellers who charge much less.

Financial reports released in February showed MedMen was at risk of running out of money within months unless he raised more money. Last week, MedMen eased any immediate financial crisis by securing a $ 100 million line of credit from a cannabis-focused investment firm. The loan could eventually be increased to $ 250 million if MedMen's performance improves.

The financing conditions are onerous - MedMen has to reimburse it at 6% against the Libor (London InterBank Offered Rate, a key interest rate used by banks for short-term loans with other banks) and issuing warrants but the new money will save the company time. Its shares, which had fallen nearly 60% since October, have risen slightly since the announcement. At its current stock price, MedMen is worth around $ 1,6 billion , against a peak of around $ 3 billion last year.

To give itself more time, MedMen sold some properties, including dispensaries. But this strategy has limits. MedMen has already sold much of its best real estate, and when it sells assets, the company increases costs further, as it now has to pay rent to new owners of dispensaries.

Another short-term solution is the loan MedMen announced to Gotham Green Partners last week. To show how tight finances have become, MedMen can transfer its first year interest into the loan rather than paying it in cash. Although MedMen called the loan an investment of $ 250 million when it announced the transaction, it revealed in its press release that it could only borrow the final $ 150 million "subject to certain conditions. and share price thresholds ”.

Questioned by CNBC, the company said, “Improving MedMen's financial profile and cash flow has been one of our top priorities, and we have already made significant improvements by implementing smarter spending initiatives. … We are committed to being strategic regarding our sales, administration and general expenses [general, administrative and administrative expenses], in particular by introducing new processes and efficiency gains. "

Certain MedMen issues appear to be company specific.

On January 29, James Parker, who was MedMen's CFO until November, sued the company in California state court. Parker alleged it had forced him out because of his concerns about the expenses and unprofessional behavior of his two top executives, Adam Bierman and Andrew Modlin.

The prospects for America's largest cannabis company have gone up in smoke amid claims of greed, excess and self ...

Last Sunday, MedMen Enterprises Inc. MMNFF (CSE: MMEN) has temporarily closed five of its eight dispensaries in Florida, according to the company's website.

The company has seen financial setbacks in recent times, operating in states where prices for legal cannabis are skyrocketing due to high taxes and restrictions imposed by dispensaries. Earlier this year, MedMen contacted  Gotham Green Partners , which supported it with total funding of $ 147,5 million.

Until recently, MedMen was America's largest marijuana company, and its young founders lived on it. There were private jets to Las Vegas, a mansion in the Hollywood Hills, and opulent dinners at gourmet restaurants.

Lured by a buzz of positive publicity and boisterous profiles at outlets such as Time magazine and Forbes, investors couldn't help but pour money into the “Weed Starbucks,” and MedMen couldn't couldn't stop spending it.

Today, however, MedMen's share price has collapsed amid accusations of greed, excess and unbridled ego. Founder Adam Bierman has resigned as CEO and the company has gone from being an industry pioneer to that of an uplifting story, as much of the early profits made during the “green rush” America went up in smoke.

Leadership shifts in the cannabis industry

In addition to MedMen, other companies have seen changes in leadership. In early 2019, Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth, left the company. Later in 2019, CannTrust's regulatory scandals led to the termination of its CEO. Hexo CFO Michael Monahan resigned in October. Aurora Cannabis has seen leadership changes in the company over the past year. On January 30, CEO of Sundial Growers also resigned. The sundial has also seen other changes in direction. Cannabis Supreme unelso has seen its CEO leave.

Leadership changes impact a company's actions. Sudden changes in leadership make investors skeptical about the company's performance. MedMen lost 83,9% of its market value in 2019. Surprisingly, the departure of MedMen's CEO caused its stock to rise on January 31. The stock gained 9% before the close. In January 2020, the stock has lost 17% since the start of the year. Meanwhile, Sundial lost 60%, while Supreme Cannabis lost 24% YTD. Aurora stock lost 12,5%, while Canopy Growth stock gained 6,9%. Aphria lost 10,7%, while OrganiGram gained 5,7%. Meanwhile, Hexo was down 21,3% year on year.

MEDMAR will announce its financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2020 on May 27, 2020.

Tags : BusinessCaliforniaUS

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