Competition is heating up in the Florida cannabis market, but Beacon Securities analysts Doug Cooper and Russell Stanley say that with only one per cent patient penetration there’s plenty of room growth in the Sunshine State for publicly-traded companies like Trulieve Cannabis (Trulieve Cannabis Stock Quote, Chart CSE:TRUL), Cresco Labs (Cresco Labs Stock Quote, Chart CSE:CL), iAnthus Capital (iAnthus Capital Stock Quote, Chart CSE:IAN).
In a US marijuana industry update on Monday, Cooper and Stanley refer to the Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana (OMMU) and its weekly reports on Florida’s burgeoning cannabis industry, finding that the active patient count is now over 222,000 in the US’s second-most populous state, up 119 per cent from July 2018 levels and representing just over one per cent of the population of 21.3 million. The analysts figure that should patient penetration hit 2.7 per cent, a level seen in Arizona, for example, patient growth would be up 260 per cent from current levels.
“There are now 22 companies licensed in Florida and each is currently capped at 35 dispensaries (except TRUL, which is capped at 49),” write the analysts. “In other words, just 16 per cent of the state’s authorized 784 dispensaries are operating thus far, leaving lots of room for growth. Per the latest OMMU report, three more dispensary locations were approved for opening last week, bringing the state total to 126.”
Overall and currently, Trulieve has the most dispensaries open with 29, Curaleaf (Curaleaf Stock Quote, Chart CSE:CURA) is next with 24, followed by Surterra Wellness (private) at 23, Liberty Health (Liberty Health Stock Quote, Chart CSE:LHS) at 14, Cresco Labs at 11 and Cansortium (Cansortium Stock Quote, Chart CSE:TIUM.U) at ten.
As for recent notable events, the analysts refer to Trulieve’s receiving approval for its 29th dispensary, Cresco Labs’ pending acquisition VidaCann being issued approval for its 11th dispensary and targeting 14 by the end of June (and 20 by year end) and iAnthus’ having received approval for its fourth dispensary (with a fifth said to be opening this quarter and aiming to exit 2019 with more than 20).
The analysts note that Columbia Care (Columbia Care Stock Quote, Chart CCHW:NEO) does not have dispensaries opened yet but has begun active delivery services with small sales volumes so far reported.
Cooper and Stanley rate TRUL a “Buy” with a C$32.00 target price, they rate Cresco Labs a “Buy” with a C$24.00 target and they rate iAnthus Capital a “Buy” with a C$16.00 target.