America’s fastest growing retailer feels the burn

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America’s fastest growing retailer feels the burn

By Mike Troy - 11/30/2018
Shoppers gather at the opening of a MedMen store in Southern California in the summmer of 2018.

MedMen Enterprises, the vertically integrated cannabis company, is growing fast and looking to secure first-mover advantage in a hot and rapidly evolving segment of retail. The Los Angeles-based company, which went public in May, said its revenues increased 1,094 percent to $21.5 million in its first quarter ended Sept. 30 and sales per square foot are now a stunning $6,188. The growth rate is admittedly coming off of a small base and is due to expansion of the company’s physical presence which doubled to 14 total locations in the quarter. Sales would have been even higher except the company said it faced supply shortages in California where eight of its 14 stores are located and 86 percent of revenues are generated.

“Our first quarter performance underlines the successful execution of our growth strategy and ongoing commitment to provide mainstream cannabis consumers a wide breadth of products for their lifestyle and wellness needs,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen’s CEO and co-founder. “Our four-pillars strategy – built around a quality team, superior assets, strong balance sheet and the ability to efficiently and effectively raise and deploy capital – has set us up to successfully achieve our vision. We are now entering a new phase focused on fully operationalizing our vast footprint.”

While the footprint is limited currently, the company has pending transactions in place that will see the MedMen brand licensed for 69 retail stores and 16 cultivation and production factories across 12 states. Those deals allow the company to reach about half of what the company has determined is its U.S. addressable market. A key area of expansion is Florida where the company has secured retail locations with long term leases in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami Beach, West Palm Beach, St. Petersburg and Key West. The recent acquisition of a dispensary and cultivation license in Florida permits MedMen to open 30 medical marijuana dispensaries and conduct cultivation, delivery and manufacturing operations.

Another noteworthy licensing arrangement gives the company rights to use the iconic Woodstock brand on cannabis products manufactured and sold in California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois and Arizona.

And to keep the meteoric growth going the company is securing professional management talent from mainstream business. For example, MedMen recently hired David Dancer as chief marketing officer. He has prior experience with Teleflora, Charles Schwab, Visa and American Express. The company’s chief digital officer, Mike Lane, joined the company with experience at brands such as Live Nation, Ticketmaster, FOX Broadcasting and Adobe.

Perhaps the most noteworthy hire, especially as the company expands its physical footprint, was the appointment of Ben Cook as chief operating officer. He previously held supply chain roles with the likes of Apple and Sam’s Club.