Does Curaleaf Have More Upside Potential?

The change in the US administration in early 2021 with a majority of Democrats in both houses of Congress will likely accelerate federal approval of the medical and recreational marijuana business. A growing number of states have legalized pot over the past few years, and it may not be long before the formerly controlled substance becomes as ubiquitous as alcohol…

Whether you favor legalization or not, the potential for profits from companies that produce and distribute marijuana is compelling. Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CURLF) is a medical and wellness cannabis operator in the US. The company operates in two segments, Cannabis, and Non-Cannabis operations. The former produces and sells marijuana through retail and wholesale channels.

The latter provides professional services, including cultivation, processing, retail and back-office administration, intellectual property licensing, real estate leasing, and lending facilities to medical and recreational cannabis licensees under management service agreements.

CURLF has been around since 2010, with its headquarters in Wakefield, Massachusetts. CURLF shares have been trading since October 2018 and reached a record high in January 2021. The current landscape for the US marijuana business favors much higher prices for the company with just over a $10 billion market cap.

Curaleaf shares are near the high

CURLF shares opened for trading in late October 2018 at $7.9455. The IPO in Canada and on the OTC market in the US raised $400 million and established an opening market cap of $4.5 billion for the shares. It fell to a low of $2.54 per share in March 2020, as the stock market fell during the risk-off period caused by COVID-19.

By July 2020, the stock was back above the IPO price, and in late November, CURLF made a new record high above the April 2019 peak of $11.7308. CURLF moved to $16.69 on January 11 and was trading at the $13.30 level on January 29. The stock moved over six and one-half times higher over the past ten months.  At $13.30 per share, CURAF’s market cap is nearly $9 billion. An average of over 1.385 million CURLF shares changes hands each day. 

A management change at the top

In mid-2020, the company operated 57 dispensaries, 15 cultivation sites, and 24 processing sites in eighteen states. As of the end of January 2021, CURLF’s business has grown. The company is now operating in 23 states with 93 dispensaries, 22 cultivation sites, and 30 processing sites. With over 350,000 registered patients and 1,150 active wholesale dispensary accounts, the business has grown across the US from its home base and starting point in Massachusetts.

At the start of this year, CEO Joe Lusardi handed over the leading role at the company to…

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