By Spencer Feingold
With the rise of Amazon and same-day delivery services, industries across the board are investing in e-commerce. But brick-and-mortar retail shops are still a major part of the cannabis world, the head of Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. said.
"People like to go into stores and see what they are buying because from week to week those products can look a little different," Steve White, the company's CEO, told Cheddar in an interview on Thursday at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition trade show.
The Arizona-based company already has several retail stores in nine states that sell a range of cannabis and CBD products.
"We have a regulatory regime that is unique in every state," White said, adding that the fractured legal system poses "down-the-road threats" to expanding into e-commerce and delivery services.
Nonetheless, Harvest Health has grown significantly in recent years with major acquisitions that have disrupted the industry. In March, the company finalized an $850 million acquisition of Verano Holdings, which made Harvest the largest publicly traded marijuana operator in the U.S.
Harvest also recently acquired several other cannabis producers and sellers including the Colorado intellectual property company CBx Enterprises, San Felasco Nurseries in Florida, and Falcon International in California.
"Week to week we'll be making acquisitions in states where we think there are real opportunities for Harvest to grow," White said.
In 2018, Harvest Health — which trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange — reported $47 million in revenue, a 106 percent jump from 2017, and a net loss of $67.5 million.
White added that the company expects at least half of its revenue in the future to come from retail. "We've been concentrating really heavily on building a significant retail footprint," he said.