Amid Weak Sales, Tilray CEO Says Cannabis Industry Still Years Away From Meeting Demand

Article by Vanmala Subramaniam, Financial Post

Amid weak sales, Tilray CEO says cannabis industry still years away from meeting demand Tilray sold more cannabis and brought in higher revenues in the first quarter of 2019 than the last three months of 2018, but continued to incur a net loss Tilray Inc. CEO Brendan Kennedy: "We are still at least several quarters away from smoothing out supply imbalances here in Canada."Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images/File Vanmala Subramaniam

Cannabis producer Tilray Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Brendan Kennedy told analysts on an earnings call Tuesday that the Canadian cannabis industry is still “12 to 24 months from reaching some sort of demand-supply equilibrium.”

“We have not seen a whole lot of supply, and when our team goes out to inspect the supply it is not at a quality that we feel comfortable packaging and selling,” Kennedy said. “We are still at least several quarters away from smoothing out supply imbalances here in Canada.”

Kennedy added that the major factor slowing down growth in the Canadian cannabis industry was the “lack of form factors” like edibles and vape pens, which will only become legal in Canada later this year.

Tilray sold more cannabis and brought in higher revenues in the first quarter of 2019 than the last three months of 2018, but continued to incur a net loss of over US$30 million due to high operating expenses, the acquisition of a hemp company, and the expansion of its international operations, the company said.

For the period ending March 31, 2019, Tilray sold 3,012 kilogram-equivalents of cannabis to recreational and medical markets, almost 1,000 kg more than the previous quarter.

Revenues climbed from $20.9 million last quarter to $31 million in the first three months of this year, driven by higher recreational sales numbers and hemp food sales from Manitoba Harvest, which Tilray acquired for $410 million in February.

Sales from Manitoba Harvest alone generated $7.5 million for the company.

Tilray raked in $10.6 million from sales on Canada’s adult-use market and roughly the same amount from the medical market. Approximately $2.4 million in revenue came from international medical sales.

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