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Canadian Retail Player High Tide On A Steep Growth Curve

December 27, 2022

Canada-based cannabis operator High Tide Inc. is expanding rapidly in its home market and has big plans for the United States. In the span of 13 years, High Tide has evolved from a single-unit, two-employee cannabis store to a multi-national cannabis firm with more than 140 Canadian store locations and more than 1,400 employees, plus holdings and business ventures throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Revenue almost doubled to C$249 million ($182m) in the nine months through July. High Tide CEO Raj Grover has ambitious growth plans for his company, which is publicly traded on the Nasdaq, Toronto (TSXV), and German (FWB) stock exchanges. SNDC recently caught up with Grover for an update.

SND: How has High Tide grown and evolved since its founding?

Grover: Through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, we’ve grown from one small shop of two employees selling consumption accessories in 2009, into Canada’s largest non-franchised cannabis retailer, with 140 locations across Canada and e-commerce business interests spanning North America and Europe.

SND: How is your entry into the U.S. market going?

Grover: Outside of Canada, we’re active in the hemp-derived CBD and consumption accessories spaces in markets like the U.S., the U.K., and Germany, which allows us to bring customers into our ecosystem even where adult-use THC is not yet legal nationwide. Our entry into the United States ancillary market was a strategic decision that is paying off nicely. We look to acquire companies that have positive brand recognition and loyal customers who we can integrate seamlessly into our ecosystem.

SND: How many U.S. markets are you in now?

Grover: Through our ancillary cannabis e-commerce companies’ platforms, we service all 50 states. However, we currently do not participate in brick-and-mortar U.S. cannabis sales due to the fact that we are a Nasdaq-listed company. We look forward to this changing as soon as major exchange-listed companies can participate in plant-touching sales.

SND: How do you see the U.S. market evolving moving forward?

Grover: The U.S. market has a lot of room for growth once cannabis becomes more widespread. Eventually, we’ll see mature cannabis brands with strong brand awareness and consistency. It’s likely we’ll see large companies stepping into the space and attempting to go after retail dominance. The future of a widespread legal cannabis industry will create a major brand building opportunity for companies like High Tide. Like we saw with the alcohol industry after Prohibition ended, the illicit market will erode as legal and safe products become more available and consumer trust grows. As laws evolve and public perception of cannabis changes over time, we’ll see a major space for brands to move in and take hold of market share and create household brand names.

 

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