Aleafia Well being Inc. (ALEAF) CEO Tricia Symmes on Q5 2022 Outcomes – Earnings Name Transcript


Aleafia Health Inc. (OTCQX:ALEAF) Q5 2022 Results Conference Call June 28, 2022 8:30 AM ET

Company Participants

Tricia Symmes – CEO

Matt Sale – CFO

Conference Call Participants

Rahul Sarugaser – Raymond James

Matthew Baker – Cantor Fitzgerald


Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Aleafia Health Fiscal Year 2022 Fifth Quarter and 15-Month Results Conference Call. This morning, Aleafia Health filed on SEDAR its financial statements and associated management discussion and analysts for 3 and 15 months ended March 31, 2022.

All comments to be made on today’s call should be taken in reference to and are qualified in their entirety by those documents. Today’s call includes estimates and other forward-looking information from which our actual results could differ. Please review the cautionary language in today’s press release regarding various factors, assumptions and risks that could cause our actual results to differ.

Furthermore, during this call, we will refer to certain non-IFRS financial measures, including branded cannabis net revenue, adjusted gross margin and adjusted EBITDA. These measures do not have any standardized meeting under the IFRS. And our approach to calculating these measures may differ from those of issuers. And so these measures may not be directly comparable.

Please see this quarter’s MD&A for more information about these measures. I will now pass the call over to Aleafia’s Health CEO, Tricia Symmes. Please begin.

Tricia Symmes

Thank you, and good morning, and welcome fellow shareholders. Our CFO, Matt Sale and the team at Aleafia Health wishes you a warm welcome.

Today, we have very encouraging and positive story to share. When we last met on February 15, I was very excited and said our prospects were the best they’ve ever been. Today, on June 28, I’m looking forward to continuing to show shareholders and investors the great things that we are accomplishing and will achieve in the future. As a reminder, we changed our fiscal year-end, so this meeting covers the 3 and 15 months ended March 31, ’22.

What is Aleafia Health’s mission? Why do we do what we do? Our products enhance the well-being of our customers and patients, and that’s why we work so tirelessly to provide them with the best and most innovative cannabis in Canada and internationally.

Now let’s talk about our four most important strategic objectives and why they will add up to growth, a leadership position in the Canadian cannabis industry and adjusted EBITDA profitability for Aleafia Health.

The first is obtaining a top 10 position in the Canadian adult-use market. In the first calendar quarter of 2022, we achieved a 13th ranking for market share in our core markets of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. And we are actively expanding our footprint to become a nationally distributed licensed producer.

We also enjoy the third highest growth rate among top 20 Canadian Licensed Producers in retail sales pull-through over the last four quarters in those core markets. In the value category, our Divvy brand introduced in Q2 2021 is consistently one of the top search brands on, and our market share for that brand’s portfolio alone reached 2.1% by the end of Q5 in our core markets.

Second, we are maintaining leadership in the medical cannabis market with a 7% market share in the overall Canadian medical market in Q3 2021. While others have declined in the current business climate, we have expanded our market share. Currently in the segment, our run rate net revenue is $10 million. We are increasing our presence in key high-volume markets like Quebec and providing enhanced wellness to veterans while we are actively awarding new third-party channels and have seen an increase up 20% in Q5 2022.

Third, internationally, our estimated run rate net revenue is $1 million and rapidly growing. We have products in the U.K., Australia and German markets and are actively pursuing onboarding additional international partners. We believe there is significant upside potential beyond the current forecast with export ramp-up throughout 2022 and 2023.

And fourth, we are expecting adjusted EBITDA breakeven profitability in the second half of fiscal 2023. Our strategic realignment reduced headcount by 30% has created a leaner, more efficient organization. The medical business has been fully integrated across clinic and third parties. We have completed SKU rationalization and portfolio optimization with an equity financing of $5.6 million and a balance sheet transformation to fund future growth.

Today, there is much to talk about. We will review our Q5 fiscal year 2022 key takeaways, our business overview and performance and a financial overview. At the close of these discussions, there will be a Q&A, and we look forward to hearing your questions.

Now let’s take a look at the business and how it is performing. As we look at the adult use sales channel for a moment, the Company’s trajectory is formidably upward. The Company was in the top 3 out of 40 largest Canadian Licensed Producers in market share rank improve for the fiscal year 2022. We are among the top six for retail sales growth over fiscal year 2022 in our core markets. Our retail sell-through advanced 497% in Q5 relative to Q1. Quarterly average growth rate over the fiscal year was 55% over this same period.

In the flower category, our retail sales pull-through and market share average quarterly growth rate topped 115% and 110%, respectively. In the fastest-growing pre-roll segment, our products had an average quarterly growth rate of 116% in retail sell-through and market share average quarterly growth rate remains impressive at 88% despite the depth of offerings in this large category.

Divvy, our everyday value line has been a leader in our adult-use brands, consistently a top search brand on since its launch in Q2 2021. In Q5 alone, Divvy pre-rolls own a 2.9% market share and Divvy Flower enjoys a 1.9% market share in our core markets; while the new Divvy vapes are now in the Top 10 Ontario percentile. All of this has happened very rapidly, representing continued growth in adult-use sales driven by strong retail pull-through of the Divvy brand.

Over the last five quarters, Aleafia rapidly gained adult-use market share in key markets starting in Q1 2021 at 0.5% to 2.2% at the end of Q5 and continues to ascend. In the four principal markets of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, the Company more than quadrupled key adult-use retail market share in just four quarters.

What this demonstrates is momentum. Every quarter, the Company gained upward traction in the most significant metrics market share and retail sales pull-through. I want to highlight the Company’s momentum in the three largest product format categories, flower, pre-roll and vapes. Here, we’ve had tremendous growth.

First, look at dried flower for a minute. The chart shows that there has been a 110% average quarterly growth rate since Q1 2021. This is a function of a number of factors, including the quality of our product, its branding and our understanding of consumer wants and preferences. Our authenticity in the market and our cultivation of a diverse supply of indoor, greenhouse and high potency, high terpene outdoor flower, they have all contributed to our rise in the market.

Next is pre-rolls, where the market share average quarterly growth rate is 88%. In this category, the Company has been an innovative leader introducing both a 12-pack of 0.35 pre-rolls in Q2 to huge success and then a 7-pack of 1 gram pre-rolls in Q5 to appeal to a different type of pre-roll consumer. For vapes, the market share average quarterly growth rate is 32%, also demonstrating significant momentum in a very short period of time.

Amidst a very competitive market dynamic, we have depth in our key product categories, driving diversified sales by product SKU. Our top three selling products in the OCS up to April 30, 2022 were 1.1 million sales of Pineapple Nuken 12-pack pre-rolls, 0.9 million in sales of 14-gram Sour Kush flower and 0.7 million in sales of California Orange vape cartridges. All of these products are under our everyday brand Divvy, part of our Sunday market house of brands.

Now let’s look at our portfolio growth. We are very proud of our innovative Divvy brand portfolio. We have taken excellent products like Nebula II CBD pre-rolls and created a matching CBD vape cartridge. And we took our popular Pineapple Nuken 12 packs of pre-rolls offer in both flower and vape formats, allowing for consumers freedom and how they enjoy our cultivars. In the case of our balance flower, Black Widow CBD, we have added a large format 28-gram bag to its already successful 3.5 and 14-gram format.

Similarly, with our popular sativa and indica crop flower format, we have increased these offerings to 10-, 14- and 28-gram formats, up from only 10 size earlier in the fiscal year due to its tremendous success.

Pre-rolls, where we have enjoyed much success due to our innovation, gained attractive new formats with the Sour Kush and Pineapple Nuken, two of our most popular strains, we have now added a larger format 1-gram size in 7 packs, where previously there were only 12 packs of smaller 0.35 gram pre-roll. The Divvy portfolio size now stands at 32 individual SKUs, up from 18 in Q2 2021, which represents huge growth in our presence in the adult use market in our core markets.

Now look at our Medical segment. The Medical channel is a highly scalable, sticky recurring revenue base, well positioned to continue growing through new strategic partnerships and promotional sales initiatives. Our medical integrated platform has performed well despite the overall headwinds in the medical market.

For the first three months of 2021 and 2022, sales were relatively consistent, while from fiscal 2020 to 2022, medical sales rose from $13.1 million from $8 million. Finally, there has been an increase in number and share of medical cannabis patients exceeding 7% in overall Canadian medical market share in Q3 2021. For Aleafia Health, the medical channel is a competitive advantage with its scalable opportunities and recurring revenue.

I’d like to spend a couple of minutes on international sales. The international market offers great promise. With strong distribution partnerships, we are currently exporting our products to the U.K., German and Australian markets. Their combined populations of $176 million are more than 4x that of Canada’s $38 million and to offer a very attractive expanded market.

In Q5 in fiscal year 2022, the Company’s international net revenue more than tripled to $0.7 million in fiscal year 2022 from $0.2 million in fiscal year 2020, with the second half of fiscal year 2022 outpacing all of that of fiscal year 2021. I think it is fair to say that the Company’s growth facilities are among industry is finest and most diversified.

Each one, indoor, greenhouse and outdoor reflect our ability to craft products that will allow us to supply multiple geographic regions: Canada; Europe; and Australia, with a key certification allowing us to reach EU GMP markets. Our outdoor farm in Port Perry, Ontario, one of the largest and most successful in Canada is a symbol of the Company’s transformation into a focused, high-quality flower producer, and away from a low-cost wholesale producer with steadily increasing THC and terpene percentages, providing the basis for our Sunday Market House of Brands cannabis portfolio, extending from our successful Divvy everyday value brand to our Noon & Night CBD products.

I’d now like to turn it over to Matt Sale, our CFO, who will take you through the Company’s financial overview. Thank you.

Matt Sale

Thank you, Tricia. There have been many highlights of our growing branded cannabis net revenue across the adult-use, medical and international sales channels. Starting with the most recent quarter, Q5 of fiscal year 2022, branded cannabis net revenue is down 55% to $8 million from $5.2 million in the same period in 2021.

In the adult-use market, we launched 37 new SKUs and five targeted brands across four provincial markets, reflecting evolving consumer tastes and the learnings from our team, we completed a detailed portfolio optimization exercise in Q5 to focus on the highest margin, best positioned products flower; pre-rolls; and vapes.

We view these as attractive categories for Aleafia given the size of their addressable market and potential for meaningful gross profit. Our product strategy is focused on deepening our presence here and has benefited from the exceptionally high quality of outdoor growth this past year that allowed the launch into new mill SKUs and further penetration in the pre-roll category.

In the medical market, we saw scripts increase 11% year-over-year for the last 12 months ended March 31, 2022, and our share of Canada-wide patient registrations approached 7.5% in Q4 and of 2021 based on information from Health Canada. We are winning in a really tough medical cannabis environment, but the market size is declining, but our share has grown another company achievement.

Internationally, as mentioned, product has been successfully exported into Germany, U.K. and Australia. We’ve contracted strain-specific sales, which are expected to drive a sustainable higher-margin business. What you are seeing today and in the news release and MD&A we filed this morning is the result of our dramatic shift toward a branded cannabis producer in fiscal ’22 and away from being a wholesale bulk cannabis provider, which we were in fiscal year 2020.

In fiscal year 2022, we achieved some remarkable numbers, $47.5 million of branded revenue and $36.8 million of branded cannabis net revenue. 85% of our total net revenue in this fiscal year was derived from branded cannabis with a highly diversified sales mix. It’s almost the opposite in fiscal year 2020. Branded out-of-use and medical cannabis provides higher margins than the wholesale market, creates a relationship with consumers and patients that we can understand and learn from and builds long-term sticky relationships with consistent ordering patterns.

Overall, the qualities of our branded cannabis portfolio have improved significantly over the prior year. In addition to transforming the business, we greatly improved the balance sheet with a breakthrough financing, which will help ensure the Company’s future financial health. We announced on May 12, an agreement in principle to amend the 37.35 million convertible debentures due June of 2022, along with a $5.6 million private placement equity financing.

This concluded an extensive and exhaustive process to evaluate various alternatives with respect to our convertible debenture maturity. The equity financing was issued on a private placement basis and include the issuance of 68 million units at a price of $0.0825 per unit. Each unit consists of one common share and one-half of one common share purchase warrants with a $0.1025 exercise price in four-year term.

The net proceeds from this private placement will be used for funding working capital, CapEx and general corporate purposes. All important developments freeing management to pursue are growth initiatives. The convertible debenture amendments will result in the 37.35 million convertible debenture due June of this year being exchanged for three separate tranches, a $12.3 million 2024 debenture, a $12.3 million 2026 debenture and a $14.7 million 2028 debenture.

The interest rate will remain fixed at 8.5%, but the Company will benefit from no mandatory cash interest payments for 24 months. The conversion price will be reduced from $1.47 to $0.25 for the 2024 debenture $0.30 for the 2026 debenture and $0.35 for the 2028 debenture. The debenture amendments closed earlier this morning. This was a transformative financing transaction for Aleafia.

The amendments will allow the Company to increase our liquidity by up to $11.6 million to fund working capital, CapEx and other growth initiatives. They improve our cash flow dynamics with no mandatory cash interest payment for 24 months. They balance our refinancing profile with the new convertible debentures having staggered two, three and six-year maturities.

It increases our financial flexibility to pursue organic growth initiatives and strategic accretive acquisitions. In this area, in particular, the Company has been and continues to monitor the consolidation in the industry, having resolved our convertible debenture, maturity and an improved balance sheet that the Company can potentially participate should the opportunity and transaction be right.

And lastly, this removes the uncertainty driving a significant overhang on our valuation by providing capital and pushing out the convertible debenture maturity by two to six years. We believe this will help in due time to narrow the valuation gap relative to our peers. We now have two senior secured facilities, representing a total of $24 million, which provides the Company with a stable source of funding.

This includes a $7 million revolving receivables facility which as at March 31, 2022, was $6.5 million undrawn. The eligible advances under this facility increase as our sales into the four provinces increase and will facilitate continued retail sales pull-through. In conjunction with our recently completed equity financing, these two sources of capital provide the Company with $11.6 million in liquidity to continue scaling our top line revenue through our multiple organic growth initiatives already underway.

The amended convertible debentures will result in three roughly equivalent tranches maturing in two, four and six years with no mandatory cash interest payments until June 30, 2024. It was a long and complex negotiation, and we thank the debenture holders for their forbearance and willingness to look into the future with us, agreeing that our assets, brands and people have the potential to attain adjusted EBITDA profitability and beyond on a sustainable long-term basis.

Review growth as the key metric driving our business. On the left, there is Aleafia Health in the number three position in retail sell-through, achieving a 55% average quarterly growth rate over the previous four calendar quarters, Q1 2021 to Q1 2022. As you can see, our growth rate exceeds many notable names in the industry, including our large cap peers that have shed market share over this period.

Despite Aleafia, delivering a top three growth rate, we are currently valued at a discount to most of our peers. We believe this presents an opportunity for multiple rerates to narrow the valuation gap. Aleafia has a multi-pronged growth strategy to drive growth in our branded cannabis product portfolio across three high-value pillars.

Looking at adult use, with $28 million in run rate net revenue, we are targeting generating between $35 million and $40 million net revenue in fiscal year 2023. Here are a few of the growth initiatives underway to attain a top 10 market share position in the Canadian adult-use market.

One, driving increased throughput of high-quality usable flower across our three cultivation sites, which allows us to continue developing our brand while utilizing our existing installed asset base.

Two, building further depth in key large flower categories, mainly whole dried flower, pre-roll, milled and fake product format categories.

Third, delivering innovative new products with rapid customer uptake, an example of which would be the pending launch of the Divvy’s Buyer Club, which will provide us flexibility to put our new existing on-trend strains into the marketplace, further differentiating us in the categories in which Divvy competes.

Fourth, redirecting more outdoor flower from the high-volume wholesale sales channel into the adult-use sales channel, with each annual harvest, we learn more best practices and incorporate them into future outdoor harvest.

And fifth, leveraging our direct internal sales force to continue responding nimbly to evolving consumer taste and patient preferences.

In medical, we are targeting, growing our revenue base from its existing run rate of $10 million net revenue to between $15 million and $18 million in this fiscal year. We’ll do that by building, tracking and cultivating a robust new active patient-based funnel will drive increased patient engagement through proactive outreach campaigns to our active patients, inactive patients, third-party clinics and other industry thought leaders to educate them on the wellness benefits our products can deliver.

Second, focusing on high-value patients that exhibit more frequent ordering patterns and a propensity to engage with our entire suite of branded products, we continue to develop more robust data capturing systems to allow us to better understand their recurring ordering patterns and surface opportunities to better meet their needs with our products.

And third, continuing new product innovation by leveraging our adult-use portfolio that continues to stay close to the market, putting out new innovative products that we have found both our adult-use consumer base and medical patient base can enjoy.

Overall, our strategy in medical is to build sticky, recurring net revenue at strong margins. Supplementing those domestic medical sales will be high-growth international sales. On international, we view this as the next potential and, hopefully, meaningful revenue stream for Aleafia and have multiple opportunities to build on the fiscal year 2022 financial performance.

We are actively engaging with potential international strategic partners to solidify agreements which will allow Aleafia to tap in and unlock the high-margin European market. We’re focusing on committed volumes, stable margin contracts. We see this revenue profile as strategically attractive as it locks in future revenue and cash flows.

Over the last three quarters, we’ve extracted over $10 million in annualized SG&A savings. Our profile is flexible and scalable to facilitate continued growth. We have accomplished that with the reduction of our workforce by 30% or 120 persons representing $7.8 million in annualized savings, reduced the use of consultants and advisers representing $2 million in annualized savings.

We realigned our medical business, integrating the medical’s virtual, physical and third-party clinic platform. We’ve wound down lease spaces representing $0.5 million in annualized savings. We remapped processes in our Grimsby greenhouse to allow cultivation organization to meet anticipated growing throughput of high-potency THC flower.

We completed the Sunday Market House of Brand onetime brand development and product development and related launch costs. We remain very confident that the significant improvements in fiscal year 2022 pave the way for breakeven adjusted EBITDA profitability.

Some of our completed notable initiatives include executing an SG&A cost rationalization, which saw a deep dive into all our fixed and variable costs incurred outside of production. We engage with leaders across the entire organization to identify, analyze and then execute targeted initiatives to drive costs out of the business.

We performed a SKU optimization process to align our portfolio on the highest-selling product formats with the strongest margin. We’ve rolled out moderate but strategic price increases, a first for many of the provincial buyers we engage with. This was in the face of price compression that many of our peers were engaging in.

Some of our select strategies underway comprise pursuing strategic relationships to optimize our cultivation and increase our flower throughput. In the last quarter alone, based on estimates, we lost out on at least $3 million of revenue in the adult-use sales channel due to our usable flower being consistently sold out, continuing to scale revenue in this way, is an important initiative to continue extracting operating leverage from our scalable infrastructure.

We’re evolving our product formats to optimize our margin profile. A part of this is also looking at our products on a portfolio basis to drive consumers into product formats we believe provide the strongest value proposition in the marketplace.

Our internal sales force, a competitive advantage in our eyes is continually finding ways to cross-sell our banners and SKUs into higher-margin dollar products. And lastly, we’re viewing our entire supply chain to consolidate our vendor relationships, thereby reducing complexity across our organization and driving better economies of scale.

I will now hand over the presentation to Tricia for some final remarks, but for my part, as Aleafia Health’s CFO. I’d like to say thank you to investors and shareholders and also we can and will be the most exciting and innovative Canadian cannabis company. We’ve worked to reset company finances that we can reach all the goals we have outlined today. I’m personally very excited to be here at this transformative moment for Aleafia Health.


Tricia Symmes

Thank you, Matt. I have been very honored to be Aleafia Health CEO at this very important moment in the life of the Company. Today, Aleafia continues to thrive to a position of industry leadership with higher market share, increased retail penetration, innovative and higher potency new products, continued growth in its medical business and market share, and an upward trajectory in its international business.

Couple of those positive factors with a great multifaceted devoted operations team, cost containment, a revamped balance sheet and new equity financing and what you have is one terrific growth company with a pathway towards sustainable profitability. We are very, very proud of what we have accomplished, and we look forward to sharing with you the continued growth trajectory of Aleafia Health in the months to come.

Thank you very much, and we will now turn it back to the operator.

Question-and-Answer Session


[Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Rahul Sarugaser with Raymond James. Your line is open.

Rahul Sarugaser

Good morning, Tricia and Matt. Thanks so much for taking the questions and congratulations on resetting of the balance sheet as well as the adult-use sales trajectory. So quickly, and so give me — Tricia, perhaps I missed this. You talked about the medical cannabis, and Matt you also talked about the trajectory in medical cannabis. And however, did you mention — could we get an update on the union contracts, if that is going to be part of the strategy for driving that medical revenue trajectory?

Tricia Symmes

Great. Thank you, Rahul, and thank you for joining us today. So on the medical side of the business, what we see is obviously a change within the market dynamics we’ve seen across the industry, a declining market. We know that COVID has an effect on that. We also know the adult-use expansion has also seen a lot of patients exit that space and move into other markets where it’s more readily available.

I think the one thing that has really differentiated Aleafia within this space is our ability to not only acquire new patients, and I can share a little bit on the growth of where that’s coming from but also on our opportunity to drive greater penetration and depth within the current segment. One of the ways in which we’ve expanded that is through our veterans group, which has been incremental growth opportunity for us.

We’ve moved into the Quebec market, which we’ve seen significant increase in rise in new patients. And we’ve also established new third-party channels with additional clinics and partnerships where you may have seen a lot of the other companies have started to leave this medical cannabis space. We still believe that this has a significant opportunity for growth for Aleafia.

As Matt and I both mentioned, it’s a very sticky recurring revenue base. We’ve actually seen an increase in our market share within that segment, up to 7%. And in Q5 alone, we saw a growth in 20% of new patients coming into that segment. The benefits programs such as Unifor and other benefits providers do continue to provide a significant opportunity for growth where patients can have their medical cannabis covered. We continue to be committed to that channel.

We see an increase in new patients coming from this segment, but also from others where they have benefit coverage. And we’re actively engaged in initiatives now that we’ve moved out of the COVID segment with the Unifor Group and the companies that we’ve onboarded through that sector that we will continue to see a rise in new patients through that area.

But I do want to reiterate that I don’t think it’s just one segment that’s contributing to our growth. It’s been a very targeted initiative to make sure that while we’re bringing in new patients, you also need to maintain and drive the depth of prescription and confidence with the patients that we currently have.

Rahul Sarugaser

Perfect. Thanks Tricia. Appreciate that color. Next, moving to the balance sheet. Matt, you talked about a little over $11 million in available liquidity between the financing and current credit available. And Tricia, I believe you mentioned that you’re looking at turning EBITDA positive in the back half of fiscal ’23, recognizing that there’s a relatively high AP around $28 million. Could you maybe give us some way points as we undertake our modeling to gain confidence that the liquidity available is sufficient to get you to that EBITDA positive point, which, of course, then opens up a lot more optionality for you?

Matt Sale

Thank you, Rahul. Great question. When you look at our working capital position and in particular our payables balance, within their a couple of things that won’t exist going forward; one would be an accrued interest amounts of approximately $2.4 million, which as a result of the debenture amendments, which closed this morning, will be converted into principal.

When you look within that, our trade vendor relationships, we are enacting a strategy to identify and focus on our trusted vendors and consolidate our vendor relationships throughout the organization. What that is going to do is reduce complexity throughout the business, but also extract, we think, in meaningful economies of scale by redirecting volume, which today is more scattered than it needs to be into a more solidified streamlined vendor process.

With respect to liquidity, the equity financing and revolving receivables facility provides us $11.6 million or up to $11.6 million in total liquidity. The nice thing about the receivables facility is that it scales with our business. So as our out-of-use sales increase into the four provinces, the advance rate under that receivables facility continues to expand.

That said, we will continue to look at the market and identify ways to augment our capital structure and improve our liquidity position. But we believe — and remain confident that we have a pathway to hitting adjusted EBITDA profitability in the second half of this fiscal year.

Rahul Sarugaser

Perfect. Thanks, Matt. I really appreciate that. So if you’ll indulge just one last quick question for me. Recognizing that there’s a material amount of revenue that’s now starting to flow in from international, and many of your competitors have recognized this channel as an attractive one, particularly because the margins there are pretty good. How is it that you’re setting yourselves up to remain competitive in that channel, given the mounting competition and be able to continue to drive that revenue upwards?

Tricia Symmes

So Rahul, I can answer that for you in terms of our diversification that we’ve put into Aleafia. As you know, we have some strategic partnerships, which have allowed us to be able to export into those markets. We also have a high-quality flower cultivated out of our prepared facility, which is very attractive to the international market and is now seeking new customers that are eagerly awaiting to be able to import that.

We’ve also seen success in export with both high potency flower entering the market and in the ability to send a product that passes micro and not having to be sterilized. So, we’ve really started to see good traction in that market. I can also say that because we’ve entered those markets early, we have seen the Sour Kush strain consistently sell out on the German space, and it’s very high-value strain in that market and that has also attracted new customers to the space.

In addition to that, our Grimsby facility is also able to work in partnership with our partners in — both in Canada and the German market to be able to sell internationally, not only in the domestic market. And we also have an opportunity to make sure that we’re maximizing our other facilities with indoor grow with JCP certification.

So I think because we have established ourselves in the early days, especially within the medical channel in that market, as you know, the medical side of the business internationally in the European market ensures that once a patient starts on the strain, they want to stay consistently on that same strain.

So it represents a very good path for us in terms of maintaining the depth of those patients and also establishing ourselves early in the market with key distributors in that market who are not only well developed, but have excellent access across the pharmacy channel, which is instrumental internationally.

As Matt and I mentioned, the first half of this year far exceeded, what we did in all of 2021 last year internationally, and we already have plans in place and contracts with key partners that will help us to continue to export from Paris. So this will be a phenomenal growth driver for us to augment, obviously, our rec business, which is the highest revenue driver right now, the medical business, which is higher margin and sticky revenue.

And then when you move to international, you have a business there that is very strong as it pertains to what you can sell from a $1 per gram, but also on the margin that will help us reach that goal of getting to adjusted EBITDA profitability faster.


[Operator Instructions] And our next question comes from Pablo Zuanic with Cantor Fitzgerald. Your line is open.

Matthew Baker

This is Matthew Baker on for Pablo. Thank you for taking our questions. For the first one, can you discuss your cash burn in detail? What was it in 1Q ’22? And what’s a reasonable assumption for April to December?

Matt Sale

Thanks, Matt, for the question. We have been, as we communicated earlier this year in our February release for Q4 and in this release, very aggressively containing and extracting and containing costs out of the business. Over the last three quarters, we have extracted over $10 million in annualized SG&A savings, so $2.5 million per quarter.

Moreover, on the margin front, we have gone through a SKU rationalization and enacted strategic price increases and continue to move into product format categories where we see them as large but also the opportunity for maximum gross profit dollars.

What does that result in is, as you’ll see in our slide deck and adjusted EBITDA profitability improving quarter in each of the last four quarters has improved. This most recent quarter, the reported adjusted EBITDA of a negative $4.2 million. There are two amounts that we view as non-recurring that happened.

One is in our Grimsby greenhouse, an operational issue is identified. We have assembled a task force and have mitigated it through some modest CapEx investments and process changes. That, based on our estimates, accounted for about a $2 million non-recurring cost.

And two, in the quarter, in our wholesale sales channel, as you know, we continue to move away from that sales channel and focus on our branded cannabis portfolio, but it did have a $1.9 million negative margin.

So adjusting for those two non-recurring costs, our adjusted EBITDA would have been negative $0.5 million. And so we are, in our view, well on our track towards achieving that breakeven point in the second half of this fiscal year.

Matthew Baker

And just for a follow-up question. I know that you provided an update on your convertible debt earlier this morning. As we’ve seen with other companies, we were wondering if a third party could buy the outstanding convertible debt and then directly renegotiate the terms with you? Or is this something that you think is unlikely to happen?

Matt Sale

Great question, Matt. So those three, the one convertible debenture for 37.35 million will be separated into roughly three equivalent tranches, $12.3 million, $12.3 million, and $14.7 million. We anticipate those being listed once cleared by the TSX and freely trading and can be purchased by any potential capital participant.

I can also tell you, we engaged in very thoughtful, robust discussions with debenture holders leading up to this amendment, and we plan to continue remaining in close contact. They provided their faith and reaffirmed their confidence in the team that we’ve assembled, and we’d be welcome to engaging with any other potential convert holders should that opportunity arise.

Matthew Baker

And then if possible, just one more follow-up. I know that this was already touched on in an earlier question. But if you wanted to just point out any — if there has been any significant wins in terms of labor unions or other questions or other groups in your medical business?

Tricia Symmes

Sure. Thank you, Matt. With regards to our growth, we’re seeing that come through multiple segments on the medical business. So the first one, obviously, has been through the increase in going into a new market. So we’ve seen that specifically with penetration in the Quebec market, which represents a whole new patient growth base for us.

We’ve also extended our partnership and are working very closely with the Veterans Group, which has seen a significant increase for us in the last quarter. As you know, veterans are suffering from chronic conditions in which they also have reimbursement for medical cannabis.

So, this is a very important segment, a group of patients. that we’ve also brought in new products into our medical channel in store to make sure that we can offer high-value, high-quality flower for this patient group.

And then the third segment is really that Aleafia has taken a stance at looking at other clinics and how a lot of these LPs are exiting the market. We can move that patient base over to offer them an opportunity part of our Cannabis Clinic program as well as offering them with the Emblem products.

I think that, that’s been a very important segment for growth for us. We’ve seen a 20% increase in the segment during the last quarter, while a lot of other LPs are exiting the space, we are really focusing on driving incremental penetration within that space and making sure that we are leveraging new patient acquisition.

And then on the benefit program and providers, this is another opportunity that we continue to work with our Unifor partner and maximize those companies that have already come on board. We now are presenting and actively with them at their facilities and engaging and educating their membership, which was very difficult to do in a COVID environment.

So with the change in the market dynamic and allowing us back into the sector, a lot of those education activities have been reengaged, and we continue to see growth in the segment as a result of that.

And then lastly, the other important part is to ensure that you have products that you can maximize to offer a wide variety for these patients as it is chronic therapy. We’ve been very innovative in bringing new products to market, such as Omega-3. In the future, we’ll be bringing a melatonin product.

We’re now actively pursuing high craft high-quality THC product for our veteran population and making sure that we have wide distribution of medical, more NHP pharmaceutical type products available to our patients. So this has also helped to ensure that when we draw in new patients, we’re also driving further depth of being able to maintain the current patient base that we have.


At this time, I am showing no further questions in the queue. I’d like to hand the conference back over to Tricia Symmes for any closing comments.

Tricia Symmes

Thank you very much. Thank you for the questions and thank you to shareholders and participants today who took the time to visit with Aleafia and to hear our updates.

As Matt mentioned, we are very proud of the accomplishments that we’ve had to date, and we look forward to sharing with you the continued growth trajectory and the success of the Company in the months and quarters to come.

Thank you very much, and wish everybody a great day.


This concludes today’s conference call. Thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect. Everyone, have a wonderful day.

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