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Trulieve Cannabis Corp TRUL-CN reported a 24 per cent rise in fourth-quarter adjusted core profit on Wednesday, helped by strong demand for pot and related products.

The results come as the sector has drawn renewed investor interest with a cannabis decriminalization bill heading for vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

Trulieve, which operates in 11 states including Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania, said fourth-quarter revenue surged 81 per cent to $305.3-million also boosted by its $2.1-billion acquisition of medical pot producer Harvest Health.

The company said it expects full-year 2022 revenue to be in the range of $1.3-billion to $1.4-billion, and adjusted core earnings in the range of $450-million to $500-million.

U.S. cannabis sales, which boomed during pandemic-led lockdowns, is forecast to reach $46-billion by 2026, according to industry research firm BDSA, as states like New York and New Jersey open up.

Shares of Trulieve Cannabis are listed in Canada as the two large U.S. stock exchanges do not allow companies that grow or sell the plant to list their shares. The stock is down 21.3 per cent year-to-date.

Still, margins and profits remain thin, triggering calls from investors and analysts for consolidation to improve profitability by finding savings in scale.

On a reported basis, Trulieve Cannabis posted a loss of $71.5-million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to a year-ago profit of $3-million.

The company took $73.3-million of non-recurring fair value of inventory step up, and acquisition charges primarily associated with the Harvest buy.

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