Trulieve Cannabis (OTC:TCNNF) has slowly and steadily established itself as one of the top pot producers in the U.S. market. Although it hasn't been looking to expand into as many different states as possible, it's been doing a great job of focusing on the Florida market, where it recently opened its 40th dispensary. The results have been paying off, as it's proving to be one of the better buys in the industry.

Impressive earnings performance

In its most recent quarterly results, Trulieve did something few cannabis companies have been able to do: posted a profit while also beating expectations. In Q3, the company's sales of $70.7 million came in above the $65.6 million that analysts were expecting. Meeting expectations in the cannabis industry has been a challenge for many companies, to say the least.

For the quarter, the company recorded an impressive profit of more than $60.3 million, more than triple the $17.5 million it earned in the prior year. However, the results can be a bit misleading, because Trulieve did benefit from fair value adjustments and other income giving its bottom line a boost. But the company's pre-tax earnings of $90.8 million would still be in the black even after taking out the $66.1 million benefit that Trulieve received from fair value adjustments and $1.3 million in other income. Even with the noise, Trulieve's results are still very impressive.

Cannabis plant.

Image Source: Getty Images.

Many growth opportunities on the horizon

As well as Trulieve has been doing, it hasn't been content with simply standing pat. Although the market for medical marijuana in Florida is significant, with more than 300,000 registered patients in the state, Trulieve's options for long-term growth there may be limited. But Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is firmly opposed to legalizing marijuana for recreational use in the state, as he is concerned about the impact the drug could have on young people.

So Trulieve has taken steps to expand into other states over the past year. Its latest move came in May, when the company announced it acquired The Healing Corner, a medical marijuana dispensary based in Connecticut. In 2018, Trulieve staked out positions in other states as well with the purchase of two cannabis companies -- Life Essence in Massachusetts and Leef Industries in California.

With three more states under its belt, Trulieve has significantly expanded its growth potential outside of the Florida market. The company recognizes the need to move beyond just Florida since its goal is to become among the big multistate operators in the country.

By being disciplined in its growth and taking the slow-and-steady route, Trulieve has given itself the time to get its business model right before seeking to expand into other parts of the country. Over the past nine months, the company has been able to generate positive cash flow from its operations totaling more than $16 million. That's something that wouldn't have been possible if the company were more aggressive in its growth strategy, and it makes the stock a much safer investment in the cannabis industry than most.

One of the few bright spots in the industry

Investing in cannabis is still very risky, but for investors who want to get exposure to the industry, Trulieve might be the best bet today. With strong financials and a lot more growth in the works, the company looks to be in very good shape. Investors have started taking notice as well; the stock has climbed nearly 50% in the past few months while others have struggled:


TCNNF data by YCharts.

The big test for Trulieve will be how well it can perform outside of Florida and its ability to manage operations in multiple states. If successful, it could quickly become one of the top marijuana stocks in the industry.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.