Part of being an intelligent investor is knowing which questions to ask to guide your research process. Sometimes, that could mean asking basic things, like what's the plan to reach profitability? Or, if you're evaluating a diversified and ever-changing company like SNDL, (SNDL 2.19%) your inquiries might need to be a bit more creative to yield the most fruitful information. 

But it isn't always possible to get all of your questions answered, and that's why smart investors are likely to still be considering a trio of issues before they decide whether to buy shares of SNDL. Let's break down these questions and make a few informed guesses about what the answers to some of them might be.

1. Why rebrand now?

Even if you've been following SNDL for a while, you're probably more familiar with its previous name, Sundial Growers. That name fit the company's vertically integrated cannabis operator identity just fine. And after initiating its SunStream Bancorp cannabis investment division, there still wasn't much to be confused about. Then, after its annual meeting in July, it rebranded itself SNDL, changing its legal name and discarding its prior identity as a cannabis cultivation business.

Management says that the company's diversification into liquor and investments over the last two years justifies the rebrand. Now, SNDL's investor materials and press releases typically place discussion of its liquor businesses ahead of its cannabis operations. And in Q2, it sold 148.6 million Canadian dollars in liquor compared to CA$63.5 million in cannabis at retail, and brought in only CA$11.6 million from cannabis cultivation and production. So at this point, it's more of a liquor company than a cannabis company.

It's perfectly fine for SNDL to rebrand to match its pivot toward a more diversified approach, but the timing is quite confusing, and there isn't much clarity surrounding the anticipated costs. Was it really necessary to announce and implement the new name so abruptly, to the point where many of the mentions of its old name appear to be scrubbed from the internet? Rebuilding SNDL's online presence will take time, and it currently doesn't rank in the top 10 search results for several variations of its own name -- a major problem for its marketing.

Investors aren't likely to get any answers about this question, but if they did, it might well end up being a very unsatisfying "Because that's when we decided to do it," which shouldn't inspire much confidence, to say the least.

2. Is management still pursuing profitable organic growth?

SNDL isn't profitable, and it hasn't been for most of the last three years. To address that issue, it's trying to cut costs and sell more of its most profitable cannabis products, and management has claimed since at least the third quarter of 2021 that reaching sustainable profitability is a priority.

In its Q2 update, SNDL reported major year-over-year growth in its gross margin, earning a record CA$43.1 million in gross profits. The only reason smart investors are likely to be wondering about profitable growth is that CA$33.5 million of those gross profits came from its liquor sales, which are derived from its acquisition of Alcanna. Is growing cannabis revenue profitably and organically still something that SNDL is focusing on, or should shareholders look for more acquisition-driven expansion instead? 

Given its recently announced acquisition of The Valens Company, a cannabis cultivator, the issue is all the more muddled. Overall, it seems like the push to grow organically and profitably at the same time is more an aspiration than a reality.

3. Could its meme-stock status come in handy once again?

SNDL had a good run as a meme stock in 2021, with its share price skyrocketing thanks to a plethora of retail investors piling in. That episode helped the company to raise enough capital to launch SunStream Bancorp by issuing new shares at a high price. And in its announcement of the rebranding into SNDL, CEO Zach George stated that "the new SNDL brand better reflects our corporate activities and the undeniable impact that retail investor support has had on our survival." So it sounds like the company's nod to its investor base acknowledges that being a meme stock was quite useful.

But could there be another round of meme-stock mania that drives SNDL's stock sky-high once again? It's certainly possible. The stock's biggest online investor community has more than 70,700 posters, and there are many (somewhat fantastical) discussions of its future share price. Nonetheless, there doesn't seem to be any obvious catalyst in store that would prompt investors to go into a buying frenzy, so the jury is still out for now.