May 9 (Reuters) - Pot firm Trulieve Cannabis posted a narrower first-quarter loss on Thursday, driven by higher sales and robust demand.

The Florida-based company's net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to $23.1 million in the quarter that ended March 31, down from $64.1 million a year earlier.


Trulieve has been expanding its presence across the U.S. with plans to open 25 new stores in 2024 as it hopes to benefit from the potential legalization of the drug in Florida and at the Federal level.

Florida, with a population of more than 22 million, is a crucial medicinal marijuana market for Trulieve, which enjoys significant market share within the state. CONTEXT

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice moved to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, a step that will allow pot firms to deduct normal business expenses from their profit, thereby reducing the tax burden and boosting profitability.

Successful reclassification would also enable pot firms to uplist to major U.S. stock exchanges, improve banking and consumer access, and make medical research easier to conduct.

Earlier this year, the Florida Supreme Court had allowed voters to decide on the fate of recreational use of marijuana in the state through a referendum on the November ballot.


"With strong performance in our core business and several meaningful catalysts on the horizon, the outlook has never been brighter," said CEO Kim Rivers.

"Given our financial performance and significant scale in key markets, Trulieve is best positioned for the coming wave of growth catalysts," she added.


Trulieve posted a revenue of $297.6 million in the first quarter, beating analysts' expectations of $285.9 million.

Loss from continuing operations narrowed to 16 cents per share in the January-March quarter, from 18 cents per share a year earlier. (Reporting by Vallari Srivastava in Bengaluru; Editing by Ravi Prakash Kumar)