🤝 Verano acquires Sierra Well for $29M
Gage Growth brings COOKIES to Canada. UK's Kanabo to buy Canadian Cannabis producer Materia. Aurora Cannabis adds new independent board member.
Phillipsburg, NJ OKs recreational Cannabis sales at The Apothecarium, but nowhere else. Once New Jersey officials green-light recreational, adult-use marijuana sales, Phillipsburg’s medical dispensary has the town’s approval to open its doors to weed users and the cannabis-curious ages 21 and older. Town council gave final approval to an ordinance prohibiting recreational cannabis businesses in Phillipsburg, except at The Apothecarium that opened last November at 55 S. Main St. The ordinance available for public review ahead of the June 15 meeting did not include The Apothecarium’s exception, and lehighvalleylive.com on June 17 reported Phillipsburg was prohibiting all recreational, adult-use businesses. That report was based on the ordinance as included in the agenda and discussion before council. Town attorney Rich Wenner, however, did tell council on June 15 that the opt-out ordinance “would prohibit all other uses but grandfather The Apothecarium that is currently operating (a) business within the town and would also permit The Apothecarium to apply for and obtain a retail license for adult-use cannabis.”
Verano — Acquires Sierra Well, Expanding Nevada Distribution with Two Top-Performing Dispensaries in Reno, Carson City and Additional Active Cultivation Capacity. Adds two fully-operational and top-performing dispensaries in Reno and Carson City, expands strategic retail coverage of Northern Nevada. The neighboring cities have a combined population of over 300,000 residents and draw a substantial number of tourists, recently surpassing five million visitors on an annual basis. Expected to strengthen distribution capability in Northern Nevada with the addition of an approximately 10,000 sq. ft. Reno cultivation and production facility, complementing active expansion at the Verano-affiliated cultivation facility in North Las Vegas. This builds upon Verano’s national portfolio of 79 operational dispensaries and 10 cultivation and production facilities across its active 11-state footprint. The purchase price is $29M, subject to adjustment, implying a 5x 2021 adjusted EBITDA multiple inclusive of real estate, which will be satisfied by the payment of $5.6M in cash and the issuance of up to 1,536,685 Class A subordinate voting shares of the Company.
Gage Growth — Brings COOKIES to Canada. COOKIES products are expected to be available exclusively in Ontario via the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), the largest purchaser of cannabis in the world, by the end of 2021, before moving to wider distribution across other provinces. Gage will work with NOYA Cannabis Inc., a premium hydroponics production company awarded its grow and sales license from Health Canada in 2018, to bring to market hand-selected strains from rapper and entrepreneur Berner and his renowned cultivation partner Jigga. Such hand-selected strains include Gary Payton, Georgia Pie, Medellin, Lions Mane, Soap, Cheetah Piss, Blanco and more. In addition to iconic COOKIES strains, the partnership will also bring other COOKIES brands such as Lemonnade, Minntz, Runtz, Grandiflora, Powerzzzup, Run The Jewels and Collins Ave. to Canadian consumers. A COOKIES retail store is also planned to open in Canada by the end of 2021.
POSaBIT and springbig — Deep Point of Sale Loyalty Integration. The two-way integration between the POSaBIT point of sale and springbig offers integrated loyalty rewards that can be received and redeemed directly from the POS, additional options for adding loyalty members, and enhanced SMS/MMS marketing capabilities.
Poseidon Garden Ventures — First Investments in Adaviv, Dispense and JKL2. Led by cannabis industry veterans Chelsey Joseph and Jill Lamoureux, JKL2 is a strategic cultivation partner of WHT LBL LLC, a MSO focused on cultivation and processing based in Boulder, Colorado. JKL2's new 10-acre cannabis cultivation facility, in partnership with Power REIT, is the start of a platform that will immediately add capacity, further securing the flower and trim supply chain and seizing on strategic expansion opportunities in the state. Dispense, founded by Kyla Sirni and Tim Officer, is a digital dispensary management platform designed with the changing priorities of MSOs and other operators in mind. The platform offers a suite of retail solutions including menu widgets, online ordering, pickup batching, full data control for the retailer, integrations, customer chat, analytics and staff management. Born out of MIT, Adaviv's cultivation cameras and software help cultivators manage plant health using AI, improving yields and reducing waste. Adaviv's users have detected 7-10 times more plant health issues, increased yield consistency by 50% and driven yield improvements by over 20%.
UK's Kanabo to buy Canadian cannabis producer Materia. Kanabo Group Plc will buy Canada-based cannabis producer and distributor Materia for an undisclosed sum. The deal gives Kanabo an entry into the German market, the largest for medical cannabis in Europe, where industry research group Brightfield estimates sales to exceed $2 billion by 2025. Kanabo Chief Executive Officer Avihu Tamir said he expects the merger to result in the largest public cannabis company in the UK and the European Union (EU), where Materia recently won a certification for its 34,000 sq ft Malta facility.
📄Company Updates / Earnings
Trulieve — Production License Approval in Georgia, Expands Southeast Hub. Trulieve is one of two Class 1 provisional licensees in Georgia and will initially establish an indoor cultivation and manufacturing facility in Adel to produce low-THC oil products. The resulting operation and its ancillary business partners are projected to generate hundreds of jobs for Cook County, Georgia and the surrounding area within a matter of years. Trulieve will also further medical cannabis research and education through a previously announced partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Aurora Cannabis — Appointment of New Independent Director. This is a newly created directorship that expands the Board to nine members, seven of whom are independent. Theresa Firestone joins the Board following a distinguished career as a senior healthcare executive with leadership positions in Canada, Europe and Asia. An expert in strategic planning, operations and new business development, Ms. Firestone has served in various sectors such as retail, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and government. Her experience includes over 20 years of international P&L management, 15 years in senior roles at Pfizer, over ten years at the Ontario Ministry of Health and seven years in retail and health and wellness, including Shoppers Drug Mart where she oversaw the design and launch of the company's Medical Cannabis business. In addition, Ms. Firestone has more than 20 years of public and private board experience including with Orion Biotechnology, Merus Labs International and several not-for-profit organizations.
For High Times, Weed Legalization Is a Mixed Bag. The magazine was a countercultural icon. Its new owners want to make it a name brand.