The cannabis industry is hotter than ever, with new deals announced almost every day and merger and acquisition activity at an all-time high. Shockwaves reverberated in the cannabis space when Curaleaf Holdings announced its acquisition of Acres Cannabis in Nevada. Acres operates the state’s largest cultivation facility as well as developed an immersive cannabis dispensary.
“The acquisition of Acres is a major step in expanding our vertical platform in Nevada. Acres operates a flagship dispensary in the heart of Las Vegas, complementing our existing assets in the state extremely well, and importantly, we can control the consistency, quality, and production cost of our own cannabis products,” said Joseph Lusardi, CEO of Curaleaf, in a press release.
The transaction is valued at $70 million. The breakdown is $25 million to be paid in cash, $45 million to be paid in Curaleaf stock with additional consideration to be paid if specific financial targets are met or exceeded.
Canadian company Canopy Growth will acquire AgriNextUSA as an avenue to expand into the US and the hemp industry. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Geoff Whaling, AgriNextUSA CEO and chairman of the National Hemp Association, will be appointed to Canopy Growth’s US division as a strategic adviser.
Hemp is predicted to become a multibillion-dollar industry in the US with the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018. Representatives of Canopy said it plans to build the first hemp industrial park in the state of New York.
Cannabis company Tilray, Canada’s second-largest cannabis producer, acquired Manitoba Harvest, the world’s largest hemp foods manufacturer for $317 million (US dollars) in cash and Tilray stock, with an additional $37 million (US dollars) for other considerations. In 2018, Tilray entered into a partnership with Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewer, to research cannabis-infused beverages through a $100 million joint venture.
Tilray will expand its portfolio as it enters the natural foods category, leveraging Manitoba’s distribution network to sell its own line of CBD products. Manitoba is the largest manufacturer of hemp food offering a portfolio of products sold in over 16,000 stores in the US and Canada. Manitoba, before its acquisition, was planning to launch a line of CBD products containing Broad Spectrum Hemp Extracts and hemp wellness bars. Both companies will now work together to develop new products.
Cresco Labs Inc. announced its plans to enter the Florida market by acquiring the ownership of VidaCann Ltd for an estimated $120 million in cash and stock.
“Entering the Florida market is consistent with Cresco Lab’s strategy of entering markets with outsized demand with strong regulatory structures and is an important milestone for the company that dramatically impacts our growth trajectory and will be accretive to our earnings in 2019,” said Cresco Labs CEO and Co-founder Charlie Bachtell. “Since relaunching its cannabis program in 2017, Florida has seen tremendous growth in patient registration and is one of the most important markets in the country. VidaCann is the perfect blend of an established operational footprint and infrastructure of professionals that will allow Cresco to execute its disciplined and strategic Florida plan expeditiously.”
VidaCann is projected to operate 20 dispensaries by the end of the year, while Cresco intends to accelerate the VidaCann retail dispensary rollout. Dispensary locations will be strategically located throughout Florida to ensure that 95 percent of its population will be located within 50 miles of a VidaCann dispensary. Delivery will also be offered to all licensed patients in the state.