It was recently announced that Harvest Health & Recreation, a vertically integrated cannabis company with one of the largest footprints in the US, acquired Verano Holdings. The two companies merging will expand its reach across the country with 200 facilities (including 123 dispensaries) in 16 states and US territories. New markets for Harvest would include Massachusetts, Ohio, and Michigan with a stronger presence in Illinois, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Maryland, and Nevada.
“The combination with Verano [Holdings] fits perfectly with our vision of creating the world’s most valuable cannabis company,” said Jason Vedadi, executive chairman of Harvest in a press release. “We are confident that this is an opportunity to continue to leverage each of our company’s strengths and drive continued shareholder value, while at the same time achieving the scale we know will give us a leadership position in one of the largest cannabis markets in the world.”
“This is a natural match between like-minded entrepreneurs who have built our companies from the initial facilities into two of the largest MSOs in the US … delivering value to customers and shareholders. Our growth and unique positioning in key markets allowed us to evaluate some of the largest players in the space, but we only had one unanimous choice for a major transaction, and that was Harvest,” said George Archos, Verano Holdings co-founder and CEO.
“We are excited to bring Verano’s premium brands and operations into Harvest. We have the unique opportunity to create truly national brands by deploying these products within the future combined footprint of states and dispensaries. Most importantly, we share the same mission as one new company to improve people’s lives through the goodness of cannabis,” said Steve White, CEO of Harvest.
Verano was started in 2014 in Illinois and rebranded as Verano Holdings in August 2018. Archos pursued a very successful career designing and operating successful restaurants before entering the cannabis industry with his development of Ataraxia Grow and Labs in Illinois. Co-founder and chief strategy officer, Sam Dorf, Esq. is a cannabis industry veteran and was instrumental in growing the reach of Verano Holdings.
In 2011, White left a successful law practice to open his first Harvest location with his original partners in Phoenix. He focused first on medicinal cannabis before expanding. White and Vedadi met in 2010 as both pursued medical licenses for cannabis. Vedadi left a successful career in real estate development and oil and gas to enter the cannabis industry. The goal of White and Vedadi is to operate Harvest as a sound cannabis business focused on consistent revenue and profit growth.
The combined team of management and support staff includes extensive retail, manufacturing, logistics, branding, and operational experience. An additional 300 new positions will be added throughout the year, which includes reaching out to minorities, women, and veterans for diversity.
The acquisition has the potential to reach over 150 million American consumers. Combined licenses and operations include seven cultivation licenses and 37 retail licenses. The merged company will operate 30 dispensaries, eight cultivation facilities, and seven manufacturing facilities, with expected further expansion. Harvest and Verano plan to develop over 70 dispensaries, 13 cultivation facilities, and 13 manufacturing facilities in operation at the end of the year.