Multi-state operator Curaleaf acquired Cura’s Select Oil brand in a $948M all stock deal to create the world’s largest cannabis company by revenue. The combined entity’s $205M in 2018 sales is almost twice the size of its closest competitor, Florida dispensary chain Trulieve.

  • Oregon-based Cura is also sold in California, Nevada and Arizona. With 500 employees, it is the largest Oregon start-up in a generation.
  • The Oregonian has a feature on Select’s sordid history. The company began with a “real estate scandal” before it was rescued by prominent entrepreneur Nitin Khanna who became Cura’s CEO in 2015.
  • In 2014, a woman who had been Khanna’s bride’s hairdresser at their 2012 wedding accused Khanna of raping her hours before the wedding. “Khanna denied the accusations and reached a civil settlement with the woman, terms of which were never disclosed… [Prosecutors] said DNA tests proved he had sexual contact with the hairdresser but prosecutors concluded they couldn’t demonstrate it was not consensual.”
  • In May 2018, Khanna stepped down as CEO after details of the sexual assault accusations surfaced on social media. Cura later sued California-based competitor Bloom Farms for surfacing the information. In response, Bloom presented itself as a champion of free speech.
  • Cameron Forni, who replaced Khanna as CEO, wrote last year that he was unaware of the accusation against Khanna until they resurfaced on social media.
  • Cura wouldn’t say whether Khanna remains a major shareholder or still has a place on its board.
  • Through a spokesperson, Cura said the company was not connected to the real estate scam, blaming it on an investment manager who’s now in prison. It declined to answer additional questions.
  • ????For more on the deal, see WeedWeek California.

Quick Hits

  1. When it went public in Canada late last year the diversified conglomerate Tilt Holdings, which includes Baker TechnologiesSea Hunter Therapeutics, Blackbird and other companies valued itself at $500M. It then revised that figure down to $7M. Its first quarterly earnings report listed a $554.5M loss on sales of $5.7M.
  2. New Cannabis Ventures looks at the top 31 revenue-generating cannabis stocks.
  3. High Times appears likely to close its share offering well below initial expectations.