March 24 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
Happy weekend all,
There won’t be a newsletter on Tuesday, but you’ll hear from me later in the week with an exciting announcement.
In today’s newsletter:
- Cresco Labs to acquire Columbia Care in $2B deal
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MSO Cresco Labs to acquire rival Columbia Care for $2B
In what would be one of the biggest cannabiz mergers yet, Chicago-based Cresco Labs said it would acquire Columbia Care for $2B in stock. The combined company would include more than 130 stores across 17 states, reaching more than half the U.S. population.
The combined company would:
- Have a presence in “today’s most influential markets and those with the biggest tailwinds for growth and adult-use upside,” the companies said, citing New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and Florida.
- Have more than $1.4B in annual revenue, more than any of its MSO peers, and over 5,000 employees.
Columbia CEO Nicholas Vita will take a board seat and might have a management role in the future.
- An analyst at Stifel GMP said the deal “may have considerable risk to close given the significant footprint overlap and Cresco Labs having a spotty track record with three terminated acquisitions.”
- The companies want to close in Q4. Some divestitures will likely be necessary to accommodate state licensing rules.
- Fifty years ago the federal Shafer Commission recommended decriminalizing marijuana. (It didn’t happen.)
- The MORE Act to federally legalize could come up for another House vote next week. The House has passed it several times before.
- American diplomats in Russia got access to Brittney Griner and said she’s in “good condition.” It’s not clear when she’ll be released.
- Curaleaf Arizona asked a federal judge not to force it to reinstate a worker who a National Labor Relations Board judge found had been fired for unionization efforts.
- Tracking software provider Metrc landed another state contract, South Dakota this time.
- Canadian PotCos have lost billions of dollars.
- Former WeedWeek California editor Donnell Alexander co-founded The Z&D Agency with music publicist Zenobia Simmons.
- In New Jersey, regulators delayed the expansion of eight MED shops to start selling REC. But they did approve 68 additional licenses.
NJ.com, Heady NJ
- A California bill seeks to expand MED access.
- Detroit’s city council postponed a vote on a revised REC ordinance.
- Denver approved its first hospitality license.
Health and science:
- In 2020, alcohol killed more Americans under 65 than Covid.
- Anti-prohibition non-profit Law Enforcement Action Partnership received a “very generous” donation from MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos.
IN THE WEEDS
- The National Conference of State Legislatures has a new state law enactment database.
- MJ Brand Insights highlights 12 brands with great packaging.
- On the MJBiz podcast, former CEO Tripp Keber discussed life after pioneering early brand Dixie Elixirs, which is still around.
- FlowerHire CEO David Belsky gives four reasons cannabiz non-compete agreements are a bad idea.
- Payments company Paybotic will award 3 $2,500 scholarships to women in fintech. Deadline is May 1.
- Portugal-based MED company Piauhy is hosting a March 29 online conference on “The future of neurosciences and mental disorders.”
- San Francisco is hosting the first Evergreen San Francisco festival April 16-24.
- Business Insider is hosting an April 25 webinar with 29-year old Vangst CEO Karson Humiston to discuss how she approaches investors.
- Canna Law Blog has a dispatch from Spain.
- LinkedIn craft advocate Greg Welch launched Strong Mountain Farm, a NorCal farmer focused brand. (pictured)
- Data shop BDSA introduced Rapid Retail Sales Tracking, which promises near real-time information.
- Kiva Confections has a new “Everything Bagel Seasoning Munchies Bar” with LA food truck Yeastie Boys Bagels.
- Odor absorber Cannabolish is now available in lavender.
- Theralogix has a new TheraHemp CBD supplement.
In the news
- @swamiselect posted from the first Emerald Cup judges meeting.
- Check out this dude juggling bongs.
- @sistersofthevalley hosted a full moon ceremony.