Michigan’s Canapa Valley Farms Closes on $17 Million Deal With Pelorus

Optimism remains for Michigan's cannabis market.

Pelorus Equity Group closed a $17.3 million debt financing agreement with Vassar Acquisitions Property Management and its cannabis operating entity, Canapa Valley Farms. The money will be used for building out Canapa’s state-of-the-art 90,000-square-foot greenhouse and 8,500-square-foot processing facilities.

“With a deep understanding of cannabis operations and high-level of CPG experience, Vassar has already invested substantial equity into its Michigan facility,” said Dan Leimel, CEO of Pelorus Equity Group and manager of the Pelorus Fund. “This agreement will help accelerate Canapa Valley Farms’ cannabis-focused growth initiatives and collaborations, like its exclusive partnership to produce premium-quality flower and pre-rolls for award-winning Exotic Genetix in the Great Lake State.”

Michigan Strong

While some cannabis markets have shown signs of slowing, Michigan continues to flex its muscles. According to data published by the state Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA), the state logged $21 million in medical cannabis sales and $188 million in adult-use marijuana purchases in July 2022 – a total that is about $15 million greater than the previous monthly record set in April 2022. The majority of the sales for both markets were for flower products.

A new report, the 2022 Michigan Cannabis CFO Outlook, stated that 43% of companies are actively seeking capital at this time. Falling prices (50% over the past year) have impacted growers, but price stabilization is expected to occur in the next 1-3 years. Two-thirds (67%) of the companies surveyed that are considering selling their businesses are in the $26 to $100 million revenue range.

Loan Details

“Our financing with Pelorus is an important component in getting our project complete and facility online,” said Canapa Valley Farms Manager Frank DeNardo. Canapa Farms is using Exotic Mike, the legendary creator and artist behind Exotic Genetix, to bring his strains to Canapa Valley Farms through a unique partnership. The award-winning breeder joined forces with Canapa Valley Farms for its hands-on approach to quality craft cannabis.

Pelorus closed the loan on Oct. 27 and issued a $17,330,000 five-year term loan with a floating interest rate of one month secured overnight financing rate plus 12.5%, with a 2.5% SOFR floor.

According to a statement, the loan is secured by the borrowers’ 104,069-square-foot cannabis cultivation, processing, and testing facility located on 90 acres in Vassar, Michigan, and is subject to customary covenants and requirements, along with a corporate guarantee from Vassar and a personal guarantee from its principals.

Pelorus Equity Group Managing Partner Travis Goad added, “Vassar and Canapa Valley Farms have state-of-the-art automation systems at the site, which should enable them to reduce production and operating costs via a leaner employee base and minimized touchpoints from seed-to-sale. We are eager to see them excel in Michigan’s cannabis market.”

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

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