Markets are closed on Friday, April 2 for the Good Friday holiday.
It was an amazing week for legalization. New York became the 16th state in the country to fully legalize cannabis. The program includes home grow, expungement and consumption lounges. Sales aren’t expected to begin for another year as the rules and regulations get finalized. Existing license holders will be allowed to expand, while new entrants will be limited. Cities will be allowed to opt-out of the program.
New Mexico legislators also passed full legalization this week as well. Legal sales are expected to begin in April 2022.
Smoking accessories e-commerce site Greenlane announced it was merging with cannabis packaging company KushCo. KushCo’s CEO Nick Kovacevich will be the new CEO of the combined company, while Greenlane shareholders will have a slight majority ownership. This came following Greenlane’s earnings announcement that 2020 total revenue fell to $138.3 million versus $185.0 million for 2019.
Earlier this week, the Chicago Tribune ran a story alleging that cannabis company Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCQX: GTBIF) was under federal investigation for possible pay-to-play violations during its push for state licenses. The article cited an unnamed source. The story was relatively vague and stated, “It’s unclear what specific aspects of Green Thumb’s political giving, hiring or other activities are being scrutinized by federal authorities. The exact time frame and origin of the probe were not known.”
In a statement, Green Thumb said it possessed absolutely no evidence to corroborate claims that there is an open investigation by federal authorities as alleged in an article. GTI asked for a retraction and the Tribune says it is standing by the story and continuing to pursue it.
A couple of huge deals happened this week.
Verano Holdings Corp. (CSE: VRNO) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Healing Center, LLC, adding three highly productive, award-winning dispensaries in the Pittsburgh-metro area. On closing, the acquisition will enhance Verano’s presence in Pennsylvania and will further the company’s position as a U.S. market leader. The deal is valued at $110 million
Ayr Wellness Inc. (OTCQX: AYRWF) is buying the Garden State Dispensary, officially known as GSD NJ in a deal valued at $101 million. Garden State Dispensary (GSD) is one of the state’s original six alternative treatment centers (ATCs). It has three open dispensaries and a 30,000 sq. ft. facility that houses the existing cultivation and production facilities in operation. An additional 75,000 sq. ft. is currently under construction. GSD currently employs 110 people, all of whom are expected to be retained by Ayr.
Harvest Health & Recreation (OTCQX: HRVSF) reported revenue in the fourth quarter of $69.9 million and said its full-year revenue increased 98% to $231.5 million in 2020.
Those are the big headlines for this week.
Everyone have a great Easter holiday