acquisitions Archives - Green Market Report

Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueNovember 6, 2019
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3min2150

TransCanna Holdings Inc. announced it is acquiring California-based Lyfted Farms, Inc. in a deal valued at $6 million. TransCanna is a Canadian-based company with its operations located throughout California. TransCanna operates the largest vertically integrated cannabis facility in the state. 

The agreed-upon total purchase price was approximately $6,150,000. It will consist of: cash payment of $550,000 ($150,000 advanced as a deposit), the purchase of 2,660,750 common shares priced at C$0.80 per share, and an unsecured, non-interest bearing promissory note of $4,000,000. There will be restrictions on trading the shares based on applicable capital markets laws. The promissory note will be repaid if certain equity raises are completed on or before June 30th, 2020. The specified equity raise is dependent on Lyfted Farms completing certain specified production targets.

Upon completion of the agreement, Lyfted Farms will transition to TransCanna’s 196,000 square foot facility and begin production there. Lyfted founder, Bob Blink, said, “Our team is committed to TransCanna and is very excited about the next steps. As most investors have seen sentiment cool in the cannabis space recently, we feel this is the perfect opportunity to build a brand focused company. TransCanna’s business model addresses the problem of cannabis market fragmentation. It is with that in mind that Lyfted shareholders, myself included, have committed to significantly increasing our investment stake in TransCanna.”

“The greatest asset we are acquiring is the talent of Lyfted’s management team,” said Steve Giblin, CEO of TransCanna. “The Lyfted team is working in concert with the SolDaze and Daily teams from previous acquisitions, which has provided an immediate opportunity to substantially increase the scale of our operations. We welcome Bob Blink and his team to TransCanna and we appreciate their vote of confidence by significantly increasing their share position in our company.”

TransCanna provides what they call a “closed-loop ecosystem” for cannabis production. They say their closed-loop ecosystem allows for control of the plant from seed to sale, cost savings from vertical integration, centralized manufacturing, top industry talent in edibles, production, manufacturing, sales and distribution, a consistently high-quality product, and reliability. LyftedFarms is an indoor cannabis cultivation operation located in the Central Valley of California. They provide a hand-trimmed product to their customer base. They say their goal is “to consistently grow high-grade cannabis with only the most exceptional aroma, flavor, and finest quality.” Lyfted Farms products are tested by 2 River Labs in Sacramento. 

 

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtSeptember 9, 2019
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5min8070

Medicine Man Technologies, Inc. (OTCQX: MDCL) has been on a dispensary buying binge this past couple of weeks. Today the company has added to that list of newly acquired properties. The company said it would be buying four additional dispensaries in Colorado from a leading cannabis retailer. The company’s total dispensary count will grow to 27 upon the successful closing of all the pending acquisitions.

Medicine Man Technologies will spend $50,096,413 for the four dispensaries, which will be a combination of $25,048,206.50 in cash and 4,202,720 shares of its common stock at a price of $2.98 per share, with a deferred cash payment of $12,524,103.25 to be made 12 months following the initial closing date.

“These four dispensaries to be acquired culminate a tremendous run over the last week in which we announced the planned acquisitions of 22 dispensaries in Colorado,” commented Andy Williams, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Medicine Man Technologies.  “With an estimated 35% EBITDA margin, these retail stores are collectively expected to be some of the most profitable in our portfolio. We seek acquisition targets that meet strict operational and financial criteria, such as having a seasoned management team, commitment to high-quality products and services, and strong revenue growth.”

RootsRx

Last week Medicine Man Technologies said it was buying Roots Rx, a cannabis operator with six dispensaries located in the ski and mountain towns of Colorado. As part of the deal, the company will also get Roots Rx’s outdoor cultivation facilities located outside of Aspen. RootsRx cost $15 million and was also a combination of cash and stock. The six dispensaries that will be acquired in this transaction are located in AspenBasaltEagleVailEdwardsLeadville, and Gunnison.

More Deals

Also last week, the company said it was buying Colorado Harvest Company, which operates two dispensaries in Denver and one in nearby Aurora. That deal cost $12.5 million and was also a combination of cash and stock. Still not done, the company also said it was picking up an additional four unnamed dispensaries for $36 million. Williams added, “This proposed acquisition of these additional dispensaries will continue the expansion of our retail presence in Colorado.”

TJ Joudeh, the Managing Partner of the group of retail operations being acquired by Medicine Man in this transaction, commented, “We are excited to join the Medicine Man Technologies team to create a profitable and vertically integrated cannabis company. Combining our retail experience with the deep product supply of award-winning cannabis products from Medicine Man Technologies will be an incredible development for both companies as well as for consumers.

Starbuds’ five dispensaries were grabbed for $31 million last week as well. “Adding these five dispensaries to our Colorado operations will make our vertical supply strategy more efficient and help us grab additional market share through added retail capacity,” said Williams. “The Starbuds dispensary operations are truly top-tier in terms of brand, revenue-per-location, and profit across the cannabis retail industry.”

 

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 25, 2019
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4min4540

Surterra Wellness

Surterra Wellness announced the acquisition of Molecular Infusions, a Boston-based biotechnology research and development company that leverages innovative product delivery systems to improve the results of cannabis therapies.  The acquisition expands Surterra’s research and development capabilities and establishes its first international footprint. Mi is a leader in cannabinoid formulation and delivery with proprietary technology platforms in oral, inhalation, and topical cannabis formats, each designed to improve overall user experience, provide market-leading dosing control, and deliver more predictable and targeted health benefits.

“Acquiring Mi reflects Surterra’s intention to aggressively expand our global research and product development capabilities to launch our next wave of cannabis brands that meet patient and consumer needs today and in the future.  We see endless opportunities in cannabis 3.0 – where innovation, global brand building, and ability to scale globally will lead the way,” said Surterra Chief Executive Officer William “Beau” Wrigley, Jr.  “Mi shares our long-term view and can execute in a big way.  We welcome their world-class leadership and elite research teams who have blue-chip reputations and affiliations with top research and educational institutions. We look forward to disrupting the cannabis industry together.”

Driven Deliveries

Driven Deliveries, Inc., (DRVD) completed the acquisition of Ganjarunner, Inc., a cannabis delivery company that provides high-quality lab-tested, pesticide-free medicinal and recreational products throughout California.

In addition to growing Ganjarunner’s customer base, the acquisition of Ganjarunner will allow for Driven to leverage its brand-to-consumer model across virtually the entire state of California. The subsidiary will provide Driven with multiple fulfillment centers, an additional delivery license in California, and a unique technology platform that will allow for improved efficiency. Ganjarunner has shown continuous revenue growth since its inception. During the previous 12 months, the Ganjarunner, Inc. successfully completed 18,854 deliveries to more than 7,748 customers and has experienced year over year revenue growth of 49.3%. As a subsidiary of Driven, Ganjarunner is projected to reach $4.1 million in revenue by the end of 2019.

Nabis Holdings

Nabis Holdings Inc. (CSE:NAB) (OTC: NABIF) completed the purchase of 2,260,500 common shares, representing a 49% interest, of Cannova Medical Ltd., a provider of innovative solutions for cannabis consumption, with the option to acquire the remaining 51% interest.

“Our goal for strategic investments at Nabis is to enter multiple aspects of the cannabis sector including related technology,” said Shay Shnet, CEO & Director of Nabis. “The Cannova team is focused on developing innovative solutions addressing an industry-wide concern to have the ability to better measure cannabis consumption. We are thrilled to have closed our 49% interest acquisition enabling the Cannova team to bring this disruptive technology to market at an increased pace.”

“At Cannova we are developing unique solutions addressing the unmet need for reliable and customized cannabis consumption. The combination of cannabis with smart and innovative technology is key to the future of both medical and recreational cannabis usage,” said Omri Schanin, Founder & CEO of Cannova. “We are excited to work with the Nabis team leveraging their extensive experience and capabilities to help us reach our growth goals faster.”

 

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 9, 2019
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6min33303

New York State’s Department of Health that oversees the medical marijuana program has yet to approve three outstanding proposed acquisitions. The three deals include the MedMen Enterprises Inc. (MMNFF) acquisition of Pharmacann, The Green Thumbs Industries (GTI) acquisition of Fiorello Pharmaceuticals and the Cresco Labs Inc.(CRLBF) deal with Valley Agriceuticals.

It had looked like New York was fast-tracking full legalization this year, but then at the last minute, cannabis funding was not included in the Governor’s budget. It looked like adult use marijuana was pushed off to another year. Then Governor Cuomo said that wasn’t the case and that in fact, negotiations were continuing. As all the back and forth continues, these companies have to wait patiently for the state to figure out its next moves.

The Department would only say in response to questions, “The New York State Department of Health is currently reviewing MedMen’s formal merger request with PharmaCann, which they submitted in January. The Department initially denied requests from Valley Agriceuticals/Cresco and Fiorello/GTI. Both have recently resubmitted their requests, which are currently under review.”

A GTI spokesperson said, “The transaction is still in regulatory review and we expect an answer in the near future.” MedMen and Cresco have preferred to stay mum on the situation. Although it seems the Pharmacann acquisition has been approved in all the other states, leaving just New York to green light the deal.

MedMen had announced its deal back on October 11, 2018, and said at that time that the resulting pro-forma company was anticipated to have a portfolio of cannabis licenses across the U.S. that would permit the combined company to operate 76 retail stores and 16 cultivation and production facilities.  MedMen is expected to add licenses in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, and Michigan as a result of the deal.

Cresco had stated in a filing that on October 24, 2018, it had entered into a definitive agreement to merge a subsidiary with and into Gloucester Street Capital, LLC, the parent entity of Valley Agriceuticals. Valley Ag is one of
the ten holders of a vertically integrated license from the New York State Department of Health. To date, the only material asset of Valley Ag is the vertically integrated license from the NYSDOH. Cresco said it had expected the closing to occur in the fourth quarter of 2018 or the first quarter of 2019.

Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, also known as FP Wellness, is licensed in New York state only. It is privately owned. The company lists its partners as The Clinic, Plant Consulting Group and LIU Pharmacy on its website. A report in the Daily Gazette said Fiorello Pharmaceuticals is building a medical marijuana production facility in Glenville and plans to open other dispensaries in Monroe, Nassau and New York counties. Green Thumb Industries or GTI (CSE: GTII) (OTC: (GTBIF) ) has plans to acquire FP Wellness, according to a company spokesperson.

The Buffalo News reported that there are two issues holding up the adult use legislation. The first is that Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who introduced the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act in 2013, “has insisted that half of the tax revenue should go toward reinvesting in communities that have borne the brunt of the war on drugs.” It seems the Governor is on board with this, but the tax revenue is estimated to be $300 million and he has also said he’d like to use some of that money for infrastructure projects like fixing the transit maintenance issues.

The paper said that the other issue was regarding the licenses and how to award them. The original five licensees have not made any profits and then the program was expanded to ten licenses. This group wants first dibs on recreational licenses in order to recoup their investments. The state, however, seems to be eyeing substantial license bidding fees that could potentially cause the only female-owned medical marijuana Etain to go out of business.

The state has been facing criticism that the program is heavily tilted towards corporate cannabis with no diversity except for Etain. This could be why the acquisition approvals have been stalled.

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 9, 2019
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8min10210

Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. (CSE: HARVOTCQX: HRVSF) is acquiring CannaPharmacy, Inc. in a deal with undisclosed value. CannaPharmacy owns or operates cannabis licenses in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland.

Harvest recently announced the private placement of $500 million in convertible debentures to continue to finance acquisitions and corporate growth. Harvest said that it expects that the transaction will be accretive to Harvest’s 2020 revenue and EBITDA.

“We’re seeing significant M&A activity across our industry, but the most important factors are the price one pays for an acquisition, strength of the assets relative to the market size and synergies between the companies,” said Steve White, CEO of Harvest. “Harvest was already fully funded to build out our entire footprint, inclusive of the significant assets that come with the Verano acquisition. Our recent $500 million financing, secured in $100 million tranches for new accretive acquisitions like CannaPharmacy, continues to solidify Harvest’s position as the leading company in the cannabis industry in reach, brands, infrastructure, assets, and footprint.”

Expanding Its Footprint

The CannaPharmacy acquisition will bring operations in four major northeastern states. The licenses and assets of CannaPharmacy will add to Harvest’s extensive national footprint across 17 states and Puerto Rico. Upon closing of this transaction and the closing of the previously announced acquisition of Verano Holdings,  Harvest will hold licenses that allow it to operate up to 213 facilities, including 130 retail dispensaries.

“All of our efforts back up our three core objectives; to expand and deepen our retail and wholesale footprint, build national brands and continue our path to profitable growth, and this CannaPharmacy deal is no different,” said Jason Vedadi, Executive Chairman of Harvest. “Harvest has led the cannabis market in the Western United States for years, and this acquisition will similarly widen and extend our U.S. foothold to the East Coast. When you add that to our existing dominant position in the Pennsylvania and Maryland markets, acquisition of CBx and its suite of brands, as well as our pending acquisitions of Falcon and Verano, with its holdings throughout the eastern seaboard and brands and infrastructure to leverage, we are looking at Harvest becoming a household name throughout the region in a matter of months.”

The company statement outlined the acquisition as follows:

New Jersey

  • One of six operational (and 12 awarded) fully vertical licenses, permitting cultivation, retail sales and manufacturing.
  • Woodbridge, NJ flagship store open and operational on a major highway since 2013, one of six in the state, 20 miles from NYC. According to the most recent NJ Dept. of Health annual report in April 2018, this dispensary has served more patients and completed more cannabis transactions since inception than any other dispensary.
  • A satellite store is approved and under construction in Union, NJ, 17 miles from NYC, on one of the most heavily trafficked highway corridors in the state at the intersection of the Garden State Parkway, NJ Turnpike, Route 22, and Route 78.
  • Approval pending for a third dispensary in densely populated Monmouth County, NJ (the “Jersey Shore”), which presently does not have a single dispensary.
  • 43.4% year-over-year revenue growth from 2017 to 2018.
  • New Jersey has 42,000 medical patients and growing 60 percent annually.

Pennsylvania

  • One 46,800 square foot cultivation and processing facility in the fifth most populous state in the country, with a statutory cap of 25 grower-processors;
  • Facility is a former Pepsi bottling plant employing local Pennsylvanians.
  • Harvest currently has seven state licenses allowing up to 21 retail stores throughout the state.
  • Pennsylvania currently has 116,000 medical patients as of February 2019 and growing at 10 percent month over month.

Maryland

  •  Rights to one dispensary in Prince George’s County.

Delaware

  • One of three fully vertical licenses, permitting cultivation, manufacturing, and three retail dispensaries.
  • Newark, DE flagship open and operational on a major highway leading into the heart of downtown, one of four stores statewide, in the county that hosts 60 percent of the state’s population.
  • Two additional dispensaries expected to open in 2019-2020.
  • Delaware currently has 7,104 medical patients, a 53 percent increase from 2017, and is experiencing rapid growth in a state with one of the most liberal lists of qualifying conditions in the country.

Harvest recently won every license it applied for in Pennsylvania, giving the company the ability to open up to 21, the largest retail network in the state. Harvest received the highest scores on all but one of its regional applications (where it placed 2nd overall) based on its responses to the criteria developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtOctober 3, 2018
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6min15400

MedMen Enterprises Inc.  (MMNFF)  signed an agreement to purchase Scottsdale-based cannabis company Monarch from WhiteStar Solutions. Monarch is a licensed medical cannabis license holder with dispensary, cultivation and processing operation. In addition, MedMen will acquire WhiteStar’s exclusive co-manufacturing and licensing agreements with Kiva, Mirth Provisions and HUXTON for the state of Arizona.

MedMen will pay WhiteStar approximately 80% in stock and 20% in cash in an undisclosed amount. The stock consideration will be satisfied by way of issuance of shares of MedMen Enterprises, Inc.

“Our strategy has been to establish our brand in the primary markets of California, Nevada and New York,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen chief executive, and co-founder. “We have a leading presence in those primary markets and we are now ready to expand our reach. Arizona, with its robust medical marijuana program and connectivity to California and Nevada where our brand is already strong, makes this a great fit.”

Monarch was founded in 2013 and according to the company statement is among the top medical marijuana dispensaries in the country and is the first cannabis dispensary to break ground in Scottsdale with impressive product offerings in its portfolio and a run rate revenue of over $10 million. Monarch is licensed to operate a 20,000-square-foot cultivation and manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona. As a wholesaler in the Arizona market, Monarch distributes branded products to over 60 dispensaries in the state.

Seven Point Acquisition

In addition to the Arizona acquisition, MedMen is also purchasing Chicago-based dispensary Seven Point for an undisclosed amount of cash at closing, deferred cash, and shares of MedMen Enterprises, Inc.

“This acquisition brings the MedMen brand to yet another major stage,” said Bierman. “MedMen has established a presence in the primary markets of California, Nevada and New York. Our strategy has been to put our brand in high visibility commercial districts in popular locations like Beverly Hills, Manhattan, Las Vegas, and Oak Park, just outside Chicago, fits the mold perfectly.”

Originally, MedMen had been expected to remain in the key markets of California, Nevada and New York. However, it recently made a move towards Florida and this week’s acquisitions signal an additional effort to move beyond those heavy tourist locations. Seven Point is located in a high foot traffic shopping district among popular restaurants, cafes and major retailers like Whole Foods, Gap and Pier 1.

“Seven Point is proud of its strong commitment to the local medical patient community and the loyal following we have built over the years,” said Brad Zerman, chief executive of Seven Point. “MedMen will continue that tradition while bringing its industry-leading retail operations and
commitment to quality and service.”

Loan Facility Is Closed

Also this week, MedMen closed a C$93,822,023 (US$73,275,000) senior secured term loan facility with funds managed by Hankey Capital and with an affiliate of Stable Road Capital as the largest loan participant.

The principal amount under the Facility will accrue interest at a rate of 7.5% per year, paid monthly, with a maturity date of 24 months following the date of closing on October 1st, 2018. The Facility will be used for acquisitions, capital expenditures, and general corporate purposes.

“This industry is more investable than ever, and this loan is reflective of that progress. Hankey Capital and Stable Road Capital’s knowledge of this sector and their creativity allowed us to structure one of the first true senior secured loans in cannabis,” said Bierman. “Our
operations in the primary markets of California, Nevada and New York are robust, and now we are turning our attention to the most promising and strategic markets across the country and the industry.”

The loan follows a recent bought deal that raised C$86 million (US$67 million). MedMen may repay the loan at any time and from time to time, in whole or in part, with a prepayment penalty of 1.0 percent of the outstanding principal amount repaid if repaid before December 31, 2019.

MedMen said it is also planning the structured sale to a special purpose real estate entity focused on the cannabis sector of real estate assets it currently owns in key markets.

“MedMen has an unmatched track record of execution in this fast-growing industry,” said Stable Road Chief Investment Officer Brian Kabot. “We are proud to facilitate MedMen’s growth with capital that can enhance value for all stakeholders and we look forward to a long-term partnership.”

Stock Performance

MedMen stock was lately trading at $3.95 on the OTC Markets. It has dropped from its 52-week high of $5.45 but remains above its year low of $2.61. It is trading at C$5.17 on the Canadian Securities Exchange, above the year low of C$2.61 and near the year high of C$5.45.


William SumnerWilliam SumnerAugust 7, 2018
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3min8690

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACBFF) today announced that it has entered into a letter of intent to acquire HotHouse Consulting Inc. Founded in 2004, HotHouse provides greenhouse consulting services and specializes in hybrid greenhouse growing techniques. Initially, the company focused primarily on agricultural clients, but in the ensuing years has shifted towards the cannabis industry.

Under the agreement, the company has granted 1,940,000 options to buy shares of Aurora to officers of HotHouse, which will vest annually over the next three years and are exercisable at $7.39 per common share. Aurora has also granted HotHouse officers a total of 345,000 restricted stock units of the company, which will also vest annually over the next three years. Once the acquisition is complete, HotHouse founder Laust Dam will join Aurora Larssen Projects (ALPS) as its VP of Horticultural Development.

ALPS is a subsidiary of Aurora that provides unique turn-key services to the company and its domestic and international partners; services include facility design, engineering, construction, support, maintenance, security, regulatory support, cultivation, genetics, and consulting and assistance in meeting requirements for GACP cultivation and EU GMP certification.

Aurora will use this acquisition to enhance ALPS services by providing ongoing customer support and consulting, which will be provided by HotHouse’s crop specialists, as well as ensure that ALPS designed facilities continue to run at optimal efficiency following client handover.

“Developing efficient and technologically advanced greenhouses allows Aurora to produce and harvest the highest quality cannabis at incredible scale while maintaining unmatched, ultra-low costs per gram, per square foot, per year,” said Thomas Larssen, President of Aurora Larssen Projects. “Through the addition of Laust and the entire team at HotHouse, ALPS gains significant insight and experience that we can apply to our industry-leading cultivation design, engineering, and consulting projects. With the significant exposure and strategic support gained through the backing of Aurora, ALPS has emerged as the cannabis industry’s preeminent hybrid greenhouse engineering and consulting partner.”

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 28, 2018
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4min12240

The deals continue to happen in the cannabis space with lab company EVIO’s expansion in Oregon and CLS Holdings closing on its Oasis acquisition.

EVIO

EVIO Inc.  (EVIO) entered into an asset purchase agreement with Oregon-based MRX Labs. The company said that it has also formed a strategic alliance with MRX Xtractors which will develop and expand growth in existing and new markets.

According to the company statement, EVIO Inc. will acquire 100% of the assets of MRX Labs, LLC including equipment, real estate, customer lists, customer contracts, rental agreements, and equipment leases. EVIO Labs Portland will relocate its personnel and license to the Tigard facility. The transaction is expected to close on or before July 11, 2018.

“We are excited about the opportunity to further expand our reach and solidify our position as the dominant testing lab in Oregon,” said William Waldrop, CEO of EVIO. “As the Oregon market matures, there is a consolidation of the marketplace occurring, and this alliance is a win-win for both of our companies and our customers.”

MRX Labs, LLC, and MRX Xtractors, founded by Paul Tomaso, CEO and CTO, and Jonah Barber, President, have been research and development, design and engineering pioneers in both analytical testing and extraction technologies. “This relationship with EVIO affords MRX Xtractors an opportunity for us to focus on the global expansion of our extraction technologies, and to unite our testing lab with a company of scientists and professionals whom we trust will take great care of our loyal lab customers and employees,” said Barber. “We are thrilled with our newly formed alliance that gives us great confidence to refer our extraction customers, across the US and Canada, to EVIO’s network of labs and vice-versa.”

EVIO’s Lori Glauser spoke to Green Market Report not long ago about the company’s expansion plans in this video.

CLS Holdings USA, Inc

CLS Holdings (CLSH) closed its acquisition of Oasis Cannabis. With this purchase, CLS is now active in the legalized cannabis market in Las Vegas, NV, generating $850,000 in gross monthly revenue.

According to the company statement, Oasis Cannabis had its best month ever last month in generating $200,000 in gross revenues. Due to increased demand and the additional capital that was just raised, CLS plans to triple the grow production capacity over the remainder of 2018. On the retail dispensary side, Oasis has steadily witnessed increased traffic over the past few months, is now up to 400 daily visitors, and is currently generating $650,000 of gross monthly revenue.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJune 26, 2018
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6min10140

Merger and acquisition activity in the cannabis industry is lit this year. So far in 2018, Viridian Capital reports that there have been 106 public and 26 private M&A deals in the cannabis industry for a total of 132 deals for the week ending June 8. Compare this to only 73 deals for the same time period for 2017 – an increase of 80%.

Cultivation and retail accounted for the most deals made, while the investment sector came in second and infused products & extracts were the third most popular sectors for deals.

“It seems to be a land grab based on valuations,” said Joe Hodas, COO of General Cannabis  (CANN). Some of the companies are putting up big numbers like MedMen (with a billion dollar valuation) that is leaving microcaps behind.”

The smaller companies are trying to compete with a market that is quickly leaving the small caps behind. Canopy Growth (CGC) is the leader in Canadian medical marijuana with a 15% market share according to a new report from Stifel. Aurora Cannabis (ACBFF) is acquiring MedReleaf and that is making them almost an equal player to Canopy. This means that two companies will own a third of the market for medical marijuana in Canada.

Looking ahead to the recreational market, the two leaders have signed supply agreements that would give them 46% market share. “The report said, “The consolidation in the category that would support a thesis of an oligopoly like structure prevailing that could benefit first movers and the category leaders.”

Hodas said General Cannabis is one of those companies that continues to look at acquiring microcaps. “We’re able to be flexible and opportunistic. We do a pretty aggressive due diligence and we bring valuations back in line with reality.” He said there is tremendous opportunity to acquire many smaller companies that started life at the beginning of the legalization effort a few years ago.

“The founders are tired and they are running out of money,” he said. “We provide some cash and liquidity and help them move the ball forward.” Some of the reasons why these companies make themselves so available for acquisition is that they underestimate the amount of capital and time to return money on investment and debt.

Hodas also noted that companies needed to have the right leadership in place and mentioned the implosion of wholesale cannabis broker Tradiv. Hodas was referring to Tradiv closing shop following the companies’ CEO admission of talking to God while tripping on acid in Alaska and in the process, investors lost their money on the investment.

Of course, Tradiv isn’t the only cannabis company that has flamed out. Hodas left the booming Smashburger franchise to join cannabis beverage company Dixie Elixirs. Dixie grabbed early attention in the cannabis product world and was expected to be a brand leader, but the company faced several challenges in 2017. Both Hodas and CEO Tripp Keber left the company, which recently secured new funding and licensing deals. “I hope Dixie succeeds and frankly I have equity in it,” said Hodas.

Many small companies see the valuations of much larger companies and feel they too should be awarded these outsize valuations. “We talk to companies that aren’t predicting crazy numbers and are back down to earth,” Hodas said. “The biggest issue with the industry and microcaps companies is they don’t have good proforma spreadsheets.”

This complaint was recently echoed by Emily Paxhia of Poseidon Asset Management. However, she said that as the industry has matured,  the small companies are becoming better prepared with their business documents. The weak spot that she has noticed is those small companies are good at getting started, but then management struggles at the growth stage. “I find I am often stepping into companies that we’ve invested in,” she said.

Tahira Rehmatullah of Managing Director at Hypur Ventures and CFO of MTech Acquisition agrees with Paxhia and said that she is also having to give hands-on help when she invests in small companies. “The CEO’s are doing everything themselves and that isn’t a roadmap for success,” she said.

Still, spreadsheets and management challenges haven’t kept these small cannabis companies from attracting the attention of investors or acquirors. The “Green Rush” is alive and active and while the unicorns may be getting all the attention, the microcaps are still in the game.


William SumnerWilliam SumnerApril 24, 2018
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3min15500

The world of mergers and acquisitions is heating up in the state of California as two cannabis companies today announced a pair of high priced acquisitions.

First, Golden Leaf Holdings (GLH) announced that is has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire a cannabis dispensary in northern California. Included in this transaction are all of the dispensary’s assets; such as licenses and permits for cannabis cultivation, production, manufacturing, distribution, and retail. Under the agreement, Golden Leaf will pay $1.25 USD million upfront in cash, an additional $500,000 in stock, and earn-out payments of up to $8 million based on future revenue thresholds. This transaction will mark Golden Leaf’s first entry into the U.S. market.

“Signing this LOI is another key strategic step forward for Golden Leaf, as we continue to execute on our plan to introduce our retail brand-focused model to the largest growth markets, both in the U.S. and internationally,” commented William Simpson, CEO of Golden Leaf, in a statement.

Also announcing a major acquisition today is Cannabis Strategic Ventures, Inc., which just completed the definitive agreement to acquire Worldwide Staffing Group, Inc. The company will acquire 100% of Worldwide’s issued and authorized shares and begin recognizing Worldwide’s revenue, which reached $1.5 million in 2017, upon the closing of the transaction.

Worldwide will continue to operate as an independent wholly owned subsidiary, providing employment and staffing services that are not related to the cannabis industry. However, the company will use Worldwide’s experience to eventually expand into cannabis industry staffing, particularly in the California market.

“The job demands in the Cannabis Sector are expanding into other job functions beyond the traditional Bud Trimmers and Bud Tenders. This acquisition better prepares us to meet the growth we are expecting through the end of this year, into next, and beyond,” stated Simon Yu, CEO of Cannabis Strategic Ventures. “We welcome Worldwide Staffing into the Cannabis Strategic portfolio.”



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