Illinois Archives - Green Market Report

StaffJanuary 30, 2023


This story was republished with permission from Crain’s Chicago and written by John Pletz.

The acquisition of Chicago marijuana retailer Dispensary 33 went up in smoke amid a cash crunch caused by a steep decline in cannabis stocks and a sharp increase in interest rates.

Miami-based Ayr Wellness (OTC: AYRWF) said on Jan. 27 it’s not going to complete the $55 million acquisition of D33, a popular independent marijuana retailer. The deal was announced in November 2021, about a year after Ayr went public. The company’s stock peaked at $36.54 in February 2021 but now trades at $1.29 per share. That spelled disaster for a deal that was to be paid mostly in stock. Cannabis stocks have been struggling for more than a year but suffered further declines after the SAFE Banking Act failed to pass Congress.

“The cannabis market has changed significantly in the 15 months since we agreed to acquire Dispensary 33,” Ayr President David Goubert said in a statement. “Both parties have acknowledged this reality and engaged in good-faith dialogue as we came to the mutual decision to terminate the proposed arrangement.”

It’s the second time an acquisition of a Chicago company has been scuttled by changing fortunes in the industry. Not only is there a broad-based market correction, but cannabis is particularly volatile because the stocks are held largely by retail investors rather than institutions. Three years ago, the $850 million acquisition of Verano Holdings was called off after a change in fortunes for marijuana stocks.

The cancelation of the D33 deal is just one example of how large, publicly traded weed companies are scrambling to adapt to the industry’s woes. Last week, Curaleaf, which became the largest U.S. cannabis company three years ago after buying Chicago-based chain Grassroots, pulled out of California, Colorado, and Oregon, and laid off 4% of its staff and cut payroll by 10%.

States such as these, along with Michigan, are much more competitive because there are few barriers to getting a license to grow or sell marijuana. As a result, prices in those markets have collapsed. Even in Illinois, which has had among the highest marijuana prices in the nation because regulations limit the number of licenses, has seen prices fall even as other costs have risen for cannabis companies because of inflation in equipment and labor prices.

Inflation elsewhere in the economy also has put pressure on consumer spending. Although most marijuana users are still buying weed, many have traded down to lower-priced brands. Sales growth slowed in Illinois in December.

The belt-tightening by large players such as Curaleaf, which have the best access to capital, is an ominous sign for the 192 winners of new retail licenses in Illinois who are trying to get their stores open.

StaffJanuary 9, 2023


This story was republished with permission from Crain’s Chicago and written by John Pletz

Recreational marijuana sales in Illinois finished 2022 with more than $1.5 billion, up 13% from 2021.

Total sales in December were the highest of any month at $143.9 million, following a seasonal pattern seen in previous years. But the rate of sales growth, 4% over December 2021, was the slowest this year, reflecting continued pressure on discretionary consumer spending from inflation.

Growth in the number of products sold also slowed in December to 8% year over year, marking the first time last year that unit volume showed a single-digit increase. Year-over-year revenue growth had been picking up slightly since summer, from a 6% rate in July to 8% in November, but it slid to 4% in December.

The Illinois weed industry is still in its infancy, and overall growth has been tempered by a lack of stores. But the marijuana industry also faces headwinds from inflation and falling prices.

The number of dispensaries has been essentially flat for a year as the state struggled with litigation and other bureaucratic hurdles to issuing new licenses. The state recently issued 192 new licenses, which would nearly triple the number of dispensaries. But only three new stores have opened so far.

The industry is facing challenges, as well. Chicago-based Fyllo, an advertising technology company that serves the marijuana industry, estimates that same-store sales fell 5.3% in December. Flowhub, a point-of-sale vendor, estimated that the average spend per customer fell nearly 13% to $55, according to Green Market Report.

StaffNovember 29, 2022


The Daily Hit is a recap of cannabis business news for Nov. 29, 2022.


Flowr Corp. Throws in Towel, Looks for Buyers

Toronto-based The Flowr Corp., (TSX.V: FLWR) (OTC: FLWPF) is officially on the market after it reported that it does not have enough of a runway to make it to the end of the third quarter. According to regulatory filings, potential bidders submitted binding offers last Friday, with financial firm Ernst & Young Inc. acting as a monitor. Read more here.

RIV Capital Closing in on New York Acquisition, Loses $142 Million in Q2

RIV Capital Inc. (CSE: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) posted a $142.3 million loss for its second quarter of fiscal 2023, but most of the losses were chalked up to a “goodwill impairment charge” as part of the upcoming acquisition of New York-based Etain – a deal that RIV Capital leadership said would give the firm a national foundation for future growth. Read more here.

Pritzker Names New Cannabis Chief

Erin Johnson, a lawyer for Amazon and state government veteran, has been named the state’s top cannabis regulator. Johnson is an associate general counsel for Amazon Web Services but was chief of staff at the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice in the Pritzker administration from 2019 to mid-2021. Previously she was associate general counsel and chief diversity officer from 2016 to 2018 for then-Gov. Bruce Rauner. Read more here.

More Financial Reports:


High Times

The owners of High Times magazine have dropped their lawsuit against a former majority shareholder of the publication’s parent company, according to a joint stipulation entered Monday in California federal court. The stipulation notes that the action has been dismissed with prejudice and holds that each party bears their own costs. It makes no mention of a settlement, and counsel for the parties did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday. Read more here.

The Valens Company Inc.

Shareholders of the Valens Company Inc. (TSX: VLNS) (Nasdaq: VLNS)  voted in favor of the resolution approving the plan for SNDL Inc. to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Valens on the basis of 0.3334 of a SNDL common share for each outstanding Valens common share. More than 96% of votes cast at the company’s special meeting of shareholders held on Nov. 29 were in favor of the resolution. Read more here.

Rhode Island

As Rhode Island is set to begin recreational marijuana sales Thursday, state regulators are ramping up their staff as they oversee the industry. The state legalized adult recreational cannabis in May, with the planned start of sales on Dec. 1. Read more here.

StaffOctober 24, 2022


The Daily Hit is a recap of cannabis business news for Oct. 24, 2022.


Consumers Paying a Lot More for Weed in Illinois

Retail marijuana prices in Illinois have been among the highest in the nation because of a relatively limited number of stores since recreational weed became legal nearly three years ago. But retail weed prices are down 15% so far this year, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic writes in a note to clients. Read more here.

Flora Growth Buys German Franchise Global Health

Flora Growth Corp. (Nasdaq: FLGC) announced it is buying German-based medical cannabis company Franchise Global Health Inc. (TSXV: FGH) for an undisclosed amount. However, Flora Growth did note in a statement that FGH’s German reportable segment achieved revenues of C$30.1 million, gross profit of C$2.1 million, and net income of C$0.4 million in the first half of 2022. Read more here.

Canadian Cannabis Company on Brink of Bankruptcy as Debt Comes Due

Radient Technologies Inc. (TSXV: RTI) is looking for ways to stay open as unpaid taxes and a looming debt bill worth more than $10 million comes due. Radient said that is pursuing avenues to raise sufficient working capital to allow the company to operate as a going concern, “but cannot assure it will be able to do so.” Read more here.

Both Dakotas Consider Recreational Cannabis Next Month

South Dakota and North Dakota both will ask voters whether to lift state prohibitions on adult-use marijuana in the upcoming Nov. 8 general election. Read more about what each of those measures include here.


Ascend Wellness Holdings

Ascend Wellness Holdings Inc. (CSE: AAWH.U) (OTCQX: AAWH), a multistate, vertically integrated cannabis operator focused on bettering lives through cannabis, announced the opening of its Scranton, Pennsylvania, dispensary for medical patients only. Read more here.

Neptune Wellness Solutions

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: NEPT), a diversified and fully integrated health and wellness company, has agreed to settle and resolve a shareholder class action lawsuit for total consideration of between $4 million and $4.25 million. The suit filed against Neptune and certain of its current and former officers and directors, captioned Gong v. Neptune Wellness Solutions, Inc. (Case No. 2:21-cv-01386-ENV-ARL), relates to allegations that, among other things, the company made misrepresentations of material information. Read more here.

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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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