Michigan Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtApril 13, 2022
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As more states begin selling adult-use cannabis, some states are seeing sales decline or at least plateau. In the case of a mature market like Colorado, sales have actually dropped. Colorado was the OG of adult-use sales, creating an onslaught of canna-tourism. Now, many people can go to states closer to where they live. Illinois and Michigan can service the midwest, while Massachusetts got a head start on the Northeast. Oklahoma has grabbed the central market and likely lots of Texans. 

Colorado Sales Fall

Earlier this week, the Colorado Department of Revenue’s (CDOR) figures released data showing that cannabis sales of $145 million in February dropped 3% from January’s sales of $151 million. It’s also a big drop of 13% from sales in 2021. For the first two months of 2022, cannabis sales had hit $296 million, while in 2021 the first two months delivered sales of $354 million. The pattern of February sales being lower than January seems to be consistent with previous years. Colorado hasn’t cracked $200 million in sales for a month since July 2021. 

That also means tax revenues from cannabis are slipping as well. Taxes and fees dropped to $27 million in February from $28 million in January. To be sure, these are all still respectable numbers, but it does demonstrate that the cannabis market has limits.

Michigan

Michigan released its cannabis sales figures for March and while the state breaks them into two categories – adult-use and medical, sales have slipped here as well. Adult-use sales in March did rise to $121 million but fell 6% from February. Medical cannabis sales dropped 33% from last year but did increase 23% over February. However, before anyone fears the market is having some sort of green-out phase, overall sales in 2021 were $1.79 billion, and 2022 looks to be on track to beat that. More municipalities are coming on board and more popular products hitting the state. 

 

 

California

While the California market has its fair share of problems, which the Green Market Report covered in a recent series, it remains a huge market. However, even the biggest markets can experience declines. Looking at 2021 figures, the second quarter was the best clocking in with $1.42 billion in sales, but that steadily declined to $1.29 billion in the third quarter and then $1.25 billion in the fourth quarter. This just barely topped the fourth quarter of 2020 that reporting $1.24 billion in sales. The state has not released any sales data for 2022 yet.


Debra BorchardtFebruary 14, 2022
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On Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that she was consolidating the regulatory bodies within the State of Michigan that oversee cannabis and hemp processing, distribution, and sale to improve efficiency. The governor’s statement said that these administrative changes would help the state continue growing the hemp and marijuana economy, create jobs, and invest in local communities.

Currently, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) regulates hemp, while the Marijuana Regulatory Agency regulates marijuana. Governor Whitmer‘s Executive Order 2022-1 renames the Marijuana Regulatory Agency as the Cannabis Regulatory Agency and tasks it with regulating the processing, distribution, and sale of both hemp and marijuana going forward. Oversight of hemp cultivation will remain with MDARD. This restructuring will allow for a more effective, efficient administration and enforcement of Michigan laws regulating cannabis in all its forms. The executive order was filed with the legislature and will take effect in 60 days.

 “Consolidating multiple government functions into the newly named Cannabis Regulatory Agency will help us continue growing our economy and creating jobs,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “And to be blunt-safe, legal cannabis entrepreneurship, farming, and consumption helps us put Michiganders first by directing the large windfall of tax revenue from this new industry to make bigger, bolder investments in local schools, roads, and first responders.” 

Record Sales

In January, Andrew Brisbo Executive Director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced that December 2021 sales numbers marked another new high for the adult-use industry with just over $135 million in sales. Medical was nearly $33 million. He gave the following final 2021 sales numbers:

Adult-use = $1,311,951,737
Medical = $481,225,540
Total = $1,793,177,278

Brisbo also said at the time, “It’s good to note that the new high is not because of increasing prices. In fact, prices in medical and adult-use continue to drop, month over month, and year over year.”

Dec 2020: adult use was $350/oz & medical was $265/oz.

Dec 2021: adult-use at $185/oz & medical at $175/oz.

January 2022 Sales

The state also reported that January sales totaled $27.9 million, which dropped from 2021’s January sales total of $41 million. In January 2022, 41,659 pounds were sold while it was 41,623 pounds. So the amount is roughly the same, but not the price. In January 2022, the average retail price for flower was $119 – a dramatic drop form January 2021’s average price of $252.


StaffJanuary 25, 2022
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House of Saka, Inc., producer of the first and only alcohol-free, award-winning cannabis-infused wines from the iconic Napa Valley appellation, announced today an exclusive partnership with Carbidex LLC Michigan, a family-owned holding entity with companies rooted in the cannabis and facilities management industries, to provide full-service manufacturing, bottling, and distribution. The Michigan market has become incredibly important in the cannabis industry. The Anderson Economic Group found that one in five Michigan residents used cannabis in 2020 – an increase of 75% since 2010. “We estimated that Michigan’s cannabis industry totaled $3.1 billion in 2020. In 2020, retailers reported sales of approximately $1.0 billion. The remainder of cannabis consumed across the state came from non-retail sources, including home cultivation, medical caregivers, and illicit adult-use sales.”

The first of House of Saka’s luxury-infused beverages, Saka Spark Mimosa, will launch at Carbidex’s retail locations: The Botanical Co.. this spring. Available in 187ml, single-serve champagne bottles, House of Saka Spark & Mimosa is the first and only cannabis-infused beverage to blend premium, alcohol-removed California sparkling Chardonnay with Mimosa
strain-specific live resin and natural essence of orange blossom and nectarine. The result is all the flavor and celebration of a traditional Mimosa without the negative effects and unwanted
calories of alcohol.

“Partnering with companies that exemplify our mission to ‘bring good people together and enhance lives by creating extraordinary cannabis experiences’ is crucial to us,” stated Carbidex
Founder and CEO Russell Chambers. “The team at House of Saka embodies our core values and mission. We are honored to bring the extraordinary House of Saka products to the Michigan market.”

House of Saka, Inc. and Carbidex came together based on a strong set of shared values and beliefs. The core mission of the Carbidex family of companies remains committed to supporting the backbone of the industry; caregivers and small businesses. Our customers & patients remain at the core of what we do and to ensure they continue to have access to the products they rely on, we only source the highest quality products from companies that align with our mission. The team and products with the House of Saka perfectly align with all of our values and core beliefs.

“Finding a partner who shares our quality standards and core values was our most important goal,” explains Tracey Mason, Co-founder & CEO. “The team and mission of Carbidex was a
perfect match. Their incredible knowledge of beverages, manufacturing, and the Michigan market made their partnership the best possible fit for our combined goals.”


Julie AitchesonOctober 14, 2021
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From college football to the NFL, nothing says Game Day like a lively tailgate scene complete with BBQ and beers or wine and cheese and a lot of sloshing Solo cups paraded around stadium parking lots. But with the rise in popularity, not to mention the legality, of cannabis, tailgaters and entrepreneurs alike are looking to swap Solo cups for smokes, edibles, and the like. With football season finally back in full-ish swing, cannabis companies in Michigan (the nation’s third-largest recreational cannabis market) are getting in on the action with exclusive tailgating products and activations. 

The college market is a particular focus of these new tailgate-tailored products. College students’ cannabis consumption in 2020 reached an all-time, historic high unseen since 1983 according to the National Institute on Drug abuse’s annual “Monitoring the Future” study. The study also showed that more than four in every ten college students reported using marijuana in 2020, and the increase occurred in similar proportions among college-aged respondents who aren’t in school. Alcohol usage, meanwhile, was less common in 2020 than in previous years, including binge drinking, getting drunk, and overall alcohol use. The decline has been ongoing over the last few decades and the low is also “historic” according to the principal investigator of the study, John Schulenburg. Alcohol usage was “significantly lower” in 2020 than just a year prior in 2019, with increasing legalization and the pandemic highlighted as likely factors.

This is all to say that the college tailgating crowd isn’t only primed for some grit and glory on the gridiron, but for a creative range of products and events that offer alternatives to boozy barbecues. Lansing-based Pure Options sent out an invite to Michigan State fans to an all-season tailgate in front of Spartan Stadium. Michigan cannabis company SKYMINT recently launched their Tailgate Collection, which includes cannabis-infused gummies “Varsity Blue” and “Green Machine” as well as the terpene-heavy “Tailgate Vape”.   To celebrate the annual Michigan vs. Michigan State game, SKYMINT will host a tailgate party at their East Lansing location on October 30th.  The event will feature food, games and podcast hosts sports columnist Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal and sports podcast host Jason Knick.


StaffSeptember 21, 2021
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Michigan-based SKYMINT, is buying 3Fifteen Cannabis and also closing its $70 million Senior Secured Term Loan from Tropics LP, an affiliate of SunStream Bancorp Inc., a joint venture initiative sponsored by Sundial Growers Inc. (Nasdaq: SNDL), and its $8 million equity investment from Merida Capital Holdings. The acquisition will bring Skymint’s workforce to 730 employees and a combined retail portfolio of 27 locations totaling 101,000 square feet, with an additional 18+in the 2021-2022 pipeline.

The combined company will now have a dominant market share in four key Michigan regions: Grand Rapids, (4 locations), Greater Lansing (4 locations), Detroit / Metro Detroit (5 locations), and Ann Arbor (2 locations). In addition, it will have two indoor cultivation facilities totaling 77,000 square feet with a third indoor cultivation facility – totaling 184,000 square feet – due to come online next year and a 1,000acre sustainable, sun-grown farm (Michigan’s largest outdoor cannabis farm).

“Skymint was founded on a mission to become a leader in the cannabis industry while leveraging our leadership position as a positive catalyst for change,” said Skymint CEO and co-founder Jeff Radway. “With this acquisition of 3Fifteen Cannabis, we have a monumental opportunity and responsibility to truly shape the market for the better, bring more jobs to our state, provide Michiganders increased access to clean, handcrafted, premium products and experiences at the best value, and continue our commitment to uplift the communities we are fortunate to serve.”

The company said in a statement that with the acquisition of 3Fifteen Cannabis, it now has the capability to serve nearly 90%of adult Michigan residents in a market valued at $3.2B that has embraced the freedom to consume cannabis recreationally since 2019. Three additional Skymint stores are planned to open in 2021, and 15 more locations are set for 2022.

“Merida has already invested deeply in Michigan through 3Fifteen, due to the attractive population dynamics. Skymint’s leading vertical position augments 3Fifteen’s leading retail presence,” explained Mitch Baruchowitz, CEO of Merida Capital Holdings and will be joining Skymint’s board of directors upon closing of the transaction.

The announcement comes on the heels of Michigan’s record-breaking July 2021 sales. According to an August 2021 report from industry analyst HeadsetMichigan celebrated a 56% year-over-year increase in July 2021 sales totaling $171M, with adult recreational products comprising the largest share of $128M; and in May 2021Michigan’s cannabis sales were less than $8.5M short of surpassing Colorado’s, which presently holds the No. 2 state ranking for national cannabis sales.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have a partner like Skymint to execute our shared vision for aggressive expansion,” said Tommy Nafso, President and General Counsel of 3Fifteen. “Skymint’s operational efficiencies and meticulous focus on quality, combined with best-in-state cultivation operations and innovative approach to retail, creates the perfect operating environment for continued success.”


Debra BorchardtAugust 24, 2021
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Michigan is on fire when it comes to cannabis sales. While the state is relatively new to legal adult use sales, the market is quickly becoming a force to reckon with. A new report issued by cannabis data collection firm Headset digs deeply into where the sales are coming from and what Michigan consumers like the most.

Watch Out Colorado

Headset noted that from January to July 2021, Michigan has recorded $970.4 million in sales, exceeding both Washington and Oregon markets. Michigan is only $145 million behind Colorado. At this rate, Michigan could give Colorado  run for its money. Headset said that adult-use sales continue to grow at an average of 10% month over month. In May, Michigan’s cannabis sales ($148.9M) were less than $8.5 million short of overtaking Colorado’s sales ($157.2.7M)

Chart provided by Headset

“When we break down Michigan’s medical and adult-use cannabis markets, we find that in January, Michigan’s medical sales made up 38% of total sales but decreased to 27% of sales in July.” The report did caution that growth in both portions of the market were slowing down slightly. That could be a sign that the market is beginning to stabilize. Headset also pointed out that Michigan is following the same month over month growth as other more mature markets.

Michiganders Love Edibles

Like most cannabis markets, flower is the top category for consumers. Michigan flower represents 50% of the market share, second only to Nevada where flower takes a 55% market share. Vape pens are second place taking 19% of the market share. However edibles are the big category winner in the state. Edibles have captured a 13.8% market share – the most of any state. The state’s cannabis consumers are less inclined to buy pre-rolls and concentrates. 

Headset wrote that California has sold more edibles so far in 2021 than Colorado and Michigan combined. However, Michigan has sold more edibles than Colorado by 416K so far this year. “Michigan is selling their Edibles at an average item price of $14.48, which is 11% lower than California’s average item price of $16.23.”

While gummies are usually the biggest edible winner in most states, Michigan consumers actually have a high preference for Caramels, Chews, and Taffy. Gummies do command 71% of the state’s edible sales, but 10% of the sales to go to the “chews” category. By comparison, only 5.8% of the California market goes to the “chews” category and in Colorado only 5.6%. 

 

 


StaffJuly 21, 2021
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Gage Growth Corp. (CSE: GAGE) has added two more provisioning centers (dispensaries) to its portfolio, which will be located in Flint and Burton, Michigan. The company now has 15 provisioning center locations in its retail portfolio.

“These latest additions to Gage’s retail and cultivation portfolios enable the Company to broaden and solidify its position in the Michigan market,” said Fabian Monaco, CEO of Gage. “We look forward to bringing our world-class cannabis experiences to new communities through our increased retail locations. Gage is committed to investing in the communities in which it operates, and we will approach Flint and Burton with the same high level of integrity, focus on diversity, and dedication to offering a variety of quality products to provide the best cannabis experiences to the region’s patients and consumers.”

Gage’s first retail dispensary in Flint will be located at 4174 W. Pierson Rd., a heavily trafficked area accessible to residents in Flushing and downtown Flint. Gage will also open a retail location in Burton, located at 1234 N. Center Rd. Gage’s portfolio includes city and state approvals for 19 “Class C” cultivation licenses, three processing licenses and 15 provisioning centers (dispensaries).

The company also announced it has entered into a contract grow agreement with a third-party Michigan cannabis license holder, adding its eleventh expected Contract Grower to the Company’s portfolio for the 2021 calendar year. The company said it expects to receive the product from the Contract Grower in the fourth quarter of this year in an amount of approximately 250 pounds of dried cannabis per month. As previously disclosed, Gage expects adding several more partners and expanding its total cultivation facilities by year-end to fourteen locations.

Completion of this transaction and the Company’s opening of storefront retail dispensaries in Flint and Burton are subject to state and local regulatory approvals.

 


Julie AitchesonFebruary 24, 2021
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January has been a watershed month for cannabis in the state of Michigan, as the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced sixteen proposed changes to the state’s cannabis laws and regulations. Aimed at improving access to capital for people of color seeking to break into the cannabis market, this initiative also seeks to address other hurdles commonly faced by minorities in the marijuana industry. These obstacles include overwhelmingly bureaucratic application processes, prohibitive licensing fees and wait times, and the outsized impact of the War on Drugs for communities of color. Should the changes be implemented, Michigan would boast the most progressive social equity program in the nation, thanks in large part to the MRA’s Racial Equity Advisory Workgroup (formed in July 2020). 

Cimone Casson is a Workgroup member, owner of cannabis insurance brokerage firm Cannas Capital, Michigan Chapter President for Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana, and the driving force behind another initiative that is poised to push Michigan to the forefront of social equity. Casson’s objective is to create a local stock exchange, the Michigan Marijuana Market, that focuses on raising capital for minorities in local communities impacted by the War on Drugs. The crowdfunding platform, to be housed and supported on the MRA’s website, would serve as a portal for local marijuana investors and businesses located in impacted areas. Though the MRA would operate the Michigan Marijuana Market, a broker-dealer would have oversight over the project and assets would be held by a state-chartered custodial bank. The MMM would be a solely intrastate investment system targeted towards minority-owned and capitalized businesses.

As the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency’s Subcommittee Chairwoman, Cimone Casson is working with director Andrew Brisbo to develop the Michigan Marijuana Market as a means not only of assisting local minority-owned businesses in gaining access to capital but providing a pathway for minorities to build wealth and strengthen their local economies.  “We must provide a consensus pathway to rebuild communities and offer a viable entry for minorities into this market,” Casson says. “Local stock exchanges have historically boosted the likelihood of success for locally-owned businesses, which are critical to a community’s economic, social, and political vitality.”  

Social equity is always top of mind for Casson whether in regards to her own business, Canna Capital, or her work in the regulatory environment. The MMM involves leveraging existing Michigan state laws such as the M.I.L.E. Act (Michigan Invests Locally Exemption), which allows small businesses to raise capital by reaching out to Michigan residents to invest in their companies, and the M.I.M. Act (Michigan Investment Market Act), which regulates a class of intrastate broker-dealers and facilitates intrastate securities transactions among individuals. Still, as the MMM proposal will almost certainly require funding for administrative costs, additional legislative changes will be necessary in order to launch and maintain the initiative. 

Passing MMM-supportive legislation in a Republican-dominated legislature will pose a challenge, but Casson is confident that the Michigan Marijuana Market could be the key to overcoming barriers to participation in the booming cannabis economy and building generational wealth in communities that have yet to reap its considerable rewards.   

 


Marissa GoldOctober 5, 2020
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In December of 2019, Michigan became the tenth state in the U.S. to legalize adult-use cannabis. Less than a year in, it’s already outpaced Nevada to become the fifth highest-grossing state for cannabis sales and is on track to surpass $1 billion in sales, according to data from Headset. In addition to its fast-growing new adult-use market, Michigan’s medical market is ranked #2 in the country, second only to California. Now, all eyes are on The Great Lake State as cannabis operators and investors across the U.S. seek to claim their share of this high-potential market.

A Strong Medical Market Paved the Way

Though Michigan’s recreational market is still less than a year old, medical cannabis has been legal in the state since 2008. 

“Michigan has historically boasted the second-largest medical cannabis program in the country, and therefore, the adult-use market has a phenomenal base of consumers to grow from,” explains Fabian Monaco, President of Gage Cannabis Co, a Michigan-based cultivator and dispensary operator. 

“Because of this, adult-use sales are now experiencing exponential growth, along with the fact that the state has 7.3 million adults over the age of 21, with a total population of 9.9 million,” adds Monaco. 

By continuing to serve both medical and recreational markets–a move not always followed by other states–Michigan reaches a maximum potential consumer base. 

Michigan Consumers Are Top-Spenders

Perhaps the biggest standout finding was the amount Michigan consumers were willing to spend on cannabis. Headset data shows the average basket size in Michigan is $84.58, a notable increase from California’s average purchase amount of $64.13. This data puts Michigan consumers at the top of the food chain, spending-wise, and is especially attractive to cannabis brands that offer premium products at higher price points.

Gage Cannabis, which has exclusive cultivation and distribution rights to premium brands like Cookies, Grandiflora, and Minntz, currently operates just 1% of Michigan’s medical dispensaries but has commanded 10% of the state’s medical market share. 

Monaco attributes this to Michigan consumers’ apparent preference for high-quality brands, and a willingness to spend more on their purchases. Despite plenty of competition and lower-priced options, Gage continues to command premium pricing on its flower products.

“The average basket size of a Gage customer has been $175 for five straight months, which are industry-leading numbers to say the least,” Monaco underscores.

The Pandemic Only Boosted Business

With the onset of the pandemic, many retail businesses were forced to close, but the state’s newly-legalized cannabis industry was considered essential and allowed to remain open–with a few precautions. 

“Delivery saw incredible adoption in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Meredith Mahoney, president of Lantern cannabis delivery platform. Despite the fact that Lantern was brand-new to the Michigan market, the pandemic created a demand, and her technology was able to step in and fill it. 

“Curbside pickup or delivery were the only ways to purchase, with delivery being the much easier and more convenient way to shop, and this accelerated our progress,” says Mahoney.

Consumers Come to Michigan from Out of State

Michigan’s unique geographical location also brings in consumers from neighboring states, some of which only allow medical purchases or none at all. Monaco notes that “Consumers travel to our stores from nearby states such as New York, Ohio, and Indiana, among others.” 

Though he says Gage will remain a single-state operator in Michigan, he has an “aggressive” expansion plan beyond his five current retail locations to meet the current demand. “We are preparing to open an additional eight locations within the next six months in new markets including Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Bay City, Buena Vista, Center Line, Grand Rapids, and Lenox Township,” he says.

More Firsts and More Expansion Ahead 

With recreational sales growing from $9.8 million in January to $65.5 million by August, according to Headset, there’s no questioning Michigan’s potential. Brands operating within the state are expanding their services to keep up with the Michigan consumer’s appetite. 

Mahoney plans to launch on-demand cannabis delivery next: “Lantern will be the first on-demand cannabis e-commerce platform operating in Michigan that enables recreational cannabis delivery into Detroit in 60 minutes or less from when an order is placed,” she says. After teaming up with local dispensary 3Fifteen for its launch, Lantern will now broaden its network of dispensary partners to expand its service across the state.

Joe Crouthers, CEO of investment firm Ceres Group Holdings, agrees that more industry leaders are likely to follow suit. “Michigan is a big contributor to the cannabis industry’s momentum. They have explosive growth from their new recreational market, a friendly state government with progressive regulation, diverse (canna-educated) consumer mix, and a platform for well-established brands to expand,” he says. 

And while he cautions investors with some general advice, “To maintain tempered valuations, achievable forecasts, and prudent cash flow management,” one thing is clear: “The state certainly warrants our attention.”

 


Debra BorchardtMay 27, 2020
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Up and coming Michigan cannabis company Gage Cannabis has announced a partnership with Slang Worldwide Inc. (OTC:SLGWF) to produce and distribute Slang products. While Slang is the better-known company, Gage has been quietly building a solid business in Michigan.

Michigan

Gage is focused on becoming a leader in the state as the cannabis industry has switched from building huge national footprints to targeting specific states. Adult-use cannabis sales in Michigan began in late 2019 and have been growing steadily since then with 27% month-over-month growth from March to April 2020, based on data from the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency. A recent study by Michigan State University estimates that total cannabis sales in the state could reach $3 billion within the next five years. It is currently the fourth largest market in the country.

Gage Cannabis

Gage has licenses for 13 dispensaries of which four are operational at this time. There are four licenses for cultivation with three operational and one processing license. The average basket size for Gage in March was $130 and that number has jumped to $175 in April.

For now, Gage is privately owned with 60% of the company held by management and insiders. The company has raised $60 million and has $7 million in cash and no debt. Bruce Linton is the Executive Chairman, while Fabian Monaco is the President.

“Gage understands that partnering with industry-leading brands like SLANG elevates the Michigan cannabis market and provides consumers with a range of products that are of exceptional quality,” said a representative of Gage. “Gage is unwavering in its commitment to bringing only the best cannabis products and brands to Michigan.”

The company made a big splash with its Cookies partnership when it opened a Cookies branded dispensary on the well known 8 Mile road in Detroit. The 3,500 square-foot Cookies store employs 40 Detroiters and the company has in place a social equity program through which it will share $950,000 with social equity participants in cities disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition.

Slang

The partnership means that Gage will be including its category-leading products O.penVAPE, Pressies, District Edibles, and Bakked in its dispensaries. SLANG will also provide sales consulting services and will receive royalty payments for each branded product sold in the state.

“Partners are the backbone of the SLANG network, and we are excited to embark on this initiative with a great operator like Gage,” said Peter Miller, CEO of SLANG Worldwide.  “Gage has demonstrated an ability to scale as leaders in a rapidly growing and competitive market. By supporting their business with the diversified SLANG product offerings, we expect an even greater mutual scale and success. This deal is directly on target with our licensing and partnership strategy, and we look forward to growing together.”

The addition of the SLANG brands will strengthen Gage’s offering in the vape, edible, and concentrate product categories. Production of the additional products will utilize Gage’s increasing cultivation and processing capacity in the state.

“I am very excited to see this collaboration between two companies that are each innovators and leaders in their own segment of the cannabis market,” said Bruce Linton, Executive Chairman of Gage and an investor in SLANG. “Partnerships like this are a great way for both companies to accelerate their growth in a capital-efficient manner, which is crucial in today’s market.”

 

 

 


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