4Front Ventures To Open Third Dispensary In Massachusetts

PHOENIX, August 16, 2021 – 4Front Ventures Corp., a vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis operator and retailer, announced it has received its commencement letter from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (“CCC”), which will enable the Company to open its third dispensary in the commonwealth.

Mission Brookline will initially begin serving adults 21 years and older in the Allston Innovation Corridor, a vibrant community within the wider Boston University and Boston metropolitan area, via online appointments and in-store pickup on Saturday, August 21st at 10 am. Located  at 1024 Commonwealth Ave. in Brookline in Norfolk County, the Company’s new storefront is located in one of the largest towns in New England that is also a highly desirable place to live, due to its proximity to job opportunities, public transportation, school systems, and livable neighborhoods that balance green space, historic preservation and outstanding commercial services.

“We want to thank the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission for awarding us final approval of our third dispensary in the commonwealth,” said Derek Stewart, Vice President of Retail Operations, Mission Dispensaries, Massachusetts. “We look forward to serving this vibrant community from our new storefront in Brookline, which is surrounded by the City of Boston on three sides and located in a mature suburban, residential community with urban characteristics. We also believe Mission Brookline will help us accelerate our growth as we continue to bring our high standards, low-cost cultivation and production methodologies and build out our capabilities in Massachusetts in the year ahead.”

Upon opening Mission Brookline will offer its existing suite of products such as Funky Monkey™, Legends™, Marmas™, Crystal Clear™ and Hi-Burst™, which have been widely embraced in Massachusetts, Washington and Illinois. The new storefront will also carry a full line of consumer-demanded flower, extracts, edibles, vaporizers, cartridges, batteries, ancillary products and merchandise. Mission’s expertly trained staff will also be available to ensure an informative, welcoming and inclusive experience for all consumers.

Having previously received approval for medical and adult-use cannabis sales at its Mission facilities in Georgetown, 4Front already has a strong foothold in Massachusetts. 4Front’s Mission Worcester dispensary, along with the Company’s cultivation/processing facilities in Worcester, Massachusetts, were also granted authorization to commence adult-use retail and production operations in September 2020.

Cannabis Meets Sports Masterclass & Golf Tournament at ‘Easy Greens’ May 21 & 22 in Arizona

ARIZONA: Top athletes from across the sports world will assemble in Phoenix, Arizona May 21 & 22, 2021 for Easy Greens, a first-ever “Cannabis meets Sports” – Masterclass & Golf Classic Tournament.

The two day event (May 21 and 22, 2021) is organized by Eugenio Garcia, founder of Cannabis Now Magazine and Playbook Capital – a venture platform at the intersection of entertainment, culture and tech.
The event, sponsored by Fohse, Inc. will host big names including Jay Feely (NFL), Shea Hillenbrand (MLB), Troy O’Leary (MLB), Geoff Jenkins (MLB), Dave Burba (MLB), Gary Matthews Jr. (LB), Jason Thompson (NBA), Augie Ojeda (MLB), Don Buford (MLB), Jacque Jones (MLB), and many more.
Held at Arizona Biltmore Golf Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, East Greens will feature speakers, panel presentations, classrooms and networking activities that will highlight investment and growth opportunities specifically for athletes in the $50 billion CBD and THC markets.
Keynote speakers including former NBA star and Viola Brands founder Al Harrington, Mina Mishrikey of Merida Capital and Jared Mirsky, CEO of cannabis branding agency Wick & Mortar are among the highly sought after industry experts in attendance. Additionally, a portion of the golf proceeds will benefit the Educational Sports Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides sports education to children in underserved communities.

Trulieve Announces the Largest US Cannabis Transaction; Acquisition of Harvest Health & Recreation Inc., Creates the Most Profitable Multi-State Operator in the World’s Largest Cannabis Market

Combined Company Will Maintain Industry Leading Scale in Retail, Cultivation & Production

Footprint Provides National Scale with a Deep Regional Focus in Attractive Markets

Expanded Runway for Growth with new Southwest Hub and Expanded Northeast and Southeast Hubs

Combined Consensus 2021E Revenue of $1.2 Billion

 

FLORIDA & ARIZONA: Trulieve Cannabis Corp. and Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. announce they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement pursuant to which Trulieve will acquire all of the issued and outstanding subordinate voting shares, multiple voting shares and super voting shares of Harvest. Under the terms of the Arrangement Agreement, shareholders of Harvest will receive 0.1170 of a subordinate voting share of Trulieve for each Harvest subordinate voting share (or equivalent) held, representing total consideration of approximately $2.1 billion based on the closing price of the Trulieve Shares on May 7, 2021.

Trulieve, a leading multi-state operator with a focus on the northeast and southeast regions of the United States, and Harvest, a leading multi-state operator with a focus on the west coast and northeast regions of the United States, have built deep, vertically integrated operations in their key markets, becoming leading operators in the United States, the world’s largest regulated cannabis market.

Upon completion of the Transaction, as well as the closing of other previously announced acquisitions by Harvest and Trulieve, the combined business will have operations in 11 states, comprised of 22 cultivation and processing facilities with a total capacity of 3.1 million square feet, and 126 dispensaries serving both the medical and adult-use recreational cannabis markets.

Key Transaction Highlights and Benefits

  • Increases Scale Across Our Hub Markets – through the creation of the largest U.S. cannabis operator on a combined retail and cultivation footprint basis;
  • Creates the Most Profitable US MSO – with combined 2020 Adjusted EBITDA of $266 million1,2 and combined 2021E consensus Adjusted EBITDA3 of $461 million, delivering an unparalleled platform for continued growth;
  • Delivers a Superior Existing Retail and Distribution Model – from a robust retail network of 126 dispensaries across 11 states, the combined company will have leading market shares in Arizona and Florida;
  • Strong and Expanding Multi-State Presence – bolsters Trulieve’s expansion in US northeast and southeast hubs in Florida, Pennsylvania and Maryland, and establishes a southwest hub in core markets including Arizona, where recreational adult use of cannabis was recently legalized;
  • Optimizes Nationwide Presence – through well-established retail and wholesale channels across markets, as well as the ability to reach an estimated total addressable market of US$19.3 billion in 2025E (Arcview market estimate);
  • Adds Premium Brands – to Trulieve’s portfolio of in-house brands and national brand partners with a successful line of products across multiple form factors;
  • Leverages Expert Operating Teams and Best Practices – from each of Trulieve and Harvest, enhancing operational excellence by combining unparalleled knowledge of, and success in winning, state license application processes and the ability to rapidly bring operations to market; and
  • Accretive Transaction Reinforces Trulieve’s Leading Financial Metrics – by reinforcing superior financial performance relative to peers through industry-leading margins and strong projected profitable growth.

Management Commentary

“Today’s announcement is the largest and most exciting acquisition so far in our industry, creating the most profitable public multi-state operator.  Importantly, our companies share similar customer values with a focus on going deep in core markets. This combination offers us the opportunity to leverage our respective strong foundations and propel us forward with an unparalleled platform for future growth,” stated Kim Rivers, Chief Executive Officer of Trulieve. “Harvest provides us with an immediate and significant presence in new and established markets and accelerates our entry into the adult use space in Arizona. Trulieve and Harvest are leaders in our markets, recognized for our innovation, brands, and operational expertise with true depth and scale in our businesses. We look forward to providing best-in-class service to patients and customers on a broader national scale as we create an iconic US cannabis brand.”

“We are thrilled to be joining Trulieve, a company that has achieved unrivaled success and scale in its home state of Florida,” said Steve White, Chief Executive Officer of Harvest.  “As one of the oldest multi-state operators, we believe our track record of identifying and developing attractive market opportunities combined with our recent successful launch of adult use sales in Arizona will add tremendous value to the combined organization as it continues to expand and grow in the coming years.”

Terms of the Transaction

The Transaction will be effected by way of a plan of arrangement pursuant to the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia). Under the terms of the Arrangement Agreement, Trulieve will acquire all of the issued and outstanding Harvest Shares, with each Harvest Shareholder receiving 0.1170 of a Trulieve Share for each Harvest Share, implying a price per Harvest Share of US$4.79, which represents a 34% premium to the May 7, 2021 closing price of the Harvest Shares. After giving effect to the Transaction, Harvest Shareholders will hold approximately 26.7% of the issued and outstanding pro forma Trulieve Shares (on a fully-diluted basis). The Exchange Ratio is subject to adjustment in the event that Harvest completes certain interim period refinancing measures, with the potential adjustment in proportion to the incremental costs from such financing relative to the Transaction value. Additional details of the Transaction will be described in the management information circular and proxy statement that will be mailed to Harvest Shareholders in connection with a special meeting of Harvest Shareholders expected to be held in the third quarter to approve the Transaction.

The Transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of each of Trulieve and Harvest. Harvest Shareholders holding more than 50% of the voting power of the issued and outstanding Harvest Shares have entered into voting support agreements with Trulieve to vote in favor of the Transaction.

The Arrangement Agreement provides for certain customary provisions, including covenants in respect of non-solicitation of alternative transactions, a right to match superior proposals, US$100 million reciprocal termination fees under certain circumstances and reciprocal expense reimbursement provisions in certain circumstances.

The Transaction is subject to, among other things, the approval of the necessary approvals of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the approval of two-thirds of the votes cast by Harvest Shareholders at the Special Meeting, receipt of the required regulatory approvals, including, but not limited, approval pursuant to the Hart–Scott–Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, and other customary conditions of closing. Approval of Trulieve Shareholders is not required. Additional details of the Transaction will be provided in the Circular.

The Board of Directors of Harvest has unanimously determined, after receiving financial and legal advice and following the receipt and review of a unanimous recommendation of a special committee of independent directors, that the Transaction is in the best interests of Harvest, and that, on the basis of the Fairness Opinion (as defined herein), that the consideration to be received by the Harvest Shareholders is fair, from a financial point of view, to the Harvest Shareholders.

The Harvest Board unanimously recommends that Harvest Shareholders vote in favor of the resolution to approve the Transaction. The Special Committee obtained a fairness opinion from Haywood Securities Inc., which provides that, as at the date of such opinion and based upon and subject to the assumptions, procedures, factors, limitations and qualifications set forth therein, the consideration to be received by the Harvest Shareholders pursuant to the Transaction is fair, from a financial point of view, to the Harvest Shareholders.

Kaycha Labs Announces Next Lab Location in Tempe, Arizona

 

FLORIDA: Kaycha Labs, a leader in Cannabis and Hemp testing technologies and methods, has announced that its next lab will be in Tempe, Arizona. With locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida (Fort Lauderdale/Davie and Gainesville), Massachusetts, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee, Kaycha has the most extensive network of Cannabis labs in the United States.

James Horvath, CEO of Kaycha Labs, remarked, “Arizona, having just legalized adult-use, recreational marijuana in November, is the most logical choice for our company’s newest location. In addition to Arizona being a nascent market, many of our current multi-state operator clients have invested heavily in the state and we know they value reliable testing partners who can provide consistent testing methodologies across geographies.”

John Schwartz, Kaycha Labs’ Chief Operating Officer, added, “The 6,000-square-foot Tempe space comes with a pre-existing, efficient layout that will allow us to build-out quickly and accommodate several sets of equipment. We have already hired our lab director, construction contracts have been signed, and because we are experienced in the ISO certification process, we expect to be operational this fall after we complete the regulatory process. Needless to say, we are very excited.”

Arizona: Special Meeting of the Mayor and City Council on November 10, 2020 to Discuss Proposition 207

The Willcox City Council will meet to discuss and direct marijuana ordinance following the passing of Proposition 207.

ARIZONA: Arizona residents voted on November 3rd, 2020 to pass Proposition 207, which legalized the possession and use of recreational marijuana for adults (age 21 years or older) in Arizona. Individuals were permitted to possess no more than one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants in their residences. The legislation also allowed any person convicted of certain crimes related to marijuana possession, consumption, and transportation to petition for the expungement of their criminal record starting on July 12, 2021.

Prop. 207 placed a 16 percent tax on marijuana sales, in addition to the existing transaction privilege tax and use tax. Revenue from the tax was divided between public programs such as community college districts, infrastructure, public safety, and public health organizations.

Through this legislation, local governments have the ability to ban marijuana facilities and testing centers and can control of aspects of licensing, regulation, and zoning.

The community is invited to attend the meeting on Tuesday, November 10th, at 3:30 PM in the City Council Chambers located at 300 W Rex Allen Drive, Willcox, AZ 85643.

Harvest Health & Recreation Acquires Only Licensed Dispensary In Casa Grande, Arizona

ARIZONA: Harvest Health & Recreation, a vertically integrated cannabis company with one of the largest and deepest footprints in the U.S., announced today the acquisition of Arizona medicinal cannabis dispensary Leaf Life in a transaction that includes the only cannabis dispensary in Casa Grande. Leaf Life will be transitioned to operate under Harvest’s House of Cannabis stores, known for top operational standards, best-in-class experiences and products and expert teams in developing trusted, quality-driven retail stores with a focus on bettering the community.

“Arizona is the third largest medicinal cannabis market in the United States, yet too many in our communities still do not have adequate access to dispensaries that offer the high-quality medicinal products and expert staff required to improve patient education and treatment outcomes,” said Harvest Executive Chairman Jason Vedadi. “Harvest is committed to ensuring the strongest operational standards for our industry on a national scale, and we are particularly proud of this acquisition in our home state of Arizona because it enables us to further improve patient access to high-quality medicinal cannabis products.”

“We chose to structure a sale with Harvest because we believe in their commitment to Arizona and their future success,” said Ricky Hendrickson, Leaf Life’s Vice-President . “As a testament to that belief we have agreed to a two-year lockup on the stock portion of our agreement and are confident we’ll be part of the Harvest family for the long-term.”

Arizona continues to be a priority market for Harvest with large scale growth projections this year. This transaction will expand Harvest’s industry leading position on operating licensing rights to include more than 210 retail and processing facilities in 17 states and territories across the U.S. Most recently in Arizona, Harvest opened Glendale’s first medical dispensary, and announced a six license acquisition from Devine Hunter, Inc. Harvest now has rights to operate up to 18 dispensaries and cultivation/processing facilities in the state, strengthening their leadership position as the largest operator in the market.

 

 

Arizona: Federal Judge Rules Medical Cannabis Patient’s Firing Violated State Law

MJLegalThe case is Whitmire v. Walmart Stores Incorporated

ARIZONA: A private employer acted improperly when it fired a state-registered medical cannabis patient for failing a urinalysis drug screen, a federal judge ruled last week.

United States District Judge James A. Teilborg opined that Walmart violated Arizona law by terminating an employee solely for testing positive for the presence of THC metabolites in her urine. The carboxy-THC metabolite is an inert breakdown product of THC which may remain present in urine for weeks or even months following cannabis exposure.

Under Arizona’s voter-initiated medical cannabis access law, an employer may not discriminate in hiring or firing based solely upon a patient’s “positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed or was impaired by marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.”

According to the US Department of Justice, urinalysis tests “detect drug use but not drug impairment. A positive test result … does not indicate abuse or addiction, recency, frequency, or amount of use, or impairment.”

In recent years, judges have similarly upheld patient protections in other jurisdictions, including ConnecticutMassachusetts, and Rhode Island.

The case is Whitmire v. Walmart Stores Incorporated.


cFor more information, contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500.

 

Harvest Health & Recreation Acquires Six Additional Licenses In Home State of Arizona

ARIZONA: Harvest Health & Recreation Inc, a vertically integrated public cannabis company with one of the largest footprints in the U.S., has entered into a binding agreement providing for it to acquire six additional licenses in Arizona. Upon closing, Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (Harvest) will control 16 licenses throughout its home state of Arizona, the country’s third largest cannabis market. Before this transaction, Harvest was already the largest operator in Arizona.

“Arizona is a logical place for us to continue to grow for a variety of reasons,” said Harvest Executive Chairman Jason Vedadi. “We have already acquired locations for the future stores and look forward developing dominant footprints in a number of states. Arizona is one of them; it’s a great market with significant upside.”

With 16 vertically integrated licenses, 11 open dispensaries, two cultivation facilities and one processing facility upon closing, Harvest expands what is already the largest footprint in Arizona. Harvest’s agreement is with Devine Hunter, Inc., formerly the state’s second-largest license holder, for an undisclosed amount of cash, stock and other consideration. With the closing of this transaction, Harvest controls licenses for 86 dispensaries, 23 cultivation facilities, and 22 processing facilities across the country.

Harvest Will Be Awarded Ohio Medical Marijuana Processor License

ARIZONA:  Harvest Health & Recreation, a vertically integrated public cannabis company with one of the largest footprints in the U.S., announced the Ohio Department of Commerce, pending background checks, will award the company a provisional processor license under Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. The application scored among the top 26 after being judged on a series of standards and merits, including relevant experience across multiple verticals in the cannabis space, prior demonstration of compliance, financial viability and proposed community benefits. With the win, Harvest will hold a processing license, a tier 1 cultivation license and three retail dispensary licenses in Ohio, making it the only multi-state operator to be organically vertically integrated in the state. Harvest holds over 60 licenses nationally, expanding its national footprint across 12 U.S. states.

“Ohio has an important long-term role in the cannabis industry,” said Steve White, founder and CEO of Harvest. “It has the seventh largest state economy, a skilled manufacturing workforce and a growing patient count. We are thrilled to open fully vertical operations, and look forward to contributing to the Buckeye economy for years to come. This is a solid win for us coming on the heels of big retail victories in Pennsylvania and Santa Monica, California.”

Founded in 2011 in Arizona, Harvest is now one of the only consistently profitable, vertically integrated cannabis companies in the U.S. The company brings together in-house cultivation, manufacturing, retail facilities, construction, real estate and technologies, backed by experienced finance, compliance, operations, real estate, human resources, marketing and legal teams, who have a proven and trusted track record in writing applications and working in the cannabis industry. With more than 525 employees, Harvest plans to continue to grow its operations across the U.S. throughout 2019 and beyond.

An international leader in the cannabis industry, Harvest holds itself to the most stringent health, safety and quality standards in the industry when it comes to the growth, production and sale of cannabis medicines and products for consumers. Since its founding, the company has donated more than $500,000 to veterans, seniors, children, patients-in-need and other charitable recipients.

 

Long-Term Cannabis Use Associated With Lower BMI

ARIZONA: Lifetime cannabis exposure is associated with lower body mass index (BMI), according to longitudinal data published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Pittsburgh assessed the association between long-term cannabis exposure and cardiometabolic risk factors in a cohort of 253 men. They reported that greater marijuana exposure was associated with lower BMI as well as lower cholesterol levels and other risk factors.

“Cannabis use is associated with lower BMI and lower BMI is related to lower levels of risk on other cardiometabolic risk factors,” they concluded.

The findings are consistent with those of prior studies concluding that cannabis exposure is associated with lower BMIlower rates of obesity, and fewer incidences of type 2 diabetes.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Associations between cannabis use and cardiometabolic risk factors: A longitudinal study of men,” appears in Psychosomatic Medicine.