Cresco Labs Announces Closing Of Acquisition In New York State

Acquisition Adds One of Only 10 Vertically Integrated Cannabis Business Licenses Issued by the State of New York

ILLINOIS: Cresco Labs, one of the largest vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States, today announced that it has closed its acquisition of 100% of the membership interests of Gloucester Street Capital, the parent entity of Valley Agriceuticals, via a merger between Gloucester and a subsidiary of Cresco Labs. As a result of this acquisition, Cresco Labs now holds one of the 10 vertically integrated cannabis business licenses granted in the State of New York by the New York State Department of Health. Each license gives the operator the right to operate one cultivation facility and four dispensaries in New York. The New York market is projected to grow to $500 million by 20221.

“New York is one of the most influential consumer markets in the world and we expect the state to act as a cornerstone in Cresco Labs’ plan to continue building the most strategic and valuable geographic footprint in the U.S. cannabis industry,” said Charles Bachtell, CEO and Co-founder of Cresco Labs. “Since recently receiving regulatory approval for this transaction, Valley Ag has opened two new dispensaries in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Huntington, Long Island. As a result, Cresco Labs enters the New York market with four strategically located dispensaries. These assets position us well to immediately generate meaningful revenue from this market. As we fully implement the world-class branding, marketing and distribution expertise that has helped us to develop leading positions in some of the most attractive cannabis markets in the country, we expect to steadily increase our share of a market that is projected to grow to $500 million by 2022.”

“Cresco Labs has an incredible vision for the future of the cannabis industry, and they were the obvious choice to partner with based on their superior management team, focus on compliance and experience working across hyper-regulated industries,” said Gloucester Street Capital CEO Stephen Ashekian. “I believe their strategic decision making, commitment to social equity and priority for putting the patients first will make them a leader in the New York market.”

In addition to the new dispensaries in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Huntington, Long Island, Cresco Labs also has operating dispensaries in Bardonia and New Hartford.

Currently a medical-use only market, New York has approximately 107,000 certified patients and 2,500 registered practitioners. The State’s medical cannabis program has 15 qualifying conditions including chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and opioid replacement.

Cannabis PE Firm Merida Capital Partners Exceeds $50 Million In Assets Under Management

NEW YORK:  Merida Capital Partners, a private equity fund targeting fundamental growth drivers underpinning the rapid development of the cannabis industry, announced it has crossed $50MM in assets under management and closed transactions in nine companies in its second Fund. With the full deployment of Merida’s first tranche of Fund II and the opening of the firm’s second investment tranche, Merida Fund II will continue its focus on high-conviction investments in leading companies that have crossed the ‘fragmentation gap’ yet need strategic capital to profoundly accelerate their respective growth curves. Merida will also focus on businesses implementing capex-lite models in the traditionally capital-intensive verticals of cultivation, dispensing, and life sciences.

“Merida continues to see an acceleration of institutional interest in our core strategy,” said Mitch Baruchowitz, Managing Partner of Merida Capital Partners. “As cannabis evolves as an agricultural product, a natural plant-based medicine, a constituent in medical-grade formulations, and an adult-use consumer product, Merida will capitalize on its data, informational edge, and deep relationships in the cannabis space to make high-impact investments that deliver value to investors.”

“People always talk about taking the ‘right money’ or ‘smart money,’ and Merida has proven to be the epitome of a true value-add investor in the cannabis space,” said CEO of Kush Bottles Nick Kovacevich. “From the first day we accepted their funds they have been involved in directly impacting our strategy and growth at Kush Bottles.”

“Merida has supported us in every way,” Marion Mariathiasan of Simplifya. “The firm has given us the resources we needed to broaden our footprint in providing cultivation and dispensary compliance, which ultimately leads to a more stable cannabis industry ecosystem.”

To date, Merida has closed lead investments in: Kush Bottles, a leading supplier of cannabis packaging and production logistics; GrowGeneration, an industry leader in commercial equipment sales and large-scale grow support with hydroponic supply locations in CA, CO, MI, RI, NV and WA; New Frontier Data, an independent, technology-driven analytics company specializing in vetted data, actionable business intelligence and risk management solutions for investors and participants in the cannabis industry; Simplifya, a technology company helping businesses of all sizes track cannabis compliance through industry-leading self-audit and reporting tools; Steep Hill Labs, an analytical testing company for licensed cultivators, producers, and manufacturers of cannabis; Canndescent, a California-based cultivator of ultra-premium cannabis; Valley Agriceuticals, one of only 10 New York-state licensed cannabis cultivators and manufacturer of medical-grade medicinal cannabis treatments and herbal medicines; Mainstem, a business-to-business (B2B) solution that consolidates cultivators, manufacturers, retailers and dispensaries into one comprehensive marketplace, connecting buyers directly to sellers via a MainStem Affiliate Partners program; and Emerald Scientific, a B2B leader in cannabis science supplies, equipment, and information.

Medical Marijuana Rush Targets Lower Hudson Valley

NEW YORK:  A $10 million construction project tied to selling medical marijuana to Lower Hudson Valley patients is unfolding about 60 miles northwest of White Plains.

Valley Agriceuticals, a company started by a team of health care and cannabis industry leaders, wants to build a marijuana grow facility in Wallkill, a farming community of about 29,000 people in Orange County.

The proposal, which pledges to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue, is an early contender in the high-stakes competition to grow and distribute medical marijuana. Last year, New York became the 23rd state to allow sales of the drug.

State Health Department officials plan to award up to five licenses to organizations — like Valley Agriceuticals — that will grow and sell the drug. Those five organizations would each operate up to four dispensaries, essentially where patients buy the drug.