Cannabis MSO Verano entering Connecticut via acquisitions

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Chicago-based cannabis multistate operator Verano Holdings announced its expansion into Connecticut with multiple acquisitions, including one completed deal and two pending purchases.

One of the pending deals, the acquisition of a cultivation business, is valued at more than $130 million and will give Verano a vertically integrated presence in the state.

“These acquisitions are expected to be immediately accretive and accelerate vertical integration for Verano in Connecticut, one of the most recent states to pass adult-use legislation,” Verano said in a Wednesday news release.

Connecticut legalized recreational cannabis in June, with sales expected to begin in 2022.

Verano’s Connecticut deals include:

  • Willow Brook Wellness, which operates one active dispensary in Meriden.
  • Caring Nature, which operates one active dispensary in Waterbury.
  • Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions, which operates an active cultivation and production facility in Rocky Hill.

The Willow Brook Wellness acquisition closed Oct. 25, while the other deals are pending.

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Verano disclosed only the price tag for Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions:

  • Nearly $113.3 million worth of Verano subordinate voting shares when the transaction is complete.
  • $18.5 million in further shares “upon the first adult-use sale of cannabis in Connecticut.”
  • An unspecified number of further shares based on performance milestones for 2021.

“These acquisitions are well aligned with our broader growth strategy and further strengthen our operational bandwidth by bringing management teams on board that have demonstrated multidisciplinary savvy and a keen understanding of the Connecticut market in both the retail and wholesale channels,” Verano CEO George Archos said in the release.

Verano’s Connecticut deals come on the heels of other expansion activity by the company this year, including acquisitions in Pennsylvania announced in April and a purchase in Nevada announced in July.