Chicago-based cannabis firm GTI plans to go public in Canada

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Green Thumb Industries, a Chicago-based cannabis grower and dispensary operator, released its plans to go public in Canada’s booming marijuana market.

The multistate company has signed a letter of intent to complete a reverse takeover of Vancouver, British Columbia-based Bayswater Uranium Corp., which has interests in properties across Canada and in Wyoming.

The deal charts a path for Green Thumb (GTI) to go public without launching an initial public offering of its shares – the traditional route for most companies.

Instead, according to a news release, the company will create a special class of voting shares that will be issued to Green Thumb security holders, giving the firm a majority stake in Bayswater.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bayswater will be delisted from the TSX Venture, where it is traded as BYU.H.

The resulting company will operate under the Green Thumb name and will seek to list its shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Los Angeles-based MedMen announced a similarly structured deal last month as it also works to go public in Canada this year.

Ben Kovler – Green Thumb’s founder and chairman and an heir to the Jim Beam legacy – told Bloomberg the cannabis industry is similar to the post-Prohibition era of the 1930s, and, thus, there are many opportunities for growth.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals by the Toronto Stock Exchange, is slated to close by July.

Green Thumb currently operates seven cannabis manufacturing facilities in six states. It recently opened its 12th retail store with plans for at least 20 locations by the end of 2018.