Curaleaf acquires Utah medical cannabis retailer for $20 million

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New York-based Curaleaf Holdings is spending $20 million to acquire Deseret Wellness, the largest medical cannabis retailer in Utah.

The cash-and-stock deal, expected to close immediately, includes three dispensaries in Park City, Payson and Provo that have a combined annual revenue run rate of $14 million, according to a news release.

The priciest buy to date in Utah’s MMJ market increases Curaleaf’s footprint to four dispensaries in the state and 150 nationwide.

“Utah is an important emerging market for Curaleaf, and we are excited to expand our medical retail footprint in the state,” CEO Matt Darin said in a statement.

“Deseret has built a strong and profitable business, and we believe the combination of our two companies will enhance our competitive position in the Utah market.”

Utah retailers sold $118.7 million worth of cannabis in 2022, up nearly 59% from the previous year, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Medical Cannabis.

The state’s MMJ patient count increased 51% in 2022, with 65,016 registered.

Curaleaf’s Utah acquisition comes at a time the major multistate operator and other U.S. marijuana companies have been laying off hundreds of workers in response to challenging capital markets, compressed wholesale prices and slowing sales growth in some markets.

Just a week ago, Curaleaf announced plans to shutter its cannabis cultivation facility in Bellmawr, New Jersey, and could lay off up to 40 workers there.