Green Thumb buys LeafLine to enter Minnesota medical cannabis market

Multistate operator Green Thumb Industries entered Minnesota’s medical cannabis market by purchasing LeafLine Industries for an undisclosed price, giving GTI one of only two vertical licenses in the Midwest state.

Goodness Growth Holdings, formerly known as Vireo Health, holds Minnesota’s only other vertical license.

In a news release Thursday, GTI said the LeafLine purchase includes a cultivation facility and five open and operating retail locations in Eagan, Hibbing, St. Cloud, St. Paul and Willmar.

The company said it will “maintain the opportunity to open up to three additional retail locations” in Minnesota.

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Minnesota’s small medical cannabis market has been restricted by a limited number of approved products, among other factors.

The MJBizFactbook projects 2021 Minnesota MMJ sales will reach $60 million-$70 million.

GTI, citing the Minnesota Department of Health, said the state has only about 29,000 registered active patients.

Minnesota regulators and lawmakers have taken steps during the past year to make more products available to the state’s medical cannabis patients, moves that ultimately are expected to boost sales for GTI and Goodness Growth.

Earlier this month, for example, Minnesota regulators announced they were adding MMJ edibles to the list of approved products.

In May, Minnesota’s Legislature approved smokable flower for medical cannabis patients, which could significantly boost sales.

The change, effective no later than March 2022, will provide a more affordable option to customers.

GTI could benefit should Minnesota approve recreational cannabis. But so far, state lawmakers have failed to agree on adult-use legislation.

During this year’s legislative session, Minnesota House lawmakers passed adult-use marijuana, but the bill died in the Senate.