Marijuana firm Verano plans to go public at $2.8 billion valuation

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(This story and headline have been updated to reflect that the parties announced a definitive agreement and that Verano’s valuation as a public company will be $2.8 billion.)

Multistate marijuana company Verano Holdings signed a definitive agreement to go public on the Canadian Securities Exchange at a value of $2.8 billion through a reverse takeover (RTO) of an existing, publicly held company.

The move comes only a month after Chicago-based Verano agreed to acquire Florida-based Alternative Medical Enterprises (AltMed), and nine months after an $850 million deal with Arizona-based Harvest Health & Recreation collapsed.

Verano’s RTO deal, which includes the AltMed acquisition, is further evidence that investors are warming again to marijuana.

Capital is loosening after some tight times as evidenced by California-based Weedmaps last week announced a deal to go public at a $1.5 billion valuation.

Verano intends to do a reverse takeover of Calgary, Alberta-based Majesta Minerals.

BNN Bloomberg first reported the company’s plan to go public.

Verano hopes to raise between $50 million to $100 million in capital from the offering, according to a news release. The parties said they hope to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2021.

“Becoming a public company will give us access to capital to execute our long-term strategy of expanding into limited-license, high-growth markets and scaling both our wholesale and retail operations into new and existing markets,” Verano founder and CEO George Archos said in a statement.

Verano currently is active in 12 states, including Illinois, New Jersey and Nevada, with 18 retail locations and 440,000 square feet of cultivation facilities.

The company is projecting revenues of $350 million-$380 million this year, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Verano’s acquisition of AltMed will create one of the country’s largest cannabis operators with 44 retail locations in 14 states.