Marijuana industry lender Chicago Atlantic plans to become REIT with IPO

Marijuana industry lender Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance is planning an initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The Chicago-based company plans to be taxed as a real estate investment trust and “provide attractive, risk-adjusted returns for stockholders over time,” according to a news release issued Monday.

“Chicago Atlantic intends to achieve this objective by originating, structuring and investing primarily in first mortgage loans to state-licensed operators in the cannabis industry, secured by real estate, equipment, receivables, licenses or other assets of the borrowers.”

Under the IPO, Chicago Atlantic would sell 6.25 million shares of common stock, or roughly 35.9% of the company’s common stock, according to an amended prospectus dated Nov 30.

The stock would be sold for $16-$18 per share, and the underwriters would have a 30-day option to purchase additional shares.

According to the prospectus, Chicago Atlantic “(seeks) to target operators and facilities that exhibit relatively lower-risk characteristics, which we believe include generally limiting exposure to ground-up construction, lending to cannabis operators with operational and/or profitable facilities, diversification of geographies and distribution channels, among other factors.”

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Chicago Atlantic’s portfolio includes loans to 17 different borrowers worth roughly $160.1 million in principal as of Nov. 22, according to the prospectus, with the company “evaluating 45 potential new loans.”

The company has proposed REFI as its Nasdaq ticker symbol.