Marijuana real estate merger creates firm worth $435 million in assets, cash

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NewLake Capital Partners and real estate investment trust (REIT) GreenAcreage closed a merger that creates a massive marijuana real estate company.

The combined company boasts more than $325 million in assets and $110 million-plus in cash as it pursues further investments and diversification of its real estate portfolio, according to a news release.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

NewLake, based in Chicago, partnered with Columbia Care in 2019 in the marijuana multistate operator’s first sale-leaseback transaction.

GreenAcreage Real Estate Corp., headquartered in New York, was created as a cannabis REIT in May 2019 and promptly entered a sale-leaseback deal with marijuana MSO Acreage Holdings.

The combined company, to be branded NewLake Capital Partners, owns a portfolio of 24 properties across nine states with tenants that, besides Columbia Care, include well-known marijuana companies such as Cresco, Curaleaf and Trulieve.

The new firm’s management team consists of David Weinstein as CEO, Anthony Coniglio as president and chief investment officer and Gordon DuGan as board chair.

Large cannabis companies increasingly are selling their own cultivation, processing and storage facilities and immediately leasing them back as a way to instantly raise tens of millions of dollars at a time when outside financing is scarce.

NewLake estimated in the release that another $15 billion worth of real estate will be needed to support the growth of the cannabis industry over the next five years.

The company also predicted that more than 5 million square feet of real estate could be reallocated to the cannabis industry in the coming years.