Verano, Scythian strike $188 million deal for Florida medical cannabis assets

Chicago-based Verano Holdings struck a deal to acquire a prized Florida medical marijuana license from Toronto-based Scythian Biosciences in exchange for a substantial equity investment.

The deal, which includes an additional Scythian investment and is valued at $188 million (246.3 Canadian dollars) overall, reflects both companies’ focus on the U.S. medical marijuana industry – Verano as an operator and Scythian as a strategic investor and research and development company.

The agreement, announced Tuesday, comes just months after Scythian entered a $105 million deal (136.5 million Canadian dollars) to acquire CannCure Investments, including a majority stake in 3 Boys Farm in Florida.

Here are the details of the agreement:

  • Scythian will acquire the remaining shares of 3 Boys Farm from CannaCure.
  • Verano will acquire 3 Boys Farm from Scythian in exchange for $100 million in Verano Class B membership units.
  • Scythian will invest an additional $88 million in class B membership units in the vertically integrated cannabis company with cultivation, manufacturing and retail facilities in six U.S. states and Puerto Rico.

Separately, Verano received $32 million of private financing from Serruya Private Equity, a Canadian private equity firm.

The combined investments will help Verano “fast-track” its expansion, CEO George Archos said in a statement.

In addition to Florida, Verano has operations in Illinois, Maryland and Nevada and licenses under development in Michigan, Ohio and Puerto Rico.

In an interview with Marijuana Business Daily, Scythian CEO Brady Cobb said Scythian invested in the U.S. last summer with plans to become an MMJ operator.

Instead, Cobb said, Scythian seized the opportunity to make a strategic investment in Verano, which he described as a “top-notch” operator that is building a sizable footprint across the U.S.

Scythian will have roughly a 25%-30% equity position in Verano’s Class B membership units after the deal is completed.

The 3 Boys Farm transaction is subject to state of Florida regulatory approvals.

“This still allows us to focus time and energy on (MMJ) clinical trials,” said Cobb, whose company has an R&D arrangement with the University of Miami.

Jeff Smith can be reached at [email protected]

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