Weekly Deal Watch: Cannabis capital raises outpace record 2018 levels

Marijuana News

North American cannabis companies have raised nearly $3.3 billion so far this year, outpacing the record funding levels set in 2018, according to the latest data from Viridian Capital Advisors.


With the closing of Altria Group’s $1.8 billion strategic investment in Canadian cannabis producer Cronos, fundraising levels through the first week of March are more than $1 billion ahead of the pace for this time last year.

Each week Marijuana Business Daily and Viridian Capital Advisors provide the latest data on cannabis investment activity and M&A, along with key takeaways, analysis and trends based on recent market moves.

The data below, provided by Viridian, is through the week ended March 8.

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Top raises closed last week included:

  • Altria Group’s record-breaking investment of 2.4 billion Canadian dollars ($1.8 billion) in Ontario-based cannabis producer Cronos Group (TSX: CRON; Nasdaq: CRON) – a deal that completes what is so far the largest investment by a tobacco company in the cannabis space. The investment gives Altria (NYSE: MO) a 45% stake in Cronos. Altria also has a warrant that, if exercised, would bump its ownership in the integrated marijuana firm to 55%.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia-based International Cannabis Corp. (CSE: WRLD.U) closed a $45 million private raise, funds the firm plans to use for working capital. ICC also closed a $13.5 million equity raise last week.

Key M&A deals closed last week:

  • Alberta’s Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACBclosed on its acquisition of privately held, British Columbia-based Whistler Medical Marijuana Corp. – one of Canada’s first licensed producers – for CA$175 million ($131 million) in an all-share transaction. The acquisition will add Whistler’s recognized cannabis brand to Aurora’s portfolio. It also provides Aurora a proven export channel.
  • CIJ Holdings, a North Carolina-based cannabis investment and holdings company, finalized its acquisition of Grown 2 Gold, a North Carolina hemp grower and processor. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The merger gives Grown 2 Gold working capital and resources to cultivate and manage about 1,000 acres of North and South Carolina cannabis, according to a news release.

Viridian Capital Advisors is a financial and strategic advisory firm that provides investment banking, M&A, corporate development and investor relations services to emerging growth companies and qualified investors in the cannabis sector.