Last updated Nov. 20, 2023
After a period of rapid expansion through securing new licenses and mergers and acquisitions, marijuana multistate operators have become far more selective about the states where they set up shop while exiting some overly challenging markets, including Arizona and California.
That's according to MJBizDaily's latest update on the nationwide operations of some of the largest MSOs.
Recent macroeconomic headwinds and industry-specific challenges - such as the slow pace of federal reform of marijuana laws, competition, wholesale price compression, inflation, high interest rates and taxes - have forced MSO executives to cut spending and rethink their strategies.
Now, it is all about “optimization,” a word used by multiple top executives at the largest U.S. cannabis companies.
This year, cash-strapped MSOs have continued to shutter underperforming assets, such as cultivation facilities and retail outlets, and use the savings to invest in what they hope will be better revenue-generating opportunities.
Many are investing in medical cannabis programs in key states where efforts to legalize adult-use marijuana are looking likely to pass.
Still, many MSOs are growing from an employee perspective, but throughy downsizing and reallocating resources. In some cases, they are exiting certain states entirely.
Below, find out in which states the larger MSOs currently have retail, cultivation and/or manufacturing operations.
This page will be updated every six months based on regulatory filings, news releases and input from company officials.
New York-based Curaleaf Holdings is still operating in 19 states, even after closing operations in California, Colorado and Oregon over the past year.
Now, the company is focused on optimizing its investments and growing its presence in populated states such as Arizona, Florida and Illinois.
In March, Curaleaf acquired Utah’s largest medical cannabis retailer, Deseret Wellness.
The Cannabist Co. (formerly Columbia Care)
New York-based Columbia Care announced a corporate restructuring last January ahead of its anticipated merger with Cresco Labs, which ultimately was terminated in July after the companies failed to divest overlapping assets as required by regulators.
In September, the company rebranded as The Cannabist Co.
The restructuring included exiting Puerto Rico, shuttering cultivation operations in Missouri and closing unprofitable stores in California, Colorado and Missouri.
Now, The Cannabis Co. is focused on optimizing its portfolio.
Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia are The Cannabist Co.'s current top-growth drivers, according to the company's third-quarter financials for 2023.
Green Thumb Industries
Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries is one of the few profitable MSOs on this list, and the company hasn’t scaled back or exited any states through its double-pronged strategy of winning licenses and M&A.
Through 2023, Green Thumb has been scaling up in Maryland, Minnesota and New York, where company officials hope to tap into forthcoming adult-use markets, CEO Ben Kovler said on GTI's first-quarter earnings call on May 3.
The company opened new RISE dispensaries in Las Vegas, Nevada and Fruitland Park, Florida, in the company's third quarter ending Sept. 30, and launched sales at its four dispensaries in Maryland on July 1.
With active operations in 13 states, Chicago-based Verano Holdings hasn’t exited any markets.
But last October, Verano scrapped its agreement to acquire Minneapolis-based Goodness Growth Holdings, a move that would have added three new markets to Verano's portfolio: Minnesota, New Mexico and New York.
In 2023, the company has been focused on new adult-use markets in Connecticut and Maryland and meeting demand in Florida and Illinois.
In June, the company sued after it initially won, then subsequently lost, a coveted vertically integrated license in Alabama.
A judge tossed the lawsuit.
On Verano’s 2022 full-year financial results earnings call in March, co-founder and CEO George Archos said the company is still evaluating expanding into new markets but that he and his team will be “disciplined, patient and highly selective.”
After its blockbuster 2021 acquisition of Harvest Health & Recreation, Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis exited the Nevada market and downsized operations in California and Florida in 2022.
In June, Trulieve announced it would cease operations in Massachusetts and exit California.
During Trulieve's third-quarter earnings call in November, CEO Kim Rivers said the company is optimistic about the potential for adult-use cannabis legalization in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, where voters recently approved legalizing recreational marijuana.
Trulieve is bankrolling efforts to legalize adult-use cannabis in Florida, having spent around $40 million as of early October.
In 2022, Chicago-based Cresco Labs shut down some of its underperforming assets in Arizona and California but did not exit either state entirely.
On the company’s first-quarter earnings call for 2023, CEO Charlie Bachtell said Cresco is preparing for adult-use cannabis markets by investing in Florida, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Of those, only New York and Ohio have legalized adult-use cannabis so far.
Florida-based Ayr Wellness exited Arizona after selling assets in February, including stores and cultivation facilities, that it had only recently acquired.
The company also expanded its presence in the medical market in Ohio, which legalized adult-use cannabis in November.
Ayr plans to open 10 new stores in Florida and invest in Nevada, a key market for the company, through 2023, according to its first-quarter earnings call in May.
In Illinois, Ayr is “optimizing” its two retail locations.
“We see opportunity to potentially scale in the future, but it’s not a key priority for 2023,” CEO David Goubert said during the call.
The company is currently building out its presence in Connecticut.
Through 2022, New York-based Ascend Wellness expanded in Illinois, New Jersey and Ohio through M&A.
Like many of its competitors, Ascend is focused on Maryland’s new adult-use market, and the company has acquired several MMJ dispensaries to grow its presence in the state.
Ascend plans to open new retail outlets in Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania through 2023 and 2024.
Florida-based Jushi Holdings expanded its presence in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Virginia in 2022.
So far in 2023, the company has expanded in Ohio by opening its first dispensary near Cincinnati and extended its footprint in Virginia, where it plans to grow further this year.
But like many of its competitors, the company is shifting away from rapid retail expansion and investing in its existing footprint.
In Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, Jushi is ramping up production, reassessing retail locations and implementing new key-performance indicators, founder and CEO Jim Cacioppo said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call in May.
The North American company is also focused on its recent Toronto Stock Exchange listing and Maryland’s new adult-use cannabis market.
The MSO also has established a strong presence in Maryland in an effort to replicate the company’s previous success in New Jersey, where it transitioned from medical to adult use.
TerrAscend is hoping to take that strategy to Pennsylvania as well, should that state legalize adult-use marijuana.
Jason Wild, TerrAscend’s executive chair, said during the fourth-quarter and full-year earnings call for 2022 that the company will potentially expand in both new and current markets by acquiring distressed assets.
The company also built a new Massachusetts store and won a medical marijuana dispensary license in Missouri.
In 2023, the company announced plans to acquire vertically integrated operator Ermont, a Massachusetts company in receivership. Terms weren’t disclosed.
Planet 13 Holdings
Nevada-based Planet 13 Holdings has a strong presence in its home state and is working to grow its presence in California.
In August, the company announced a $48.9 million deal to acquire Florida-based VidaCann’s vertically integrated marijuana operation, which includes 26 medical cannabis dispensaries.
The company also has plans to open a retail outlet in Illinois.