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Cannabis Briefs for October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

•In case you missed last Thursday’s news alert, Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth has agreed to acquire leading U.S. edibles maker Wana Brands for $297.5 million, pending federal legalization. The full story is here.

•Cresco Labs is deepening its holdings in Pennsylvania. The Chicago-based producer will execute a definitive agreement to acquire Laurel Harvest Labs for $80 million. The company’s assets include a 52,000 square foot cultivation facility in Lancaster County, early construction on an additional 52,000 square feet, an operational dispensary in Montgomeryville, a second retail location under construction in Scranton, and licenses for four additional locations. The move follows a similar investment by Cresco Labs last month when it paid $90 million for three Cure Penn medical dispensaries in the state. The Laurel Harvest transaction will be completed on a cash-free, debt-free basis and is expected to close by the end of the year, pending approval.

•Ottawa, Ontario-based Hexo Corp. announced that it’s parting ways with CEO Sebastien St-Louis. His exit, effective immediately, comes as part of a strategic reorganization. No interim CEO was announced but the company claims its special committee for succession is in advanced discussions with a preferred candidate that it expects to announce in the coming days. Additionally, COO Donald Courtney resigned, though he will stay on until his replacement is selected.

•Lantern, the cannabis delivery service formerly part of Drizly, announced new titles and duties for its leadership. Meredith Mahoney, who has been president since the company launched in May 2020, was named co-founder and CEO. Katie Neer, previously head of industry affairs, was named general counsel. Akele Parnell, head of equity partnerships, will now also lead Lantern’s social equity incubator program. Drizly co-founder Justin Robinson has also transitioned to a full-time role with Lantern following Uber’s acquisition of Drizly, overseeing growth and product development. Lantern was spun off into its own entity following Uber’s acquisition of Drizly and now operates in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Colorado.

•Chicago-based PharmaCann is merging with Colorado-based LivWell Enlightened Health. PharmaCann claims to be the largest privately held and vertically integrated cannabis company in the U.S. with operations in Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and produces the Matter cannabis brand. LivWell has been in business since 2009 and operates in Michigan as well as its home state. PharmaCann will absorb LivWell under the terms of the merger agreement; once complete the company will operate approximately 60 dispensaries and 11 cultivation facilities across eight states. LivWell’s CEO John Lord will join PharmaCann’s board of directors as well. Financial terms were not disclosed.

•Ontario-based cannabis player Tilray has appointed Bacardi veteran Blair MacNeil as president of its Canadian business. According to the company, MacNeil “will drive Tilray’s next stage of growth in Canada and oversee sales, marketing, and operations across medical and adult-use cannabis businesses,” reporting to COO Jim Meiers. MacNeil was previously general manager of Bacardi’s Canadian unit and has also spent time with Stoli, River Bend, Corby Distilleries, and Pepsi.

•Irvine, California-based cannabis sales and marketing agency Petalfast has added Emerald Sky Edibles to its portfolio. Emerald Sky was founded in 2018 and its products are currently available in over 400 dispensaries throughout California. Its product line includes gummies, licorice, fruit drops, peanut butter cups, and creme filled chocolate cookies.

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