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Cannabis Briefs for January 4, 2022

January 4, 2022

•Illinois’s recreational cannabis market set an all-time record in December as sales reached $138 million for the month. That’s $17 million better than November’s total and $10 million better than the previous monthly record set last July. Illinois residents spent $95.6 million of that sum and visitors contributed $42.4 million. In addition to a record in value, December also set the new high point for volume, as the number of cannabis products sold surpassed 3 million for the first time. The sales leap snaps a four-month slump of relatively slower sales and provides a complete picture for the year: Illinois sold nearly $1.4 billion of cannabis in 2021, split between $943 million from residents and $436 million from out-of-staters, and a total of 30.3 million items. The state collected $387 million in cannabis tax revenue in the first 11 months of the year.

•Curaleaf Holdings is strengthening its position in Arizona with the acquisition of Bloom Dispensaries. The companies have entered an agreement pursuant to which Curaleaf will pay $211 million in an all-cash transaction for the vertically-integrated, single-state operator. That payment will be split into an initial $51 million at closing followed by promissory notes for $50 million, $50 million, and $60 million paid on the following three anniversaries of the closing. Bloom’s holdings include four retail locations in Phoenix, Tucson, Peoria, and Sedona, Arizona along with two cultivation and processing facilities in Phoenix totaling 63,000 square feet. Combined with Curaleaf’s previous acquisitions in Arizona of Tryke Companies and Natural Remedy Patient Center, the company will have 16 retail locations in the state and 128 nationwide.

•Chicago, Illinois-based Green Thumb Industries is entering Minnesota’s medical cannabis market through an acquisition of LeafLine Industries. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. LeafLine is one of only two cultivators licensed to supply Minnesota’s medical market, making it a unique acquisition target. It operates a grow facility as well as five retail locations in Eagan, Hibbing, St. Cloud, St. Paul, and Willmar, Minnesota. Green Thumb will have the opportunity to open an additional three stores. The state’s medical program, signed into law in 2014, was amended last May to allow edibles and flower, and those form factors are expected to come online later this year. The state House of Representatives voted last spring to legalize recreational cannabis but the state Senate declined to consider the bill.

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