Yet another Chicago-based medical marijuana company has merged with an out-of-state company ahead of an expected legalization of recreational pot this summer:
Chicago’s Cresco Labs on Monday unveiled a $120 million merger that allows it to expand into Florida, where analysts predict demand for medical marijuana will significantly grow in the coming years. By 2022, the market for medical pot could reach a whopping $1.7 billion, according to analysts’ projections.
Under the agreement, Cresco will acquire Florida marijuana grower and retailer VidaCann, a move that will allow Cresco to operate 30 medical dispensaries in the nation’s third most populous state. The company aims to significantly expand its operations by the end of the year, in part by doubling the size of its medical marijuana cultivation center. It also plans to have 20 dispensaries open by year’s end.
Last week, a Phoenix company announced one of the largest pot deals in U.S. corporate history by taking over Chicago-based Verano Holdings for $850 million.
If Cresco’s ownership of VidaCann is approved, Cresco could surpass another major marijuana player based in Chicago — Green Thumb Industries, which currently has 11 cultivation centers.
A vote on legalizing recreational cannabis could come as early as July, and is expected to pass.