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New York is trying to legalize recreational cannabis. Again.
Analysts and experts say that the state’s effort to legalize adult-use marijuana this year has a better chance than past attempts. Passage of the bill would mean huge changes to the state’s current cannabis landscape.
Ten cannabis companies currently operate in New York’s medical marijuana market. Nine of them are owned by large companies that sell cannabis in several US states, which are called multistate operators or MSOs. One is independent and operates in New York alone.
Some of those ten — or at least their assets — could be acquisition targets for cannabis companies looking to enter what’s likely to be one of the biggest cannabis markets in the US, experts told Insider. Other states that have recently legalized adult-use cannabis have seen a boom of M&A activity as cannabis giants have made deals to expand their footprints.
Major cannabis firms have already used deals to build their presence in New York over the years, in anticipation of legalization. Valley Agriceuticals was acquired by Cresco Labs in August 2019 and Green Thumb Industries acquired Fiorello Pharmaceuticals around the same time for $60 million.
Cannabis companies clamoring to get into New York
Jeffrey Schultz, a partner at cannabis law firm Feuerstein Kulick, said every US cannabis company that doesn’t operate in New York is eyeing the state.
“Someone’s going to have to come up with a ton of cash,” he said. “Will it be worth it? I believe it will, but not a lot of companies have that money available.”
Cannabis lawyers told Insider that private companies and struggling MSOs looking to sell off assets to stabilize their balance sheets, are likely to be acquisition targets. The companies that fit this bill include privately held Etain Health and Pharmacann, as well as unprofitable public companies MedMen, iAnthus Capital, and Acreage.
Pharmacann said in a statement that it’s “open to smart, thoughtful M&A conversations” but has no plans to be acquired. iAnthus and MedMen didn’t return requests for comment.
Acreage already has a deal to be acquired by Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth that would go into effect once it’s permissible under US law.
“We’ve established a strong business in NY and are looking forward to continuing to serve our patients in the state for many years to come, as well as adult-use customers when NY expands its legal cannabis program. Anyone that would suggest otherwise is simply ill-informed,” Acreage spokesman Howard Schacter said in a statement.
Etain, which only operates in New York, said out-of-state cannabis firms regularly approach the company about deals. Etain is a family-owned and women-owned private company, and COO Hillary Peckham said she would be picky about any potential acquirer.
Peckham told Insider that she’s getting more inquiries this year than usual — in part, she believes, due to New Jersey’s attempt to legalize cannabis and increased interest from neighboring states looking to do the same thing.
“I think the likelihood of success this year of cannabis actually being legalized for adult use is …read more
Source:: Business Insider