Harvest Health acquisition creates largest US cannabis company

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The Arizona-based company is going to purchase a rival in a nine-figure deal

Harvest Health and Recreation, a cannabis company based in Arizona, has gone after a rival and won. It has announced that it is purchasing Verano Holdings in an all-stock deal worth $850 million and the merger of the two will result in the largest cannabis company in the U.S.

Together, the two companies will own 200 cannabis production facilities in 16 states. Harvest Health is set to have operations in Arizona, California, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan and North Dakota (the last three are opening soon) and Verano operates in Nevada and Illinois. It also has plans to launch in Oklahoma, New Jersey and Puerto Rico.

Harvest Health was founded in 2013 by former lawyer Steve White. He envisions a bright future for cannabis and the company, asserting, “We plan on … developing the largest retail footprint, the largest retail platform, in the United States, and with this acquisition, I think we’ve done that.”

White points out that the company has been adept at securing licenses when they’re provided by local governments and hasn’t had to spend tens of millions of dollars to acquire licenses, relying on acquisitions that achieve the same goal for only hundreds of thousands of dollars. He explains, “What we’ve seen in Verano is they also have the ability to do that very same thing. What very few people know is they won more licenses than anyone in the state of Nevada in the recent round of license awards there.”

The executive is also impressed with Verano’s ability to focus on profits. He asserts that Verano has been profitable for a while, which is not something often seen in the cannabis industry. “There’s [sic] only a few companies that actually run profitably. So, in this case, you’ve just combined two of them, so there’s one less,” he says.