One of the cannabis industry’s biggest companies is coming to Maryland by way of a $2.1 billion acquisition, the largest merger deal in the cannabis industry to-date. Trulieve Cannabis Corp. is a multistate operator (MSO) that dominates the Florida medical cannabis market. Last week, Trulieve announced they would be purchasing Harvest Health and Recreation, Arizona’s cannabis king, to create the one of the largest cannabis companies in the world.
Trulieve has dispensaries in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania with a license in West Virginia. Upon completion of this Harvest acquisition, Trulieve will have expanded their footprint to 11 states, 22 cultivation/processing facilities and 126 dispensaries—including three in Maryland.
Harvest currently operates three dispensaries in Maryland: Harvest of Towson, Harvest of Rockville, and Amedicanna in Halethorpe. Trulieve will soon own all three storefronts, including their business licenses—an increasingly valuable asset in Maryland’s limited-license medical cannabis market that could expand for adult-use as soon as next year.
“Harvest provides us with an immediate and significant presence in new and established markets and accelerates our entry into the adult-use space in Arizona,” Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers said. “[The Harvest purchase] is the largest and most exciting acquisition so far in our industry, creating the most profitable public multistate operator.”
When the merger is complete, Trulieve will immediately become one of the largest cannabis companies in the world, on-par with industry leader Curaleaf in terms of revenue and size.
Trulieve was the only top-four MSO without a Maryland footprint. Curaleaf and Green Thumb Industries operate storefronts in Maryland while Cresco wholesale products are available in multiple dispensaries statewide. Trulieve was the only MSO of that scale without operations in Maryland, until now.
Harvest’s cannabis business licenses in Maryland are arguably more valuable to Trulieve than their sales considering Maryland will inevitably expand into an adult-use market. Companies with Maryland medical licenses are likely to receive a head start on those sales until additional licenses for adult-use cannabis businesses are distributed.
There are approximately 100 dispensary licenses distributed throughout Maryland to businesses operating medical cannabis storefronts. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) has no plans to allocate additional medical licenses for the foreseeable future unless cannabis for adult-use is legalized. Until that happens, these licenses will be sought after by out-of-state MSOs like Trulieve looking to expand into as many states as possible before adult-use sales kick off.
Trulieve carries almost every type of cannabis product one could imagine including flower, edibles, concentrates, vapes, topicals and accessories. It is unclear whether Harvest brands like Modern Flower, Roll One and Evolab will still be available in Maryland following completion of the merger.
It’s likely that more Maryland dispensaries will be acquired by larger MSOs in the coming months as national cannabis companies dash to buy more licenses in states with expanding markets or soon-to-be expanding markets.
As well-funded MSOs buy up existing medical cannabis licenses in Maryland, in-state entrepreneurs will continue to be prohibited from entering the state cannabis market until adult-use is fully legalized and more licenses are allocated, which likely won’t be for months after the bill is passed.