The firm that operates the Richmond region’s only legal medical marijuana shops is set to get its second new parent company in two years, although the deal won’t close as soon as expected.
Chicago-based Cresco Labs announced this week that it’s extending the deadline to close its pending acquisition of Columbia Care. The deal is now expected to close June 30.
Columbia Care is the owner of Green Leaf Medical, which is the only state-authorized operator of medical pot dispensaries in the Richmond and Petersburg areas. Columbia Care also controls the lone license for medical cannabis dispensaries in eastern Virginia.
Cresco Labs announced nearly a year ago plans to acquire Columbia Care for $2 billion. The deadline to complete the deal had been most recently set at the end of March.
In its announcement, Cresco Labs stated the decision was mutually agreed to by both companies and would allow the companies more time to wrap up divestment agreements and get needed regulatory approvals to allow the acquisition to take place.
“We are making good progress on the remaining divestitures and moving closer to completing the Columbia Care Acquisition. Given the current divestiture and regulatory approvals timeline, we now expect closing to occur sometime before the end of June 2023,” Cresco Labs CEO Charles Bachtell said in a prepared statement.
The pending deal is expected to bring Columbia Care and Green Leaf’s Virginia operations under the Cresco Labs banner, despite the companies’ shedding of assets in other markets as part of the deal.
“The divestiture process does not impact our operations in Virginia. Cresco Labs does not currently have operations in Virginia, and we are only divesting assets in markets where Columbia Care and Cresco Labs have overlapping licenses,” Columbia Care spokeswoman Lindsay Wilson said in an email.
In early November, Cresco Labs and Columbia Care announced they would sell cannabis growing, manufacturing and retail assets in New York, Illinois and Massachusetts to rapper Sean Combs (also known as Puff Daddy and P. Diddy) as part of the divestiture process. That deal is expected to be finalized concurrently with the Columbia Care acquisition.
Maryland-based Green Leaf (stylized “gLeaf), which was acquired by Columbia Care in June 2021, has permission to operate dispensaries in the Richmond and Petersburg areas.
Green Leaf recently opened a dispensary in Colonial Heights and also has dispensaries in Carytown and Short Pump, and a large growing, manufacturing and dispensary facility in South Richmond.
New York-based Columbia Care has operations in multiple states and holds the medical cannabis dispensary license for eastern Virginia, where it operates dispensaries in Hampton, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and near Williamsburg, per its website.
The extension for the Columbia Care-Cresco Labs deal comes as legislation to launch a recreational pot retail market in Virginia failed to pass in the General Assembly. It’s legal for adults in Virginia to possess and consume small amounts of recreational cannabis.
It would be great to get some perspective on how the timing of this lines up with the pop-up raids and Happy Trees arrest/raid. It’s not coincidental.