There’s Fear That A Russian Private Equity Firm Could Run A Large Part Of the US Cannabis Industry

Medical marijuana in Maryland is hot right now, hotter than anyone really anticipated.

New Frontier Data forecast last year — before Maryland’s market kicked off last December that the state’s 2018 sales would be $46 million, it has surpassed $100 million.

The Balitmore Sun recently reported, that several large, national companies are seeking to consolidate licenses to grow, process and sell in Maryland and in states across the nation.

Curaleaf (CURA), who is currently licensed in the state of Maryland has offered to buy a competitor’s licenses for upward of $30 million. This offer provided insight into how companies are valuing the licenses in Maryland.

The Russia Connection

Maryland state lawmakers are are growing weary that big players like Curaleaf could come in and monopolize Maryland’s cannabis industry and take serious marketshare away from the current players, some of which are grass roots companies.

Cureleaf is making big moves. The company is headquartered in Wakefield, Massachusetts, they have a presence in 12 states, owns and operates 28 dispensaries, 12 cultivation sites and nine processing sites with a focus on highly populated, limited license states, including Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

Curaleaf’s state operations

 

Big Money

Half of the 10 biggest marijuana companies trading in Canada are now U.S. based, including

Before going public on the CSE last month, Curaleaf reported raising $400 million, including selling $121 million worth of shares to 86 people in 16 U.S. states, including Maryland.  Curaleaf has 335,120,551 shares out, with a market cap of $2.7 billion, and a whopping price/book ratio of 412.

Curaleaf’s majority owner, Boris Jordan, told Bloomberg Businessweek last year that Sputnik, had spent $100 million to prepare the company for the expansion that now has it operating in 12 states.

Jordan was co-founder and CEO of Renaissance Capital Group, Russia’s first international investment bank and according to The New York Times, Jordan is one of Russia’s most powerful financiers and one of the most influential players in its economic transformation.

Jordan has definitely made some very wise business moves, he sold his house for $26 million on earlier this year, making it the highest price paid for a Miami Beach property in the last year.

 

 

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