Reader: Colorado Will See a Lot More Corporate Cannabis Mergers

The Green Solution opened a location in Black Hawk just last month.EXPAND
The Green Solution opened a location in Black Hawk just last month.
The Green Solution
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As of November 1, publicly traded companies are allowed to invest in Colorado's cannabis industry, and they haven't been wasting any time. On November 5, the Green Solution, one of Colorado's largest marijuana dispensary chains, announced that Columbia Care Inc. has agreed to buy the Green Solution and its twenty dispensaries across Colorado for approximately $140 million.

Columbia Care is a publicly traded company headquartered in Canada. If approved by state regulators, the deal will be completed early next year and enable the Green Solution, founded in 2010 by the Speidell family, to grow still more. “Given the success and reputation we have built over the last decade, we were approached by nearly every serious operator in the cannabis industry about a potential transaction," says co-founder Kyle Speidell in a statement about the move. "This deal allows us to provide Colorado consumers with Columbia Care’s unique portfolio of pharmaceutical-quality products, and also enables us to quickly expand our TGS brands into fourteen new U.S. jurisdictions."

But some readers see it differently. Says Burl: 

Sold! To the highest bidder! You will see a lot more corporate mergers. Now that CO has changed some of the pot laws...they are allowed to bring in outside investment that is “publicly traded.” You will see a lot more people “selling out.” A lot more.

Adds Brent: 

I would bet 75 percent of the original cannabis companies in Colorado were hoping for this from day one so they could cash out when the time came.

Cautions Wes: 

Legal pot will go through its evolution.

Responds David: 

When I hear the word corporation in the same sentence as marijuana, I cringe. This is the beginning of the overtaking of what should stay regulated as a local industry. Won’t be long before mergers and buyouts will consolidate the industry into another tobacco conglomerate with only a few players. We all know how the corrupt tobacco industry corporations has been poisoning us while telling smokers it’s safe.

Notes John:

 So glad I grow my own. If many more of us grew our own three plants outdoor crop in a cheap greenhouse once a year, we wouldn’t need dispensaries. There would just be enough to go around.

Asks ElizaBeth:

 Are we just writing episodes for South Park at this point?

Concludes Jason:

 Damn it, we built the wall on the wrong side of the country!

If approved, Columbia Care would own business licenses in fifteen jurisdictions in the United States and the European Union. The company merged with Canaccord, a publicly traded Canadian entity, in April to become public. Columbia Care is registered in Canada, the only major nation with a legal cannabis market, but operates out of New York.

"Today, we are proud to announce that the Green Solution, whose founders built their company on the core principles of market depth, differentiated products, brands and capabilities, consumer satisfaction and scalable infrastructure, will be our first major acquisition,” Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita says in a statement released November 5. “This transaction further advances Columbia Care’s promise to maximize shareholder return by making us even stronger, both financially and operationally, as we expect to see the majority of our existing markets transition to less regulated, legalized operating environments."

What do you think of the Green Solution deal? Colorado's changing cannabis landscape? Post a comment or email your thoughts to marijuana@westword.com.

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