Business

Colorado's Largest Dispensary Chain Acquired by Chicago Marijuana Firm

A former LivWell dispensary on Pearl Street that has since moved to East 17th Avenue.
A former LivWell dispensary on Pearl Street that has since moved to East 17th Avenue. Scott Lentz
LivWell Enlightened Health, one of Colorado's largest vertically integrated recreational marijuana businesses, has agreed to an acquisition offer from a privately held cannabis company in Illinois.

Chicago-based PharmaCann Inc. just announced that it will take ownership of LivWell Holdings Inc., the parent company of LivWell dispensaries and supplying cultivations in Colorado and Michigan, pending state and local regulatory approval.

Financial terms of the deal weren't shared in the merger announcement. According to PharmaCann, it's "anticipated" that LivWell founder and CEO John Lord will join PharmaCann's board of directors after the deal closes.

Lord, a native of New Zealand who'd made and sold car-safety seats, founded LivWell in 2009 as a single medical marijuana dispensary in Denver. But LivWell expanded quickly once recreational sales began in Colorado on January 1, 2014, winning dispensary licenses across the state and acquiring competing chains and lines of production. After LivWell opened a new store in Denver in September, the company's 21 outposts gave it the most of any dispensary chain in Colorado.


LivWell also owns a production facility and dispensary under construction in Michigan, which PharmaCann will take over, according to the announcement.

“We are excited for this partnership with a stalwart of the U.S. cannabis industry,” Lord says in a statement on the deal. “PharmaCann's undeniable financial expertise and LivWell's proven operational leadership makes this merger the perfect combination to further the patient and customer experience on an expanding national level.”

Self-described as the "nation’s largest privately held and vertically integrated cannabis company," PharmaCann currently owns dispensaries, production facilities and retail brands in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Upon completion of the LivWell deal, PharmaCann will own sixty stores and eleven production facilities.

“This transformative merger significantly increases PharmaCann’s presence in the second- and third-largest cannabis markets in the U.S., and provides a strong foundational team and operational platform for PharmaCann’s further expansion into new states," CEO Brett Novey says in a statement. "Together we will implement best practices across all of our operations and build upon LivWell’s strong brand and expertise in producing low-cost, high-quality products.”

Once approved, LivWell would join the Green Solution, Green Dragon and Medicine Man, among others, as homegrown dispensary giants that have agreed to acquisition offers from out of state.

We've reached out to both PharmaConn and LivWell for comment on the deal.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell