RISE owner Green Thumb Industries buys Connecticut grower in US $80m deal

Green Thumb Industries, Chicago-based owner of national retail chain RISE, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Advanced Grow Labs LLC (AGL) and enter the Connecticut market.

AGL, one of only four companies in Connecticut licensed to grow and process cannabis, operates a 41,000 square foot manufacturing facility in West Haven. In addition, it has a 46% ownership of a recently-awarded dispensary that will be located in Westport.

The buyout is valued at approximately US $80 million which includes $15 million to be paid in cash and 7.0 million Subordinate Voting Shares of GTI.

The purchase agreement also includes additional consideration based on performance targets and up to an additional 1 million Subordinate Voting Shares of GTI subject to pricing conditions prior to closing. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

“We are thrilled that AGL is joining the GTI team and look forward to continuing to serve Connecticut communities with high-quality cannabis products,” said GTI Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler.

“AGL is a highly successful company in a limited license state with a fantastic management team that will continue to run the business. We are full steam ahead executing on GTI’s expansion plans as we look to create shareholder value. This transaction is an example of that given the attractive multiples.

“AGL is a highly successful company in a limited license state with a fantastic management team.”

Ben Kovler, GTI

“In the past two months alone, we announced the acquisition of Nevada-based Integral Associates; were awarded additional retail licenses for 12 stores in Pennsylvania; and entered the New Jersey market with a cultivation, processing and retail license win. We are now solidly positioned in the tri-state area with our entry into Connecticut via AGL. The momentum is strong.”

Upon the close of AGL and the other recently announced acquisition, GTI will have 12 manufacturing facilities and licenses for 85 retail locations across 11 states.

“We could not have picked a better partner than Green Thumb Industries, an industry leader that shares our values, commitment to producing high-quality brands and dedication to giving back to the communities we serve,” said AGL Founder and Chief Executive Officer David Lipton. “Our business is poised to expand to meet the growing needs of the state’s medical marijuana patients and this partnership with GTI will support that expansion.”

The Connecticut medical marijuana program currently has more than 30,000 patients and over 1,000 registered physicians. The program has 31 qualifying conditions and accepts petitions from the public to consider adding additional conditions for which medical marijuana can be useful. With a population of about 3.6 million, the state has four cultivation and processing sites and 18 dispensaries.Cannabis Business Worldwide

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