Cresco Labs announced yesterday that it would merge with Columbia Care with a $2-billion deal, creating a mega-marijuana merger where both companies would operate across 18 US states.
Cresco Labs, which is based in Chicago, is also poised to shift the focus of America’s cannabis business from California and Colorado to Illinois.
“We focus on cannabis like the consumer packaged good that it is, and having access to 70% of the addressable market is how we turn our brand portfolio into the Miller High Life, Coca-Cola and Johnnie Walker Blue Label of cannabis,” Cresco’s CEO Charlie Bachtell told Bloomberg.
Altogether, when the merger completes, Cresco will operate a total of 148 pot operations in the US, second only to Trulieve, Forbes reported. As of November 2021, Columbia Care controlled 26 dispensaries in Colorado alone, including Medicine Man, one of the largest pot operations in the Centennial State.
However, before the merger goes through, both companies will need to clear regulatory hurdles in each respective state where they operate. Every US state has different laws concerning licensed cannabis production and sales.