Pandering in Pennsylvania, MSOs make overseas acquisitions, Michigan operator acquires 11 stores and where in the world is Malta
Time is a precious commodity here at Marijuana Venture, so when it comes to news briefs (about Malta, for example), we like to run the most impactful stories possible and let the more incremental coverage fall to the wayside — until now. Here is a candid, possibly even antagonistic, recap of the stories from the past week that we didn’t cover in full detail.
Pennsylvania governor calls for rec legalization
With recreational cannabis in nearly every bordering state, aside from West Virginia, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro called for adult-use legalization in his budget address on February 6, 2024. Better late than never, I guess. Then the focus immediately shifted to how much money the state could make, an estimated $250 million annually. The request brought cheers from activist groups and prompted pearl-clutching NIMBY groups to issue their won’t-someone-please-think-about-the-children press releases.
Malta opens its first “cannabis club”
First, let me say: Malta is an island about 227 miles south of Sicily. There, now you don’t have to open Google Maps. While Malta reportedly doesn’t allow cannabis retail stores, its nonprofit cannabis club, KDD Society, allows members to buy up to seven grams of cannabis per day with a limit of 50 grams per month and up to 20 cannabis seeds for home cultivation. So, it’s basically a cannabis store.
Michigan operator acquires 11 in-state stores
The vertical operator Stash Ventures acquired 11 stores across Michigan from Cloud Cannabis Co. for an undisclosed amount, which is probably safe to say is a lot considering that we’re talking about 11 operating retail stores. Stash is keeping the Cloud branding for the acquired locations. In a press release Stash CEO Scott Moorehead, nothing funny about the name, grow up, said something to the effect of “we like Michigan” and “more stores = good.”
Curaleaf acquires Polish medical marijuana business
Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one before … is a setup that is completely inappropriate, even if the writer in question is part Polish, which you will probably never be able to verify. Anyways, Curaleaf International bought the Poland-based medical cannabis operator Can4Med for an undisclosed amount, which I am guessing would be whatever the current market rate is for Polish medical marijuana businesses in nearly 100% Curaleaf stocks.
Aurora Cannabis acquires Australian medical marijuana business
No idea what’s going on this week, but it seems like there’s been a lot of action overseas and this is probably the most coverage we’re ever going to give to non-U.S. businesses, let alone ones on other continents. Aurora Cannabis apparently already had 10% of the Aussie medical operator MedReleaf and up and decided to pick up the rest of the business for $6.17 million in cash and $37.53 million in stocks. At least we get some numbers with this story, kind of nice to find out the selling price for an Australian medical cannabis operator, or 90% of one.
Least appealing of the week
I included an extra blurb above because this week was a very boring week in terms of news. That being said all the usual suspects appeared this week including: Biden should legalize cannabis, MedMen has become less relevant, and myriad stories about how cannabis is bad for teenagers, drivers and those with anxiety disorders.