Chicago-based Cresco Labs, one of the largest vertical multistate cannabis operators in the U.S., is making its foray into the Florida market with the acquisition of Bluma Wellness Inc, a licensed medical cannabis company, according to a news release. The deal, which is expected to close by the start of the second quarter of 2021, will put Bluma at an equity valuation of $213 million.

Cresco Labs’ acquisition of Bluma fulfills its ongoing strategy to expand its geographic footprint in the U.S., noted Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs. “With Florida, we will have a meaningful presence in all seven of the 10 most populated states in the country with cannabis programs – an incredibly strategic and valuable footprint by any definition,” he said in a public statement. “We recognize the importance of the Florida market and the importance of entering Florida in a thoughtful way – we identified Bluma as having the right tools and key advantages for growth.”

Under its operating subsidiary “One Plant Florida,” Bluma Wellness has seven dispensaries with eight more locations under legal control and planning to open. According to further details of the announcement, “One Plant stores rank 2nd highest in per-store sales of smokable flower in Florida.” Also, One Plant stores derive 15% of revenue from home delivery (among the highest in Florida).

Brady Cobb, Bluma CEO, expressed considerable enthusiasm over the takeover because “Cresco Labs’ track record of execution and capital allocation creates the best path forward to accelerate growth for our business in Florida.”

Cowen is serving as financial advisor to Cresco on the transaction with Bennett Jones providing legal advice, And, Clarus Securities Inc and INFOR Financial Inc are providing financial advice to Bluma while Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP is acting as legal advisor.

Cresco’s brands include Remedi and Mindy’s, a line of edibles created by award-winning chef Mindy Segal. In Jun 2019, Cresco unveiled a social equity and educational development initiative designed to promote inclusion, equality and community engagement.

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