Massachusetts-based Curaleaf Inc. will begin trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange using the symbol CURA on Monday, October 29. The company is expecting to price its shares at C$11.45 and had an initial valuation of C$4 billion. It is the fastest growing U.S. cannabis company with the largest retail footprint under one brand.
The company was founded in 2010 under the name Palliatech and has mostly its operations on the east coast, even though these markets have fewer licenses and restrictive condition lists for patients. Curaleaf is conducting a reverse takeover of Lead Ventures in order to begin trading publicly on the CSE.
“We focused on limited license markets that are highly regulated creates a significant barrier to entry,” said Joe Lusardi, CEO of Curaleaf. “For example, companies have to put down lots of money in New York and staff the dispensaries with pharmacists. We see that as an advantage. not disadvantage.” Lusardi also noted that states with light restrictions have experienced a lot of black market activity. “We want to be in a highly regulated state with reputable operators,” he added.
The company is currently servicing 33,000 unique patients and employs 875 people. It is located in 12 states and owns and operates 28 dispensaries, 12 cultivation sites, and 9 processing sites. Its goal is to create welcoming stores that focus on wellness as opposed to the party side of cannabis.
While the east coast is its main focus at this time, Curaleaf will be opening a dispensary in Las Vegas at some point in the fourth quarter. Lusardi also said he expects that Curaleaf will continue its expansion in numerous ways. It will capitalize on states with existing licenses that have room for more storefronts and look to grow in western states. “Ohio could be a target and even Illinois,” he said.
While it seems like many companies call themselves multi-state operators, Lusardi emphasized that Curaleaf owns 97% of its earnings.