Florida pot grower sells for $48 million


In another big-dollar deal for a Florida cannabis company, a publicly traded firm said Wednesday that it paid $48 million for a state-licensed pot producer.

iAnthus Capital Holdings announced a deal for GrowHealthy Holdings of Lake Wales. The company said it plans to open a dispensary in Palm Beach County during the third quarter of 2018.

iAnthus Chief Executive Hadley Ford said he expects Florida’s marijuana market to be worth $1 billion by 2020, and he pointed to a statewide patient count that topped 67,000 as of last week.

“The patient growth has been nothing short of remarkable,” Ford said.

GrowHealthy operates a 200,000-square-foot cultivation and processing facility in Lake Wales. It has no retail locations yet, but it expects to open as many as 25 dispensaries statewide.

iAnthus is based in New York but trades on a Canadian stock exchange. It’s the second publicly traded company to buy a Florida medical marijuana operator. Liberty Health Sciences of Toronto last summer bought Chestnut Hill Tree Farm of Alachua County for $40 million.

Ford said he isn’t deterred by Attorney General Jeff Sessions move toward tougher enforcement of federal marijuana laws.

“By and large, any state that has a good regulatory scheme in place is going to be just fine,” Ford said in a conference call with analysts.


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