Florida – The second big deal in recent months involving the limited number of licensed Florida cannabis companies has taken place. GrowHealthy, which currently operates a 200,000-square-foot cultivation and processing facility in Lake Wales, was acquired for $48 million by iAnthus Capital Holdings. iAnthus Capital is a New York based company publicly traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange that’s website claims operates in the legal cannabis markets in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Mexico, Colorado, and now Florida.

GrowHealthy to date has not opened a dispensary in Florida, although the acquiring company said it plans to open the first dispensary in Palm Beach County during the third quarter of 2018. The acquisition opens the door for up to 24 more locations statewide after that.  iAnthus CEO Hadley Ford said he expects Florida’s marijuana market to be worth $1 billion by 2020.

“The patient growth has been nothing short of remarkable,” Ford said, which now tops 70 thousand registered patients.

The first big deal was for Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, or CHT, which was acquired by a publicly traded Canadian pharmaceutical company.  Liberty Health Sciences of Toronto, of Aphria, bought Chestnut Hill Tree Farm of Alachua County for $40 million in July of 2017. CHT,s most valuable asset was its state license to produce medical marijuana. However, state officials have said they’ll issue more licenses for cannabis cultivation as more patients join Florida’s medical marijuana registry, so even the license could prove a depreciating asset.

With big business from out of state buying up the licensed growers, it will be interesting to see what Florida grown companies emerge and how the public reacts. Trulieve, 3 Boys Farms, and ALTMED are still owned and operated in the state.


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