Ascend confirms new $300 million capital raise; Reports of Verano fundraising

Multiple current and prospective investors have confirmed to Grown In that Ascend Wellness Holdings is actively raising capital, with a $300 million pre-money valuation. According to Crunchbase, Ascend has raised $123 million to date, including $28 million last December. Founded in 2018 by hedge fund investor Abner Kurtin, Ascend also operates in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Massachusetts. 

A spokesperson from Boston-based Ascend confirmed to Grown In that the company will provide more information about its current fundraising efforts in an announcement this week.

Chicago-based Verano Holdings is also actively raising capital, according to multiple investors who have spoken with company leaders in recent weeks. Verano, a leading grower in Illinois with cultivation and retail operations in multiple states, is seeking new financing after its deal to be acquired by Arizona-based Harvest Health for $850 million fell through earlier this year, according to cannabis sector investors speaking on background to Grown In.

Multiple investors who were in active talks with Verano about fundraising in July say the company “went dark” and stopped responding to queries in recent weeks. One investor confirmed the Verano is attempting to raise capital at a valuation higher than the $850 million it was to get from Harvest. 

Two investors speculated that Verano may be in talks with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) about its future. SPACS, also referred to as “blank check companies” are created to acquire growth-companies with capital needs and are increasingly common in the cannabis sector. 

Verano did not respond by publication to requests to confirm that it is actively raising capital.