Cresco president and co-founder Joe Caltabiano excited “about acquiring distressed assets” in the cannabis industry. [Photo: Cresco Labs]

Cresco co-founder Caltabiano eyes distressed assets 

Joe Caltabiano, who co-founded Chicago-based Cresco Labs in 2013, tells Cannabis Business Times that he “will acquire distressed assets or be a part of rebuilding some distressed assets” within the cannabis industry after stepping down as president of the company effective immediately March 2. 

Caltabiano, who will remain on Cresco’s board of directors, is one of a number of entrepreneurs and executives who built the first wave of commercial cannabis companies now looking to acquire assets for a fraction of what they were worth less than a year ago. 

“You have a lot of companies with great licenses in various markets, good team members and good footing, but for one reason or another I don’t know that they survive in their current form without new leadership, new capital being injected or without a new vision or strategy for them going forward,” he said. 

NewLake pays $6.2 million for PharmaCann dispensaries in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania 

NewLake Capital, the cannabis real estate investment vehicle started by Green Thumb Industries Partners co-founder and former Pete Kadens and Avant founder and CEO Al Goldstein is investing $6.2 million in acquiring and upgrading dispensaries previously owned by Chicago-based PharmaCann. 

As part of the sale and lease-back to PharmaCann, NewLake, which has invested approximately $100 million to date in cannabis assets amidst a distressed market environment, will acquire dispensaries currently operating in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. 

Privately-held PharmaCann, financially backed by Dan Tierney and Stephen Schuler of GETCO Trading, was to be acquired by Los Angeles-based MedMen last year for $680 million. The deal fell through in the fall amidst a massive market decline for publicly traded cannabis companies . 

Jushi opens recreational dispensary near East St. Louis

Jushi, a Vancouver-based multi-state operator of cannabis dispensaries and cultivation facilities opened its first adult-use retail location in Illinois on March 2 in downstate Sauget. 

The company has operated a separate medical dispensary in the community, a suburb of St. Louis. Jushi has municipal approval from the Normal municipality to open a recreational store, and is waiting on a green light from the state to add to its medical facility in the university town.

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.