Every month Grown In reports significant Midwestern cannabis fundraising transactions. Have a news tip on a private pot transaction? Email brad@grownin.com.

TerrAscend acquires Michigan operator Gage Cannabis for $545 million 

Vertically-integrated Michigan operator Gage Cannabis this week announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by multinational cannabis corporation TerrAscend for $545 million in a stock transaction. 

Founded in 2012 and financially-backed by New York-based JW Asset Management, Gage holds 14 cultivation licenses, three processing licenses, and operates multiple dispensaries throughout Michigan including Detroit and Kalamazoo locations under the Cookies brand.

Gage, which went public earlier this year, is led by Canadian cannabis industry pioneer Bruce Linton, former CEO of Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corp. While running Canopy in 2018, Linton raised $4 billion from Chicago-based beverage distributor Constellation Brands. Also that year Linton on behalf of Constellation and in collaboration with JW Asset Management facilitated a capital reorganization for TerrAscend.

TerrAscend is vertically-integrated in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California, has cultivation and production licenses in Maryland, and has licensed production in Canada. 

Reuters reports that PharmaCann filed for initial public offering 

On August 16, Reuters reported that Chicago-based multistate operator PharmaCann “confidentially filed for an initial public offering that could value it at well over $1 billion.”

An original medical marijuana operator in Illinois and the first cannabis license holder in New York State, PharmaCann also has operations in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland.

In June, the company conducted over $200 million in separate debt and equity financings. This included securing $110.4 million from The Cronos Group in exchange for a 10.5 percent equity stake. Cronos is a major shareholder of Altria, the tobacco company formerly known as Phillip Morris. 

PharmaCann executives would not comment on the timing of any potential offering for Grown In, although the company is among the largest privately-held U.S.-based cannabis operators. Last month CEO Brett Novey spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about the company’s positioning and upcoming plans. 

Ascend raises $210 million in debt financing 

New York-based Ascend Wellness Holdings, which is vertically-integrated in Illinois and operates multiple retail stores in Michigan, announced on August 31 that it had secured $210 million in debt financing.

The company says it intends to allocate the proceeds in part to complete its acquisition of MedMen New York. Ascend entered Illinois via multiple expansions over the last few years and currently operates eight dispensaries in a state market that allows for companies to hold up to ten retail licenses. 

Cannabis REIT NewLake Capital Partners raises $102 million in public offering 

NewLake Capital Partners, which provides sale-leaseback financing to multiple cannabis corporations including Chicago-based Cresco Labs and PharmaCann, on August 20 announced that it has raised $102 million via a public offering. 

Based in New Canaan, Connecticut., NewLake was initially backed by multiple Chicago area investors including former Green Thumb Industries CEO Pete Kadens and financial services entrepreneur and former Avant CEO Al Goldstein. The company also has completed sales-leaseback transactions with leading U.S. operator Wakefield, Massachusetts Curaleaf,  which is vertically-integrated in Illinois and also has operations in Michigan, New York-based multistate operator Columbia Care which has cultivation facilities and multiple dispensaries in Illinois, and leading Florida operator Trulieve.

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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.