SPAC Deal Aims to Create the Largest Pot Company in California

Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

SPAC Deal Aims to Create the Largest Pot Company in California
Photo by Ryan Lange on Unsplash

Dealmaking in the frenzied cannabis market continues to flourish with the latest megadeal announced Thursday. Investors aim to build a Coca-Cola or Hershey of marijuana, launching the first national pot brand in the United States.


Glass House Group, a vertically integrated California-based cannabis company, is being gobbled up by Mercer Park Brand Acquisition Corp., a Canadian SPAC —or Special Purpose Acquisition Company — for $576 million.

The combination will create the most expansive fully-integrated, publicly listed cannabis business in California, with plans to build a six million square foot greenhouse, the biggest in the state.

The deal comes after Century City-based Ceres Group Holdings announced a SPAC in February to take Atlanta-based cannabis producer Parallel public in a $1.88 billion transaction.

Related: What Is a SPAC?

Ceres has also been trying to close a separate deal to raise a $100 million fund to make other cannabis investments, especially those in Los Angeles.

The Ceres SPAC, like Mercer Park's, trades on Canadian exchanges because U.S. cannabis companies are still barred from listing their shares on major U.S. stock exchanges as marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.

But with President Biden taking over the White House, cannabis investors are optimistic he will ease restrictions, following the lead of many states.

Earlier this month, New York became the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana.

The possibility of federal legalization as well as record amounts of blank check deals led to $600 million in capital raised for cannabis companies in the first quarter of 2021, the highest level since 2019, according to Viridian Capital Advisors.

https://twitter.com/thebenbergman
ben@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Faraday Future Reveals Only 401 Pre-Orders For Its First Electric Car

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Faraday Future Reveals Only 401 Pre-Orders For Its First Electric Car
Courtesy of Faraday Future

Electric vehicle hopeful Faraday Future has had no shortage of drama—from alleged securities law violations to boardroom shake-ups—on its long and circuitous path to actually producing a car. And though the Gardena-based company looked to have turned a corner by recently announcing plans to launch its first vehicle later this year, Faraday’s quarterly earnings report this week revealed that demand for that car has underwhelmed—to say the least.

Read more Show less

Meet CropSafe, the Agtech Startup Helping Farmers Monitor Their Fields

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Meet CropSafe, the Agtech Startup Helping Farmers Monitor Their Fields
Courtesy of CropSafe.

This January, John McElhone moved to Santa Monica from, as he described it, “a tiny farm in the absolute middle of nowhere” in his native Northern Ireland, with the goal of growing the crop-monitoring tech startup he founded.

It looks like McElhone’s big move is beginning to pay off: His company, CropSafe, announced a $3 million seed funding round on Tuesday that will help it develop and scale its remote crop-monitoring capabilities for farmers. Venture firm Elefund led the round and was joined by investors Foundation Capital, Global Founders Capital, V1.VC and Great Oaks Capital, as well as angel investors Cory Levy, Josh Browder and Charlie Songhurst. The capital will go toward growing CropSafe’s six-person engineering team and building up its new U.S. headquarters in Santa Monica.

Read more Show less

Cedars Sinai Health Ventures’ Maureen Klewicki on How Tech Is Changing Health Care

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Maureen Klewicki
Image courtesy of Maureen Klewicki

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Cedars Sinai Health Ventures’ Maureen Klewicki talks about price transparency for health care, the labor shortage crisis and emerging models of health care.

Read more Show less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending