SARASOTA — AltMed, a Sarasota-born rising star in the medical cannabis industry, has achieved another milestone: it has been acquired by one of the largest firms in the field, Verano Holdings LLC.
Chicago-based Verano, a multi-state cannabis owner, operator and manager, will acquire and combine operations with AltMed, under the name Alternative Medical Enterprises LLC, in addition to Plants of Ruskin LLC and affiliated companies. The combined company will keep the Verano name, according to a press release, and will create one of the top three largest cannabis companies nationwide. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"The transaction is expected to create a market leader in the U.S. by combining two profitable, fully-integrated platforms with the ability to scale by entering new markets and expanding deeper into existing key markets," the release states.
Those markets for Verano include two states where AltMed has grown its brand and high-end customer service ethos rapidly: Florida and Arizona. Through June, for example, AltMed had opened 11 locations in Florida in 2020 alone, bringing the total store count to 22 stores and more than 500 employees. With the deal, Verano will have the ability to operate in 14 states, with eight cultivation facilities and 44 active retail locations. About 32 additional retail locations are planned.
Verano produces premium cannabis products sold under its consumer brands, including EncoreTM Edibles, AvexiaTM and VeranoTM. Verano has Zen LeafTM-branded dispensaries for medical and adult-use markets. Active in 12 U.S. states, with 17 active retail locations and approximately 440,000 square feet of cultivation facilities, Verano has been profitable each year since its founding, the statement says.
AltMed, meanwhile, founded in 2014 and profitable, according to the statement, offers its prodcuts under the MÜV brand. AltMed offers a range of cannabis options developed in its vertically-integrated operations in Arizona and Florida. With 27 active retail locations, AltMed has 220,000 square feet of cultivation facilities in Florida and 30,000 square feet in Arizona, which is expanding by an additional 50,000 square feet to meet increased demand.
“We are both disciplined stewards of capital, run our businesses efficiently and are focused on delivering profitable growth," says Michael Smullen, chairman, CEO and co-founder of AltMed’s Alternative Medical Enterprises LLC, in the statement. "It was important for us to find the right strategic partner and Verano was the ideal choice.”
The combined company will be led by the founder and CEO of Verano, George Archos. AltMed’s key personnel will maintain a presence on the management team and board of directors, including Smullen and AltMed Florida CEO John Tipton. Bill Petron of AltMed Arizona will also bring his experience to the newly formed company.
“Through our combination with Verano, we will have economies of scale to further expand our operations, bring adult-use programs online and scale cultivation and manufacturing capacity to meet market demand,” says Tipton in the statement.