There have been a number of companies announces major fundraising efforts to fuel their ongoing strategy of rapid growth. Just yesterday, Aurora Cannabis Inc announced that they were keeping the option of raising up to $750 million as a possibility going forward. Today, Harvest Health & Recreation (CSE: HARV) let the markets know it would be raising $500 million as well alongside other announcements concerning expanding operations in California.
Harvest’s CEO, Steve White, went on to say that in regards to the fundraising, that “This transaction is fuel for growth to realize our vision of becoming one of the most valuable cannabis companies in the world. With the recent announcement of our acquisition of Verano Holdings, not only will we have the largest and deepest footprint of licenses in the U.S., we are equally well capitalized to ensure our growth ambitions as a company.” Executive Chairman Jason Vedadi added that “We realize our position as one of the leaders in the fast-growing U.S. cannabis market and this agreement continues our march towards creating unparalleled shareholder value and building the first truly national cannabis company.”
The company also announced today that it had opened its first dispensary in California, a big move for the company which is known for having one of the strongest multi-state presences of all cannabis companies.
Harvest has the right to operate over 200 retail and processing facilities spread across 16 states in the U.S., making it one of the largest multi-state operators in the cannabis market. The company also went on to make a major $850 million acquisition of Verano, further cementing its status as a major operator in the country.
“California is the epicenter of the cannabis universe and we are honored to be a part of the culture, economy and plant-focused revolution throughout the state, especially in the heart of wine country,” said Steve White in a separate press release. “Harvest has been a patient-focused company since it began in 2012 and currently operates in eight additional medical states. We are excited to bring our safe, premium line of products and dispensary experiences to Napa and throughout the Golden State.”
The location of the new dispensary, Napa, would be the first medical cannabis dispensary in the city to open its doors to patients and caregivers with valid state medical marijuana cards. California is the largest cannabis market in the world as well as the first to legalize medical cannabis.
Estimates predict that the state has over 1.2 million registered medical marijuana patients, over ten times as registered patients in the second-largest market, Florida. While most companies are eager to operate in the state, there is also plenty of entrenched competition already, which could be one reason why Harvest Health has not had as strong of a presence in the state until now.
Shares of Harvest Health didn’t react much to the various news announcements made today, increasing slightly this morning before dipping slightly down below its starting point, losing 1 percent overall on the day. Over the past months, shares of Harvest have increased over 50 percent.