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Curaleaf in record $1 billion deal for cannabis oil company

  • Curaleaf bought Cura Partners for a record $1 billion, the biggest acquisition to date in the burgeoning cannabis sector. 
  • The merged company will have annual revenue of more than $200 million, making it the biggest cannabis company in the U.S.
  • The deal expands Curaleaf's reach on the West Coast, especially in key cannabis markets like California. 

Curaleaf said Wednesday it will buy cannabis oil company Cura Partners for $1 billion, the largest acquisition to date in the legal marijuana industry and a sign of how quickly the budding sector is maturing.

Combined, the companies generated total revenue of about $200 million last year. That would make it the largest cannabis company in the U.S., surpassing competitors like Trulieve Cannabis, which had $139 million in revenue last year. The acquisition is expected to close later this year.

The cannabis industry is hiring 01:16

The merger will give Massachusetts-based Curaleaf entry into the West Coast, where Portland, Oregon-based Cura Partners dominates with about 900 retailers selling its "Select" brand of cannabis oil. Roughly half its retailers are in California, a key cannabis market, according to Russell Stanley, an analyst at Beacon Securities who covers Curaleaf.

Publicly traded Curaleaf, which is also finalizing a recent deal for cannabis dispensary Acres in Nevada, is likely to continue using acquisitions to drive growth and expand into favorable markets. The company may also look at states like Michigan and Illinois for its next purchase, Stanley said, noting that both states have well-established medical communities and a large potential customer base. Michigan legalized marijuana for adult recreational use in 2018, while Illinois may legalize cannabis later this year. 

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