Multi-state operator Curaleaf acquired Cura’s Select Oil brand in a $948M all stock deal to create the world’s largest cannabis company by revenue. The combined entity’s $205M in 2018 sales is almost twice the size of its closest competitor, Florida dispensary chain Trulieve.
- Oregon-based Cura is also sold in California, Nevada and Arizona. With 500 employees, it is the largest Oregon start-up in a generation.
- The Oregonian has a feature on Select’s sordid history. The company began with a “real estate scandal” before it was rescued by prominent entrepreneur Nitin Khanna who became Cura’s CEO in 2015.
- In 2014, a woman who had been Khanna’s bride’s hairdresser at their 2012 wedding accused Khanna of raping her hours before the wedding. “Khanna denied the accusations and reached a civil settlement with the woman, terms of which were never disclosed… [Prosecutors] said DNA tests proved he had sexual contact with the hairdresser but prosecutors concluded they couldn’t demonstrate it was not consensual.”
- In May 2018, Khanna stepped down as CEO after details of the sexual assault accusations surfaced on social media. Cura later sued California-based competitor Bloom Farms for surfacing the information. In response, Bloom presented itself as a champion of free speech.
- Cameron Forni, who replaced Khanna as CEO, wrote last year that he was unaware of the accusation against Khanna until they resurfaced on social media.
- Cura wouldn’t say whether Khanna remains a major shareholder or still has a place on its board.
- Through a spokesperson, Cura said the company was not connected to the real estate scam, blaming it on an investment manager who’s now in prison. It declined to answer additional questions.
- ????For more on the deal, see WeedWeek California.
- When it went public in Canada late last year the diversified conglomerate Tilt Holdings, which includes Baker Technologies, Sea Hunter Therapeutics, Blackbird and other companies valued itself at $500M. It then revised that figure down to $7M. Its first quarterly earnings report listed a $554.5M loss on sales of $5.7M.
- New Cannabis Ventures looks at the top 31 revenue-generating cannabis stocks.
- High Times appears likely to close its share offering well below initial expectations.