One of the nation’s largest cannabis companies, Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries, is coming to Minnesota after acquiring the local LeafLine Industries — one of two licensed medical cannabis cultivators and distributors in the state.
Green Thumb does not just cater to the medical market. Cannabis is now fully legal in 18 states for what the industry refers to as “adult use.” Green Thumb has 17 manufacturing facilities and 73 retail stores, the majority of which are locations of its Rise chain.
The company has a full line of branded cannabis products including one that looks like a joint: Dogwalkers “cannabis pre-rolls.” Its Incredibles brand is a line of cannabis confections with names like Mile High Mint and Strawberry Crunch.
Green Thumb sees plenty of room for growth in Minnesota even without legalized recreational marijuana. There are currently only about 29,000 Minnesota patients enrolled in the medical cannabis program, a thin slice of the 5.7 million people in the state.
“We think the market can grow, and we think it can become 4 to 5% of the population,” said Andy Grossman, who heads the capital markets department for Green Thumb.
Green Thumb previously entered the Rhode Island and Virginia markets in 2021 through acquisitions. The deal for LeafLine makes Minnesota the 15th state in its portfolio.
Green Thumb reported revenue of $556.6 million for 2020, a robust uptick of 157% compared with the year before. In 2018, the company had sales of $62.5 million but is now on track to surpass $1 billion in annual revenue in 2022.
Green Thumb is publicly traded in Canada and traded over-the-counter in the U.S. Cannabis companies can’t be listed on major U.S. stock exchanges because the product remains federally illegal.
The LeafLine deal gives Green Thumb one cultivation facility and retail locations in Eagan, Hibbing, St. Cloud, St. Paul and Willmar.
The deal leaves Minneapolis-based Goodness Growth Holdings as the sole remaining medical cannabis cultivator based in the state. The company, previously known as Vireo Health International Inc., changed its name in June.
Goodness Growth reported $49.2 million in revenue for 2020, an uptick of 64% from the previous year. Like Green Thumb, Goodness Growth is public in Canada and traded over-the-counter in the U.S.
Goodness Growth CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley could not be reached for comment.