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Ascend Wellness Holdings CEO Abner Kurtin Talks $55M Funding Round, Eastern US Cannabis Market

February 25, 2019 3:43 pm
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Boston-based, multistate cannabis operator Ascend Wellness Holdings last week closed a $55-million funding round to both continue to expand the company's Massachusetts operations and expand into Ohio, a state that launched its medical cannabis program last month.

The funding round comprised a $37-million bridge round of preferred equity and $18 million in a senior secured note.

With the addition of Ohio to AWH’s roster, the company will be operational in four limited license cannabis markets: Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. In addition, the company revealed some of the money will be allocated to the construction of AWH’s adult-use recreational cannabis flagship store in Boston.

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The raise was led by Shire Capital, Three Bays Capital and JM10 Partners. Existing investors including Poseidon Asset Management and Salveo Capital also participated in the funding round.

In just one year of operations, AWH has raised more than $100 million in total capital, making it one of the best-funded private companies in cannabis today.

Interested in learning more about the new funding and the company’s plans, Benzinga reached out to AWH founder and CEO Abner Kurtin.

"Our four states of focus have over 40 million individuals who represent the largest cannabis markets in the eastern part of the United States,” the CEO said.

When asked about the company’s plans for the new capital, Kurtin said AWH has an agreement to partner with Ohio licensees to create a vertically integrated operation.

Ascend Massachusetts plans to build out the flagship Boston location at a 15,000-square-foot, five-story building near Faneuil Hall, TD Garden and North Station.

"It was the first dispensary to be awarded a host community in the city of Boston for recreational sales. and will be a leading dispensary on the East Coast," Kurtin said.

When Benzinga asked about the possibility of international expansion, Ascend's CEO said the company is staying stateside.

“We are focused on limited license states in the United States only."

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A rendering of Ascend Wellness' planned dispensary on Friend Street in Boston. Courtesy photo. 

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