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Harvest Health CEO Steve White Talks Cannabis Consolidation, Says Canopy-Acreage Tie-Up 'Fantastic'

Harvest Health CEO Steve White Talks Cannabis Consolidation, Says Canopy-Acreage Tie-Up 'Fantastic'

Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. (OTC: HRVSF) CEO Steve White joined Yahoo's Jeff Lagerquist onstage Thursday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference to discuss consolidation in the marijuana industry. 

The Discussion

When asked if the industry is in a land-grab type situation. White said that it is.

Harvest has employed two methods of acquiring assets, the CEO said: the licensing process and M&A.

Harvest increased its M&A activity around the time it went public, White said. 

"What we told people at the time was we understand the phase that we're in, and so we will do acquisitions faster than any other company in the U.S."

Lagerquist asked about Harvest's $850-million acquisition of Verano. The cannabis exec considers the deal “a big one,” adding that Verano is a “fantastic operator” in highly competitive markets.

“For us, it made all the sense in the world because the assets paired beautifully with what we have [and] what we're looking for.”

Another hot topic Thursday: the $3.4-billion deal for Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC) to acquire Acreage Holdings Inc (OTC: ACRGF).

White heaped praise on Canopy for being the first to do what he said everyone in Canada should be doing.

“They did it first, again,” the CEO said. “It was a fantastic deal for Canopy. It was also a fantastic deal for Acreage.”

The CEO described the deal as a "blueprint" for consumer packaged goods, alcohol and retail companies to buy into the U.S. cannabis market. 

The Canopy-Acreage deal is structured to give Canopy the right to buy Acreage's shares if and when cannabis is federally legalized in the U.S. 

A First-To-Market Advantage For Canada?

White pushed back on the notion that Canadian LPs have an insurmountable advantage.

While noting that it is an advantage, White said the Canadian market is the size of one state — California. 

“We have 49 other states and territories that are currently undergoing changes." 

Related Links:

Harvest Health & Recreation Buys Verano Holdings In $850M All-Stock Deal

Harvest Health & Recreation Aims To Become 'Largest Cannabis Company In The World'

Harvest Health & Recreation CEO Steve White speaks Thursday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Toronto. Photo by Juil Yoon. 

Posted-In: Cannabis Capital ConferenceCannabis M\u0026A News Events Top Stories Markets Interview Best of Benzinga


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