On Monday, Crain's Chicago released a list of Chicago's largest marijuana companies.
These leading cannabis industry players in the Midwest city inlcude: publicly traded Cresco Labs Inc CRLBF CL, Verano Holdings Corp. VRNO VRNOF, and Green Thumb Industries GTBIF; and privately held PharmaCann.
The companies also ranked high on "this year's Fast 50, which recognizes the fastest-growing companies in the city," reported Crain’s Chicago Business.
Illinois’s Recreational Cannabis Sales
Since Illinois's recreational cannabis legalization in 2019, with retail sales beginning in 2020, retail shops have sold more than $3 billion in cannabis, and "it's no surprise that Chicago cannabis businesses have experienced meteoric growth," reported the Green Market Report.
In fact, in 2022, Illinois’s adult-use cannabis sales crossed the $1 billion mark.
Top 5 Cannabis Players:
Ranked by the number of local employees, Crain’s inaugural list includes both regionally headquartered companies and out-of-towners with a presence in the greater Chicago area.
The first one is Cresco Labs (homegrown in Chicago). With 1,150 full-time employees in the metro area, the company has six dispensaries in the Chicago area operating as Sunnyside and two in Illinois. "With operations in 10 states, Cresco Labs generated $821.7 million in 2021."
The second, third, and fourth rankings go to Chicago-based PharmaCann, Green Thumb Industries and Verano, respectively. "These three companies each have more than 400 employees in the metropolitan area," according to Crain’s. Additionally, Verano operates the majority of the local retail stores on the list: 10 Zen Leaf brand dispensaries. "With operations in 14 states, Verano also has the most company-wide employees of any Chicago-based establishment on the list: 3,881 total employees.”
Number five on the list is Wakefield, Massachusetts-based Curaleaf, which has the largest Chicago presence of any outside company with 400 local employees.
Illinois issued almost two hundred new retail licenses this year, so next year's list may vary. However, if Cresco Labs completes its pending acquisition of New York-based Columbia Care CCHW CCHW CCHWF, which is currently ranked number nine on the list, it will likely keep the podium.
On November 4, Cresco Labs and Columbia Care announced the signing of definitive agreements to divest certain New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts assets to an entity owned and controlled by Sean “Diddy” Combs.
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