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Insider Cannabis: FIS comes for cannabis

Jeremy Berke,Yeji Jesse Lee   

Insider Cannabis: FIS comes for cannabis

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

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Hello everyone,

It's deal mania in cannabis land this week. As I reported in September, the pullback in the sector has created a buyer's market - and buyers, are, well, they're buying. A lot.

To that end, Canadian company Canopy Growth scooped up Colorado gummy company Wana Brands in a bid to expand its US footprint ahead of possible federal legalization. Canopy's CEO David Klein told me in an early morning interview that edibles are a "great format" for bringing new consumers into the fold.

"We're building that ecosystem for the US," he said.

Dutchie closed a $350 million round, after raising $250 million in March - it's now worth $3.75 billion. Flowhub got Jay-Z to invest. Cresco Labs expanded its presence in Pennsylvania by buying Laurel Harvest. Of note: Laurel Harvest was founded by Merida Capital Holdings' Mitch Baruchowitz, who told me he's the largest shareholder. As I said, it's deal mania.

We're keeping you up-to-date on all of this. To those of you heading out to MJBizCon in Vegas next week, we're sad we won't be there this year. But we're hoping to be out there in full force next year once the pandemic's behind us.

Let's get to it.

- Jeremy Berke (@jfberke)

If you like what you read, share this newsletter with your colleagues, friends, boss, spouse, strangers on the internet, or whomever else would like a weekly dose of cannabis news.

Here's what we wrote about this week:

FIS is hiring a new strategy lead focused on the cannabis and CBD industry, as the payments giant looks to tap into a 'new, high growth space'

FIS is hiring a senior strategy manager to lead a new cannabis and CBD team. The hire will define the product roadmap and legal requirements to support cannabis and CBD merchants.

Other payments players, like Square, have started working with CBD merchants, too.

Here's an exclusive look at the 17-slide presentation cannabis startup Prohibition Holdings is using to raise $4 million to become a must-have tool for investors in the industry

Prohibition Holdings provided its Series B pitch deck exclusively to Insider. CEO Stephen Murphy says the company is hoping to raise £3 million, or just over $4 million.

Billionaire Dan Sundheim's D1 Capital is making a big bet on cannabis tech unicorn Dutchie, now valued at $3.75 billion

Dutchie closed a $350 million funding round, valuing the company at $3.75 billion. The round was led by Dan Sundheim's D1 Capital Partners. Cannabis tech has been a hot area for investors in recent months.

Deals, launches, and IPOs

  • Cannabis e-commerce startup Dutchie closed a $350 million Series D funding round led by D1 Capital Partners. The round values the company at $3.75 billion. Read more here.
  • Canopy Growth will buy US edibles manufacturer Wana Brands for nearly $300 million, the company said on Thursday. The deal will close upon "federal permissibility" in the US.
  • Cresco Labs is buying Pennsylvania cannabis company Laurel Harvest for $80 million.
  • Cannabis delivery service Lantern is spinning out of alcohol delivery service Drizly after Uber completed its acquisition of Drizly. As part of the spinout, Lantern raised $40 million.
  • Cannabis real estate firm Pelorus Equity Group landed a $20 million credit line at 4.75% from an undisclosed bank.
  • Cannabis tech startup Flowhub raised a $19 million funding round, valuing the company at around $200 million.

What we're reading:

Inside the Bay Area's biggest-ever marijuana bust: gym bags stuffed with cash, 40 Rolexes and $1,000 bottles of wine (SF Chronicle)

Canada's Pot Companies Are Missing the Best Party (The Wall Street Journal)

Cannabis store openings in Canada only slightly affected the number of users (The Conversation)

What will legal cannabis sales look like in New York City? Not even the biggest dispensary chain in the US knows. (Insider)


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