The #1 medical marijuana company in Illinois is preparing to go public.
It just closed a $100 million financing – the second-largest deal for a U.S. cannabis company.
And the IPO is expected before the end of 2018.
Cresco Labs started just three years ago – right after Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed medical marijuana legislation.
The company applied for three cannabis licenses. Instead of trying to compete in the large Chicago market, Cresco focused on three smaller markets:
Joliet, Kankakee and Lincoln.
Shockingly, Cresco was approved for a license in all three markets.
Each market only issued one license – giving the company a local monopoly. By 2015, the company was selling cannabis to medical patients.
Last year, the company sales grew by 250%. And that growth is expected to continue, as Cresco expands to an additional five states.
This latest $100 financing was led by Beacon Securities in Toronto. The vast majority of the funds came from institutional investors in Canada, Europe and the U.S.
Cresco had previously raised $85 million from high-net-worth investors.
The company plans to go public through a reverse merger with a Canadian company. This is similar to the approach taken by Green Thumb Industries (OTC: GTBIF), another Chicago cannabis company that recently went public.
Green Thumb stock has doubled since it went public in June.
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Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY) is the only cannabis company to go public via a conventional initial public offering or IPO.
Every other cannabis company has elected to go public via reverse merger.
The prestige associated with a regular IPO – and the small number of publicly available shares – has helped send Tilray stock surging.
After going public at $17 in July, Tilray shares briefly surged to $300!
The stock has since retreated to around $140 – a phenomenal 724% profit in three months.
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