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New weed player in Illinois, Curaleaf gets state approval to take over nine Greenhouse and Windy City dispensaries

New weed player in Illinois, Curaleaf gets state approval to take over nine Greenhouse and Windy City dispensaries

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There is a major new player in the Illinois weed industry.

Nearly eight months after Curaleaf, a publicly traded Massachusetts company, closed its $830 million acquisition of Chicago-based Grassroots in July, state regulators issued final approval of the deal Tuesday.

Curaleaf will take control of nine Greenhouse and Windy City Cannabis dispensaries April 1, all of which will transition to the Curaleaf brand, company spokeswoman Tracy Brady said Friday.

The Greenhouse dispensaries moving under the Curaleaf banner are in Northbrook, Skokie, Mokena, Morris, Deerfield and Melrose Park. Windy City Cannabis locations taking the Curaleaf name are in Justice, Worth and Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Curaleaf is planning to open its 10th and final Illinois dispensary in Westmont, pending state approval, Brady said.

Windy City Cannabis will continue to own and operate locations in Homewood, Posen and Litchfield, with dispensaries in Highwood, Carpentersville and Macomb set to open this year.

The change in ownership comes as unions are working to gain a foothold in the fast-growing Illinois marijuana industry, organizing employees at one of the dispensaries moving into the Curaleaf portfolio.

About 30 workers at the Windy City Cannabis dispensary on Weed Street in Chicago are voting on whether to unionize through the Des Plaines-based Local 881 UFCW, with the results to be tallied Monday.

Last month, employees at the Sunnyside dispensary in Lakeview, which is owned by Chicago-based Cresco, became the first in the state to ratify a union labor agreement.

Curaleaf received approval last year to operate a cultivation center in Litchfield, Illinois, as part of its Grassroots acquisition.

One of the largest marijuana companies in the U.S., Curaleaf operates 101 dispensaries, 23 cultivation sites and more than 30 processing facilities in 23 states, with more than 3,800 employees.

Curaleaf, which trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange, generated $653 million in revenue last year, according to a 2020 earnings report issued earlier this month.

Marijuana sales in Illinois have soared since the state legalized recreational use in January 2020, reaching $1.03 billion last year. That included $669 million in recreational weed sales and more than $366 million in medical sales, according to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which regulates dispensaries in the state.


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