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A CEO look ahead and M&A, hemp and EU right now

The cannabis industry is a ‘state story’: Trulieve CEO

In an appearance on Yahoo Finance Live, the CEO of Florida-based MSO Trulieve Kim Rivers said that the industry will continue to grow within states — whether federal reform comes in 2022 or not.

Growth indicators

Trulieve went public in Sept. 2018 and has grown by 225% and for the first nine months of 2021 saw a 79% topline growth year-over-year compared to 2020. (Last year Trulieve’s CMO on Business of Cannabis talking about launching brands in multiple states.)

The takeaway

“…we’re certainly hopeful that the legislature and the Congress will step up and listen to the will of the American people, who absolutely want to see cannabis in a more available format in their home markets, it certainly isn’t an indicator that the industry as a whole has slowed in any form or fashion.” 

From Rivers’ mouth to the halls of Congress. We shall see.

Enjoy Cannabis Daily each morning at 7 a.m.

Even more M&A on its way in 2022

There were 306 cannabis M&A transactions in 2021, said New York’s Viridian Capital Advisors. That’s three times as much action in 2020, according to a report by MJBizDaily

2021’s biggest deals

  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals → GW Pharma ($7.2 billion)
  • Trulieve → Harvest Health ($2.1 billion)
  • PharmaCann → LivWell (undisclosed)
  • Hexo → Redecan ($766 million)
  • TerrAscend → Gage Cannabis ($545 million)

What else? 

Lower interest costs and pressure to grow could mean even more M&A will come in 2022. Some recent trends to watch: Entrance into new and emerging adult-use markets (eg., Green Thumb’s recent acquisition of Minnesotas’s LeafLine Industries), MSOs snapping up some outdoor-cultivators in California, Canadian LP looking to grow their US presence and emerging hemp companies in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Hemp could benefit from focus on environment

Carbon caps and plastics bans could drive demand for hemp products like building blocks, clothes and more, according to a report by Bloomberg.


Hemp has had some headwinds: The number of acres planted for hemp shrank from 70,530 in 2020 to 33,844 in 2021, the US FDA current does not regulate CBD, and right now, hemp is more expensive to produce than petrochemicals in plastics.

The takeaway

Merida Capital Partners will grow its investment in industrial hemp companies, such as Canadian Rockies Hemp Corp. and Bast Fibre Technologies Inc. “Industrial hemp is the biggest opportunity in the cannabis sector as a whole,” said Merida partner Mina Mishrikey.

A milestone year for European cannabis

2021 was a big year for Europe’s cannabis industry, reports BusinessCann. Some of the major milestones (and what’s to come in 2022):

  • Germany gives the green light to an adult-use cannabis market
  • Malta becomes the first European country to legalize adult-use cannabis
  • Switzerland and the Netherlands will “launch their own adult-use trials” and momentum is growing in Luxembourg, Portugal and Italy
  • Expanding medical cannabis to 20 countries, including Ireland and France

Still to come

  • Clearing the many roadblocks to CBD, such as the UK’s compliant list, novel foods and the status of cannabidiol
  • Increased investment in European cannabis from US and Canadian companies

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