Portland-based Cura Cannabis sold Wednesday for $949 million in an all-stock transaction, one of the biggest deals ever for a company operating in the legalized marijuana business.
Cura sells its cannabis oils on the wholesale and retail market under the Select brand and operates in California, Arizona and Nevada.
The buyer is a Massachusetts company called Curaleaf Holdings, whose shares trades on the Canadian market.
“The transformational acquisition of Cura and the Select brand is another step in our journey to create the most accessible cannabis brands in the U.S.,” Joseph Lusardi, Curaleaf’s chief executive, said in a written statement.
Cura says it has 500 employees and had revenue of $117 million last year, triple its revenue from 2017. It’s actually larger than Curaleaf, which reported $87.8 million in revenue last year.
The combined company will operate in 15 states where recreational cannabis is legal.
The Portland company’s chief executive, Cameron Forni, will become Curaleaf’s president. He said “The leading companies in the industry on the West Coast and the East Coast are now joining forces to progress the legalization and mainstream acceptance of cannabis across the country.”
Cura has been dogged by controversies over its former chief executive, Nitin Khanna, who faced rape allegations in 2014. Cura is suing a California rival for allegedly highlighting those accusations.
Cura sells wholesale cannabis oil used in vaping cartridges to retailers under the brand name Select Oils.
Vaping has surged in popularity and Cura became the supplier for many of the best-known cannabis brands. Cura sells oils under its own Select name for vaping. It also sells Select brand cannabidiol, CBD, which doesn’t include THC, the agent that produces the high associated with smoking pot.
In Portland, you can pick up Select CBD on the health aisle at New Seasons in flavors including lavender, lemon-ginger and peppermint for up to $60. Or you can buy a Select muscle rub derived from hemp, or cannabidiols for pets in chicken, bacon or salmon flavors.
Other cannabis businesses use Cura’s oils in their products — including talk show host Montel Williams’ line of CBD.
Cura boasts of soaring sales and claims to be the “largest cannabis oil company” in Oregon and California.
Curaleaf said it will acquire Cura in exchange for 95.6 million shares, giving Cura’s investors a 16 percent stake in the Massachusetts company.