AWH, a multi-state, vertically integrated cannabis operator, announced its intent to enter Illinois’ largest cannabis market with an agreement to acquire a pair of well-known dispensaries in two iconic Chicago neighborhoods – Logan Square and River North.
The agreement will allow AWH to take ownership of both MOCA – Modern Cannabis dispensaries following approval from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
“We are pleased to enter the third largest city in the United States though our pending purchase of Modern Cannabis. MOCA has been a leading player in the Chicago market, and we are excited to pair it with our Illinois Supply & Provisions (IS&P) dispensaries which include the top performing retail outlet in the state in Collinsville,” said AWH Founder Abner Kurtin.
MOCA is one of Chicago’s original cannabis dispensaries, first opening to serve medical patients in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood in February, 2016. Today the location serves both medical and recreational customers and recently opened a new recreational-only location in River North.
“AWH is a great fit for us. They have a clear, focused strategy and a nimble, ambitious team. Of the several partnerships we considered, AWH made the most sense for us in terms of their state and national size, growth trajectory, and company culture,” said MOCA founder Danny Marks.
AWH, one of the fastest growing cannabis companies in the U.S., is also announcing the final closing of its latest funding round at $68.2 million, of which $41 million is new capital that will be used to further the company’s expansion of retail and grow operations.
“We are pleased to continue to have access to capital and be fully financed to build out our flagship retail locations and scale grow operations in our five states of focus,” said Kurtin.
The addition of the two MOCA properties would give AWH six retail licenses in Illinois. The company will continue to seek new acquisitions and partnership opportunities to reach the state limit of 10 licenses per ownership group.
AWH currently owns and operates two of Illinois’ most successful cannabis dispensaries under the IS&P brand which led to the expansion into Illinois’ largest and most competitive cannabis market. IS&P locations in Springfield and Collinsville (the top grossing dispensary in the state) serve hundreds of patients and customers each week.
“The Illinois cannabis program is structured in such a way that we believe it’s in the best interest of our company, staff, customers and medical patients to join a cultivator. We are excited to add our own flavor to the mix and help build a great cannabis company that is well positioned to thrive in the next phase of US cannabis legalization, ” added Marks.
AWH’s state of the art cultivation and processing center in West Central Illinois, the produces its own popular line of Ozone branded cannabis products to licensed retailers across the state.
AWH will keep the MOCA brand in place and operate both dispensaries as a separate brand.
AWH is a market leading, vertically integrated operator with assets in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts and New Jersey. AWH is breaking down traditional walls in the cannabis marketplace to provide easy and accessible products and exclusive brand partnerships.
AWH owns and operates state-of-the-art cultivation facilities, and is known for growing award winning strains and producing curated selection of products with effect-based categorization. AWH operates Illinois Supply and Provisions and Ohio Provisions, and has a strategic partnership with Michigan Supply and Provisions. AWH produces and distributes Ozone branded products. For more information, visit www.awholdings.com.
MOCA is Chicago’s leading independent dispensary company, located in two of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. The original location in hip Logan Square was the second dispensary to open in Chicago. The new River North location, right on the main entry into downtown’s tourism and entertainment center, will be the city’s largest dispensary. Delivering a first-class customer experience through compassionate, knowledgeable service and expert product curation is MOCA’s core mission. The brand reflects the diverse, hip communities where the stores are located by incorporating art and culture into a modern cannabis shopping experience.
SOURCE Ascend Wellness Holdings