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‘The Most Anticipated Cannabis IPO Of The Year:’ Ascend Wellness Goes Public

Ascend Wellness Holdings, a multi-state cannabis operator with activities in Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio, is going public, in what several industry professionals are calling “the most anticipated [cannabis] IPO of the year.” The move comes only one day after Tilray and Aphria closed their merger, becoming the largest cannabis company in the world by revenue.

An Upward Trajectory

Ascend’s go-public transaction was announced only a few days ago. In late April, the company said it was raising approximately $80 million via an initial public offering of roughly 10 million shares of its Class A common stock at $8 per share.

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A syndicate of underwriters led by Canaccord Genuity completed the offering. Beacon Securities Limited, Eight Capital, ATB Capital Markets and Cormark Securities also participated in the capital raise. The underwriters received an over-allotment option of up to 1.5 million shares, exercisable throughout the 30 days following the closing of the transaction.

The stock starts trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) today, Tuesday, May 4, under the “AAWH” ticker. An OTCQX Best Market listing is expected in the next few days.

“We’re extremely proud that in just over three years, AWH has built one of the most attractive US cannabis companies in the market,” CEO Abner Kurtin said in an email. “Our public offering both validates our business strategy and pushes us forward as one of the top operators east of the Rockies. Our strategy of going deep, not wide, building vertically integrated operations, and establishing flagship retail locations in high-traffic areas, is unlike any other company in the market today.”

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Recent Moves In The East Coast And MidWest

Only last week, Ascend opened a 16,000-square foot cannabis dispensary, which is believed to be the largest on the East Coast.

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Management assured two other retail locations – in New Bedford and Newton – will be opening soon.

Also in April, Ascend partnered with Lowell Farms Inc. to bring Lowell Farms-branded Lowell Smokes pre-rolls to Illinois and Massachusetts.

According to management, proceeds from the offering will be used to fund expansion in New York and Ohio, as well as some other capital expenditures. A percentage of the money will be set aside for for “future M&A transactions, general administration, tax liabilities, working capital, and general corporate purposes.”

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