fbpx Joint CEOs: Women founders to run merged cannabis firm in $18M deal

Joint CEOs: Women founders to run merged cannabis firm in $18M deal

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Ontario-based licensed producer 48North Cannabis Corp. is scooping up Good & Green, a small, recently launched cannabis grower also based in Ontario that brands itself as one of the first producers of “homogenous organic cannabis,” in an all-stock deal valued at $18 million.

The acquisition will create the first cannabis company in Canada led by two women CEOs, 48North’s Alison Gordon and Good & Green co-founder Jeanette VanderMarel.

48North’s shares, which are listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange, were trading up more than 10 per cent at $0.50 in early afternoon trading Tuesday, bringing the value of the company to just over $40 million.

“Jeanette is one of the most knowledgeable and admired people in the industry in terms of her understanding of cultivation. We’ve been good friends since 2014, and when we connected, we realized we had complementary skill sets and joining forces would be a good idea,” said Gordon.

Though Good & Green is a relatively new venture, VanderMarel has significant experience in the cannabis industry, having also co-founded The Green Organic Dutchman in 2014. She left the Ontario-based producer, which has become one of the country’s largest, in early 2018 to start Good & Green.

“Values and ethics are really important in this industry, and for so long, this industry was just a momentum play on stock. Now it’s going to be about consumer trust and loyalty, and that’s where Alison and I are on the same page,” VanderMarel told the Financial Post.

With the acquisition, 48North will now own and operate two growing facilities in Ontario — one in Brantford and the other in Northern Ontario. Good & Green also owns a 100-acre piece of land not far from Brantford, that has not yet received a cultivation licence. Gordon estimates that the combined harvest capacity of both companies will be in the 46,000 kilogram range in 2019, if the licence is obtained.

“One of the things that was very exciting to me was Jeanette had already put in an application for an outdoor growing facility. We actually are a highly undervalued company, and there’s going to be significant growth in our valuation,” Gordon said.

48North has been trying to capture the market for female cannabis consumers, casting itself as the only cannabis company in Canada to deliver products specifically to the “female health and wellness” market. That marketing focus will be enhanced with the acquisition of Good & Green, according to Gordon, who says that both she and VanderMarel have been vocal about the need for the industry to be more inclusive, even in terms of the kinds of products on the market.

“We’re going to be developing products that are much more elegant and discreet — not just joints that you roll,” VanderMarel said. The company also announced a $10 million financing round, which it will use to develop Good & Green’s land, as well as for  “research, development and marketing.”

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