CeresMED, formerly the Champlain Valley Dispensary, announced Monday that it has amalgamated its cannabis business with a Canadian company valued at $ 25 million.
The merger with Toronto-based SLANG Worldwide, a publicly traded cannabis company with offices in 12 states, will allow Ceres to expand its Vermont consumer offering and roughly double its workforce to approximately 100, said Bridget Conry, director of Brand Experience.
“An overwhelming majority of our investors have been Vermonters,” Conry said of the company she co-founded a decade ago. “Now we are in a position to bring investments into the state.”
Plans for a 50,000 square foot expansion of the Milton facility are underway.
Vermont’s adult marijuana retail market will be open to Ceres and other licensed manufacturers when taxes and regulations are finalized in 2022.
Ceres currently manufactures and sells O.Pen cannabis vaporizer cartridges through a licensing agreement with SLANG.
The Vermont company is likely to license and manufacture some of SLANG’s edible products that have proven popular across the country, like Lunchbox Alchemy, Conry said.
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Ceres has two medical cannabis licenses that allow it to grow, process, test, and sell its product through four pharmacies – generally as a built-in benefit in an industry-wide rush to retail.
The company also has retail stores in Burlington, Middlebury and Brattleboro selling non-intoxicating, health-related CBD products.
“We started in 2011 as a not-for-profit organization with two employees,” said Conry on Friday. “We’re one of those Vermont companies that started small and has grown.”
Vermont’s relatively small population, its thriving illegal or “old” cannabis market – as well as restrictions on international trade in psychoactive cannabis – will keep Ceres’ growth modest.
In other words, Conry said, Ceres has no intention of getting big enough to overwhelm the competition; Your company relies on local craft shops to refresh its product lines.
Locally formulated cannabis preparations, she added, could be licensed nationwide through SLANG.
Medical marijuana has never been a very lucrative business, Conry added, but it will continue to drive Ceres.
“We owe a lot to our patients,” she said. “They are the ones who started the whole thing.”
The local ethos will continue, Ceres executive director Shayne Lynn wrote in a statement released by the Canadian firm.
“With this transaction, we will be able to share experiences and resources to help build new regional brands and create a new business model in the industry,” added Lynn.
Lynn is expected to join SLANG’s board of directors, the press release said.
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Contact Joel Banner Baird at 802-660-1843 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @VTgoingUp.