By Chloe Aiello
Harvest Health and Recreation plans to celebrate its California debut Saturday at its wine-themed medical marijuana dispensary in Napa, a first step in the cannabis company's rapid expansion in the state.
"Historically wine has been dominant, wine will continue to be dominant in places like Napa,"the Harvest Health CEO Steve White told Cheddar on Friday. "For us, the hope is that people will start to understand how cannabis can complement different spirits, like wine, and in our store we present cannabis in a Napa sort of way."
With a nod to the region's lush vineyards and award-winning wines, the dispensary, which officially opened at the beginning of the year, includes cannabis products packaged like a bottles of popular Napa Valley wines. The county only allows medical cannabis, but White said the dispensary is only a first-step for Harvest Health in California.
"Napa was an opportunity that was provided early on and it was one that we can execute on very quickly," he said.
Arizona-based Harvest Health, one of the largest cannabis producers, distributors, and sellers in the U.S., has been expanding aggressively.
Harvest Health also received a retail license to open a dispensary in Santa Monica and, pending finalization of its acquisition of the cannabis logistics company Falcon International, it will be able to distribute, cultivate, and manufacture cannabis products statewide, the company said in a statement.
"For us, this is a question about getting stores open. We have prioritized areas that are going to provide the highest returns for Harvest," White said.
Harvest Health has ambitions beyond California. The company announced last month it would acquire Chicago-based Verano Holdings ー the $850 million deal is considered the largest U.S. cannabis acquisition to-date. Upon completion of the deal, Harvest Health will have licenses to operate in 200 facilities across 16 states and U.S. territories, including Nevada, Illinois, and New Jersey.
"Verano checks a number of boxes for us," White said.
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