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Big Marijuana firm Ayr identifies the two Pa. cannabis cultivators it’s rolling up

The purchases would create one of the larger cannabis companies in Pennsylvania.

Ayr Strategies is betting big on Pennsylvania marijuana.
Ayr Strategies is betting big on Pennsylvania marijuana.Read moreZbigniew Bzdak / MCT

Ayr Strategies, a cannabis company with operations in Massachusetts and Nevada, is moving into Pennsylvania in a big way.

The New York-based multistate operator announced in August it was taking control of two marijuana cultivators in the Keystone State. But it had not identified those growers.

On Friday, Ayr (OTC: AYRSF) released the targets’ names and the total price: $75.8 million.

One was DocHouse LLC, which has been building a 50,000-square-foot cultivation facility near Pottsville. It’s selling its equity interest to Ayr for a total of $20.8 million.

The deal includes $16.7 million in cash, $2.1 million in stock, and $2 million in seller notes. DocHouse’s chief executive, Justin Moriconi of Elkins Park, declined to comment. Though the state Department of Health deemed DocHouse “operational” in December, it does not appear to have shipped any marijuana products to dispensaries.

The other is CannTech PA, which has a growing operation in the Pittsburgh suburbs. It sold for $55 million in a package that also includes permits for five retail marijuana dispensaries. CannTech PA will receive $25 million in cash, $15 million in stock, and $15 million in seller notes.

CannTech PA is paired with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine to conduct research under the state’s medical marijuana program.

It’s unclear whether the Department of Health will allow Ayr to hold two permits for growing facilities. A Health Department spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program allows for a total of 33 cannabis growers — 25 commercial growers and eight operating under the research program.

Ayr also announced an agreement to purchase one of Ohio’s largest growing facilities under construction for $18.2 million but did not identify the facility’s name or location.

Ayr is led by Jonathan Sandelman, who once served as president of Bank of America Securities. He later was CEO of the multibillion-dollar hedge fund Sandelman Partners.

“Our strategy has always been to go deep in the best markets, targeting attractive assets in limited-license states with large populations, where we can build a vertically integrated presence and have a significant edge,” Sandelman said in a statement.

The acquisitions “represent the next step in the disciplined and targeted expansion of our footprint,” Sandelman said. But, he added, the firm is “just getting started.”