Published: 11/24/2022 16:27:39
Modified: 11/24/2022 16:27:29
GREENFIELD — To create the largest black-owned marijuana company in the world, businessman and entertainment icon Sean “Diddy” Combs has agreed to buy Greenfield’s Patriot Care dispensary.
Columbia Care, which owns Patriot Care, and Combs Enterprises released a joint statement earlier this month, framing the pending deal as a move that will “create the country’s first vertically integrated multi-state (cannabis) operator that… is owned and operated by minorities”. The transaction is part of a $185 million deal by which Combs Enterprises will acquire assets in New York, Illinois and Massachusetts from Cresco Labs and Columbia Care. The acquisition of Patriot Care makes Greenfield one of three Massachusetts municipalities involved in the transaction, along with Worcester and Leicester.
“These assets provide the Combs team with significant market presence and allow them to make the greatest impact on the industry as a whole,” Nicholas Vita, CEO and co-founder of Columbia Care, said in the statement. “We knew Sean had the right team to continue the strong legacy of these Columbia Care and Cresco Labs facilities, and we can’t wait to see his entrepreneurial leadership and innovation help shape the cannabis industry into the future to design .”
The statement said cannabis is the fastest growing industry in the country. Aside from being a lucrative business venture, the deal is an important step toward social justice, Combs said.
“My mission has always been to create opportunities for black entrepreneurs in industries where we have traditionally been denied access, and this acquisition provides the immediate scale and impact needed to create a more equitable future for cannabis,” Combs , chairman and CEO of Combs Company, said in the statement. “Owning the entire process – from growing and manufacturing to marketing, retail and wholesale distribution – is a historic asset to the culture that will enable us to empower diverse leaders across the ecosystem and be bold advocates for inclusion .”
Cresco Labs and Columbia Care cited Combs’ impressive resume as cause for excitement. The statement recognizes Combs as “one of the most successful entrepreneurs and cultural icons of all time” who has “a diverse portfolio of businesses and investments spanning music, fashion, perfume, beverages, marketing, film, television and media.”
“We believe he will do truly incredible work because of his entrepreneurial spirit and proven track record in this space,” wrote Adam Goers, Columbia Care’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, in an email.
“We’re all pretty excited,” said Nicole Rannikko, general manager of Patriot Care. “We’re hoping it brings new things.”
Goers added that Columbia Care employees see “absolute need” for Comb’s mission to empower Black entrepreneurs and diversify the cannabis industry.
“As we contemplated this divestiture, we wanted someone with a similar passion and intent to create a more inclusive industry,” Goers wrote. “We look forward to seeing his impact on the cannabis industry in Massachusetts and beyond.”
Rannikko said her company hopes the deal can be finalized by early next year. She said Patriot Care has not been made aware of any potential changes or service disruptions in the meantime.
“We run a really great pharmacy here,” she said. “As long as this continues, that’s all we’re interested in.”
“We hope the local community will be as excited about Combs Enterprises as we are,” added Goers. “We want the industry to thrive and felt this was a strategic move to help make that a reality. From an operational perspective, everything is business as usual until this deal closes.”
Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-930-4231 or [email protected]