Chicago marijuana manufacturer set to expand
May 14th, 2018
Green Thumb Industries (GTI) is growing like a weed. The national cannabis cultivator and dispensary operator based in Chicago is about to go public.
“This is the beginning of real opportunity for the company,” CEO Pete Kadens told me. “This is incredibly exciting for our employees and all of our stakeholders and frankly for the industry as well.”
The Chicago entrepreneur and his business partner, private-equity investor Ben Kovler, have been in business about four years.
Both men are active in the nonprofit world. Kovler is a co-founder of Invest for Kids, a nonprofit that’s raised millions over the past decade for children-focused charities. And Kadens has helped grow the StreetWise and Cara nonprofits, dedicated to bringing jobs to under-served communities.
Similarly, they see the for-profit GTI as key to helping support the medical marijuana community–and to create jobs.
It’s become one of the fastest-growing cannabis companies in the country, with licenses to operate 45 dispensaries across six states and plans to add more. The company has raised more than $100 million in private capital. Going public will allow even more expansion.
GTI is riding a wave of growth in the marijuana industry, which took in nearly $9 billion in sales in 2017, according to BDS Analytics.