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Vertical Closes One of Largest Rounds in Cannabis Industry

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Vertical Companies, the Los Angeles-based company that recently announced one of the largest Series A funding rounds in the cannabis industry, is planning to scale up its multi-state infrastructure and “bring its brands to market,” the company said.


Currently the company has operations in Arizona, Kentucky and California, combined with strategic partnerships in Ohio.


Vertical’s brands include cannabis and CBD products, with the company planning to “create the next Grey Goose, Bacardi, Johnny Walker and Bud Light in the cannabis space.”


The cannabis infrastructure and distribution space has been heating up, with competitor Flow Kana closing a record round of $125 million in February.


Vertical’s Series A funding round closed at $58 million as of March 31. Due to investor demand, the company had upsized the initial $20 million Series A funding to $35 million late last year. The total raised since the business began is $65 million.


“Although early on we thought we might get broader institutional support based on their interest, the federal prohibition kept those funds out of our reach,” said Vertical President Smoke Wallin in a press release. “It is terrific that we have such broad-based investor support from the Merida team as well as high-net-worth individuals and family offices.”


The cannabis industry’s sales figures have grown steadily since 2016 and are expected to reach more than $24 billion by 2025, reported Statista.


The company includes Vertical MSO, a multi-state medical and adult-use cannabis operator; V Brands Management, which holds a large brand IP portfolio; Vertical Distribution, which focuses on sales and distribution operations in Oakland and Los Angeles; and the hemp-based CBD company Vertical Wellness.


“With its focus on supply-chain excellence, and the executive team to drive a bold vision in both health and wellness and plant-based medicine, Vertical is in a sweet spot to achieve scale far beyond most industry operators," said Mitch Baruchowitz, founder of Merida Capital Partners, which invested in Vertical.


Michelle Lodge is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared in Time, Fortune, Barron's, the Miami Herald, the British Medical Journal as well as on CNBC.com.

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