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Curaleaf Buys Majority Stake in German Cannabis Company

A.J. Herrington

By A.J. Herrington

August 15, 2022

Street view of a Curaleaf dispensary

Adobe Stock

International cannabis powerhouse Curaleaf announced last week that its European holding company has purchased a majority stake in Four 20 Pharma GmbH, a

medical cannabis producer and distributor with its own line of products. Under the deal, which is valued at €19.7 million (about $20 million), Curaleaf International Holdings Limited will acquire 55% of Four 20 Pharma, giving the U.S.-based Curaleaf improved access to emerging cannabis markets in Germany and other European nations.

“By partnering with Four 20 Pharma, Curaleaf’s European business will immediately gain additional critical mass and be in a superior position to capitalize on the accelerating trends in the European cannabis market,”

in a statement from the company. “The opportunity in Europe cannot be understated, and Curaleaf is uniquely differentiated from other U.S. [multistate operators] via our already significant presence as the largest and most licensed cannabis company in Europe.”

“With cultivation facilities in Portugal, manufacturing facilities in Spain and UK, rapidly growing patient numbers across Europe, particularly in the UK, Curaleaf serves the entire legal cannabis ecosystem and is also poised to capitalize on the adult use opportunity as regulation starts to unlock,” Jordan continued. “This strategic transaction further underscores our aspiration to be the major player in the European market and the leading global cannabis company.”

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Largest European Cannabis Market

Germany is the largest cannabis market in Europe, totaling about €200 million (just over $200 million) in 2022, with projections suggesting it could grow to about €1 billion per year by 2024 with the advent of recreational cannabis legalization, which is projected to be achieved late next year or early in 2024. Miles Worne, president of Curaleaf International, said Four 20 Pharma is a leading German distributor with product brands already loved by consumers, noting the merchandise is produced by business partners following the European Union’s good manufacturing practices I(EU-GMP) standards. 

“They’ve captured significant market share in Germany by sourcing product from top EU-GMP certified suppliers around the world and building strong connections with German medical consumers by providing the highest quality flower in a namesake branded offering,” said Worne. “As such, Four 20 Pharma is uniquely positioned to capitalize on Germany’s conversion from a medical to an adult use market and we’re thrilled to be partnering with their talented management team.”

The structure of the partnership deal allows Curaleaf to acquire complete control of Four 20 Pharma within two years of the onset of legal adult-use cannabis sales in Germany. In November, Germany’s ruling coalition, which took power after elections in September, announced that it would legalize cannabis for adults and develop a regulatory framework for licensed recreational marijuana production and sales. In 2016, the country legalized medical cannabis for seriously ill patients with a doctor’s prescription.

Torsten Greif, a managing partner of Four 20 Pharma, said that the company has been “exploring possible partners to stake our claim in the future German and European cannabis markets, and in Curaleaf we know we’ve found the undisputed leader and the best partner.” 

“From the beginning of our conversations, it was clear that they supported our strategic vision and respected our autonomy and entrepreneurial approach,” Grief added. “Having full access to the tremendous knowledge and assets of the Curaleaf team will accelerate our future growth projects and help drive our company to the next level.”

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Curaleaf Is World’s Largest Cannabis Company

Massachusetts-based Curaleaf is the

by market capitalization, currently operating in 22 U.S. states with 136 dispensaries and 26 cultivation sites. The company also has operations in five European countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The company is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Curaleaf’s deal to acquire a majority stake in Four 20 Pharma, which is subject to regulatory approval and other conditions, is expected to close within the next two months.

A.J. Herrington

About The Author

A.J. Herrington

HIGH THERE MISSION

WE’RE A CREATIVE COMMUNITY — EXPLORING THE SCIENCE, CRAFT, AND CULTURE OF CANNABIS.
WE BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS ERADICATING THE STIGMA, MISINFORMATION, AND INEQUITIES SURROUNDING THIS PLANT, SO WE CAN UNLOCK ITS TRUE POTENTIAL FOR ALL.

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