Billionaire Beau Wrigley To Expand Cannabis Company To Illinois – Forbes

William “Beau” Wrigley Jr., the scion of the all-American chewing gum fortune synonymous with the city of Chicago, will bring his cannabis company to Illinois.

Parallel, the Florida-based marijuana cultivator and retailer led by Wrigley as chairman and CEO, announced last week a deal to acquire six cannabis dispensaries in the Chicagoland area from Windy City Cannabis for $100 million.

The deal, which will comprise of $60 million in cash and $40 million in Parallel stock, with total potential consideration of up to $155 million, is still subject to regulatory approval. Once closed, Parallel will own four dispensaries in the Chicago suburbs and two, which are slated to open this month, elsewhere in Illinois.

Governor J.B. Pritzker, a billionaire heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into law. In January 2020, Illinois opened its first recreational dispensaries. (The state had an existing small medical marijuana market.) After the first year of adult-use cannabis, legal medical and recreational pot sales hit $1 billion. According to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, recreational sales topped $100 million in March, setting a state record.

James Whitcomb, Parallel’s chief development officer, says Illinois will become an important market for the company.

“Illinois is the hottest adult-use market out there,” says Whitcomb. “Any multi-state-operator in the U.S. that outperformed its projections this year did so almost solely because of Illinois…. The market has been going gangbusters.”

In February, Parallel announced that it will go public on a Canadian stock exchange after merging with Ceres Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, at a $1.8 billion valuation. The deal is expected to close this summer.

Once the transaction closes, Parallel will have $430 million in cash, which will help fund its expansion strategy. In an investor deck, Parallel

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