Liberty Health Sciences Inc. (CSE: LHS) (OTCQX: LHSIF) is getting in on what might be a very robust cannabis market in Massachusetts. The Canadian company has been working on integrating itself into the United States cannabis market starting with a purchase of Chestnut Hill Tree Farm LLC last year in Florida, taking over its license to grow, cultivate and dispense medical cannabis in Florida. Earlier this year they brought in the Serruya family, the Canadian yogurt kings, to buyout most of Aphria Inc.’s(OTC: APHQF) (TSX: APH) stake in the company as they continued with their interest in expanding into the United States. Now they are waiting on Massachusetts state approval to acquire 75% of William Noyes Webster Foundation, Inc (WNWF), a company that already has an integrated growing, cultivation and dispensing license for Massachusetts, much like Chestnut Hill in Florida.
The $16 million dollar stake in WNWF may payoff dividends with the way things are going in the northeast, especially considering the Cannabis Control Commission in Massachusetts is prioritizing licensing medical marijuana businesses for recreational licenses. New England residents are embracing the marijuana movement but many lawmakers are hesitating. Bills are moving through both New Hampshire and Vermont, the two states just to the north of Massachusetts, to legalize adult-use marijuana however neither bill is including the commercial sale of marijuana. Maine voters approved recreational marijuana legalization as well, along with the commercial sale of cannabis. Maine lawmakers though, in particular Governor Paul LePage, have slowed the progress of a bill that would allow Maine residents access to marijuana. Rhode Island is considering adopting something similar to both New Hampshire and Vermont, while Connecticut seems content with its medical marijuana program for now.
Further south and to the west, New York is in turmoil just trying to finalize its medical marijuana program as well. That leaves New Jersey, whose new Governor Phil Murphy is a strong advocate for marijuana legalization in his state. He campaigned hard on bringing adult-use cannabis to New Jersey, but since being elected he has run into a great many roadblocks as his fellow legislators do not support marijuana legalization like the new governor. In other words, when recreational marijuana sales begin in July of this year in Massachusetts, the turnout from the northeast could be substantial. In the end, Liberty Health Sciences Inc. may be landing an even more important deal in its endeavor to play a part in the US market with its stake in WNWF, than even Chestnut Hill in Florida. The population of Florida is nearly 21 million versus Massachusetts with a population of less than 7 million. If we combine all of New England, New York and New Jersey though, there is a combined population of more than 43 million people with only Massachusetts offering adult-use marijuana sales for now.
Like most Canadian marijuana companies, Liberty Health Sciences knows what they are doing. When they acquire a company they bring to the table money, experience in scaling commercial greenhouses, seed-to-sale tracking and automation for processing. They build out the infrastructure of a cannabis company and are well equipped for whatever kind of demand the northeast wants to throw at the Massachusetts recreational marijuana market. There stock has a market cap. of over $180 million but its share price has been suffering along with the rest of this cannabis sector after hitting highs at the beginning of the year.
While well below its 200 dma, Liberty Health Sciences can turn things around with the agreed stake in WNWF. The demand potential for Massachusetts recreational cannabis is significant. Until other states in the northeast region decide that they too are interested in the tax dollars being generated from marijuana sales, Liberty Health Sciences and the state of Massachusetts will be happy to rake it in for as long as they can.