Cannacurio: Beneficial Owners, Backers & True Parties of Interest

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Connecticut is unique in that it requires “backers” of marijuana producers and dispensary facilities to get a license. The fee is $100 per year and it is tied to the supervisory license of a producer or dispensary. Currently there are 65 backer licenses held by 41 individuals. As multi-state-operators have entered the state, their CEO’s or key investors have often been the “backer” for these licenses. Here’s the definition and requirements from the regulator:

Medical Marijuana Producer / Dispensary Facility Backers: These registrations are for any person with a direct or indirect financial interest in an entity licensed as a producer or dispensary facility, except it shall not include a person with an investment interest in a license provided the interest held by such person and such person’s co-workers, employees, spouse, parent or child, in the aggregate, do not exceed five per cent of the total ownership or interest rights and such person does not participate directly or indirectly in the control, management or operation of the facility.

Prerequisites: You must be named as a backer by a Connecticut licensed Medical Marijuana Producer or Dispensary Facility.

Key Backers

In reviewing these licenses, we found many well known names:

  • Andrey Blokh – Curaleaf stockholder (30% of shares)
  • Kim Rivers – CEO Trulieve
  • Kevin Murphy, Former CEO Acreage Holdings
  • Joe Lusardi, CEO Curaleaf
  • Mitch Kahn, CEO & Founder Grassroots Cannabis
  • Ben Kovler, CEO & Chairman at Green Thumb Industries

By tracking these backers Connecticut gives visibility to the companies and people who have purchased these licenses. Below we’ve gathered all the backer licenses that are related to Curaleaf owned properties:

Backer Licenses For Curaleaf Properties

Here’s the leaderboard:

Connecticut Backer Leaderboard

Key Findings

  • Of the 65 backer licenses 37 are out of state
  • Multi-state Operators are well represented
  • Tuatara Capital is the only Private Equity firm we found as a backer

Why Is This Important?

This information is critical for anyone conducting due diligence on these companies. Since many of the MSO’s are public, researchers can glean additional information about the licenses and assets that these companies hold. In comparing these backers to the initial backers in our 2015 Report Tracking the Connecticut Licensed Marijuana Economy it is surprising to see how many of the original backers were limited liability companies and to see how few of the original backers are still left.

Cannabiz Media customers can stay up-to-date on these and other new licenses through our newsletters, alerts, and reports modules. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive these weekly reports delivered to your inbox. Or you can schedule a demo for more information on how to access the Cannabiz Media License Database yourself to dive further into this data.


Cannacurio is a weekly column from Cannabiz Media featuring insights from the most comprehensive license data platform. Catch up on Cannacurio posts and podcasts for the latest updates and intel.

Ed Keating

Ed Keating is a co-founder and Chief Data Officer of Cannabiz Media and oversees our data research and government relations efforts. He has spent his whole career working with and advising information companies in the compliance space. Ed has overseen complex multijurisdictional product lines in the securities, corporate, UCC, safety, environmental and human resource markets and focuses on workflow products over the last twenty five years. During that time he has worked for both startup and established information companies where he has led marketing, product management and sales organizations. These companies include Wolters Kluwer/Commerce Clearing House, CT Corporation, EDGAR Online and Business & Legal Reports. At Cannabiz Media Ed enjoys the challenge of working with regulators across the globe as he and his team gather corporate, financial, and license information to track the people, products and businesses in the cannabis economy. Ed graduated from Hamilton College and received his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

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