Aug 2, 2022 - Business

Major cannabis player moves from Seattle to Tampa

Illustration of a gold crown with green jewels and the peaks of the crown form marijuana leaves.

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios is crowning itself king of Florida's cannabis scene.

Driving the news: Just ahead of putting on the state's biggest cannabis-centric trade show, the wholesale cannabis and hemp marketplace tells Axios it's moving its company headquarters from Seattle to Tampa's Embarc Collective.

  • Kush recently acquired Tampa-based TradeCraft Origin, a cannabis brand strategy firm, and named its founder, John Lynch, Kush's new CEO.
  • Tech entrepreneur and investor Steve MacDonald, the company's new board chairman and a general partner in the Florida Funders VC, invested $2 million in Kush for its ongoing funding round, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: Kush will have a major grip on Florida's market if recreational marijuana becomes legal in the state.

  • The company, founded in 2014, already claims to be the country's largest business-to-business network of cannabis products and now it has TradeCraft's network of restaurant chains, beverage companies and retailers.

State of play: Florida has the country's largest medical cannabis market, with industry publication MJBiz projecting $1.3 billion-$1.5 billion in sales this year.

  • More than 700,000 medical marijuana patients are registered in the state as of April — more than double the number in early 2020.

What they're saying: "We think Tampa is the ideal choice now and for the future," Lynch told Axios. "Florida's role in the global cannabis industry will only become more significant."

  • " will be the most efficient, reliable route to market for CBD now, and a turnkey path to future THC market authority," MacDonald added.

What's next: The company's Kush Con takes over the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, with Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried as the keynote speaker.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that Steve MacDonald invested, not gave, $2 million in during its current funding round.


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