With recreational cannabis usage now green lit in 11 separate states and 33 allowing some form of medical use, multi-state operators such as Cresco Labs (CSE: CL; OTCQX: CRLBF) are looking to expand ahead of new legalization efforts in the 2020 elections. 

Today the Chicago-based company received regulatory approval to expand into New York by acquiring the membership interests of Gloucester Street Capital, LLC. 

The deal, expected to close later this month, will take place through a merger between an indirect subsidiary of Cresco and Gloucester – which is the parent company of Valley Agriceuticals. 

Snapping up the medical cannabis entity Valley Agriceuticals nets Cresco an existing license to operate four dispensary locations and a grow site, which was previously granted by the New York State Department of Health. 

Cresco’s Chief Executive Officer Charles Bachtell issued this statement about the importance of expanding in the state: 

As the holder of one of only 10 vertically integrated businesses licenses in New York, Cresco Labs will make a significant impact in this influential market projected to grow to $500 million by 2022, according to Arcview/BDS Analytics. In virtually all consumer-related sectors and industries, New York is viewed as the most important market in the world.

New York remains a medical marijuana-only state after a bill to legalize recreational adult usage died back in June. Talks over the bill stalled when representatives and the governor’s office couldn’t reach an agreement over cannabis tax revenue. 

Despite that setback, a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession passed and was signed into law by governor Cuomo last month. 

Like many pot stocks in both the U.S. and Canada, Cresco’s trading price has been on a roller coaster ride in the past year even in the face of consistent growth, hitting a high of $13.21 back in April but currently down to $7.88 as of Friday afternoon. 

In an effort to increase stockholder confidence and lure in new customers who haven’t considered cannabis usage before, Cresco is now launching the Sunnyside* line of dispensaries. That new retail outlet experience is tailored towards offering information to customers with no marijuana knowledge and will first launch in Philadelphia before moving to Arizona, Florida, and other U.S. states. 

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