Verano Holdings LLC, VZL Staffing Services, LLC, and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, parents and owners (the “Company”) has instituted the following policy related to any biometric data that the Company possesses as a result of the Company's use of payroll, time and attendance software or other operations. 

Definitions:

“Biometric Data” includes “biometric identifiers” and “biometric information" as defined in the Illinois “Biometric Information Privacy Act, 740 ILCS § 14/1, et seq. 

“Biometric identifier” means a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or scan of hand or face geometry. Biometric identifiers do not include writing samples, written signatures, photographs, human biological samples used for valid scientific testing or screening, demographic data, tattoo descriptions, or physical descriptions such as height, weight, hair color, or eye color. Biometric identifiers do not include biological materials regulated under the Genetic Information Privacy Act, or information captured from a patient in a health care setting or information collected, used, or stored for health care treatment, payment, or operations under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

“Biometric information” means any information, regardless of how it is captured, converted, stored, or shared, based on an individual's biometric identifier used to identify an individual. Biometric information does not include information derived from items or procedures excluded under the definition of biometric identifiers.

Purpose for Collection:

The Company and its vendor(s) of payroll, time and attendance software collect, store, and use biometric data solely for employee identification and fraud prevention purposes.

Disclosure and Authorization

To the extent that the Company and the vendor(s) of the Company’s payroll, time and attendance software collect, capture, or otherwise obtain biometric data relating to an employee, the Company must first:

  1. Inform the employee in writing that the Company and/or its vendor(s) of the Company’s time and attendance software are collecting, capturing, or otherwise obtaining the employee’s biometric data, and that the Company may provide such biometric data to its vendor(s) of the Company’s payroll, time and attendance software.
  2. Inform the employee in writing of the specific purpose and length of time for which the employee’s biometric data is being collected, stored, and used. 
  3. Receive a written release signed by the employee (or his or her legally authorized representative) authorizing the Company and its vendor(s) of the Company’s time and attendance software to collect, store, and use the employee’s biometric data for the specific purposes disclosed by the Company, and for the Company to provide such biometric data to its vendor(s).
  4. The Company will not disclose, re-disclose or disseminate any biometric data to anyone other than its authorized vendors unless:
    1. the individual (or his/her legally authorized representative) provides consent to do so.
    2. required by State or Federal law or municipal ordinance.
    3. required pursuant to a valid warrant or subpoena.

The Company and the vendor of the Company’s time and attendance software will not sell, lease, trade, or otherwise profit from employees from the employees’ biometric data.

Retention Schedule

The Company shall retain any employee’s biometric data in the Company’s possession only until the first of the following occurs:

Data Storage

The Company shall use a reasonable standard of care to store, transmit, and protect from disclosure any paper or electronic biometric data collected. Such storage, transmission, and protection from disclosure shall be performed in a manner that is the same as or more protective than the manner in which the Company stores, transmits, and protects from disclosure other confidential and sensitive information, including personal information that can be used to uniquely identify an individual or an individual's account or property, such as genetic markers, genetic testing information, account numbers, PINs, driver's license numbers and social security numbers.

We’re proud to present our second annual list of the 100 most influential figures in the cannabis space.

The High Times 100 celebrates the 100 most influential people in the cannabis world. From entrepreneurs and activists to entertainers and cultivators, the women and men on this illustrious list are shaping the current cannabis industry. Learn more about the most influential people in marijuana in our second annual HT 100.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Sam Dorf, Esq.
Verano Holdings

A true people person and merit-based application strategist, Verano Holdings’ co-founder and chief growth officer’s strengths lie in building solid teams, creating strong alignments via funding and real-estate assets, and working with local governments to help organize strong applicants. Sam Dorf has raised over $140 million and has secured 19 licenses across eight states. To top it off, his charity supports woman’s shelters, domestic-abuse prevention, job creation and helping veterans in need.

See the complete list on High Times Website.

Sam Dorf, of Deerfield, is the co-founder of Verano Holdings, a Chicago-based marijuana company. (Courtesy of Verano Holdings)

Daniel I. DorfmanPioneer Press

Deerfield resident Sam Dorf is the co-founder and chief growth officer of Verano Holdings, a Chicago-based marijuana company that does business in multiple states.

Verano Holdings is preparing to merge with Harvest Health and Recreation later this summer. Dorf recently talked with Pioneer Press about his work in the cannabis industry as lawmakers in Springfield continue to weigh whether to legalize recreational marijuana use in Illinois.

Q: How did you become a part of the cannabis industry?

A: I was at John Marshall Law School and while I was there, one of my buddies was one of the first individuals who started a cannabis company in Colorado. I saw the medical benefits in the growing industry of the cannabis business, and I helped him raise funding and structure his company while I was in law school and watched the company expand in Colorado. I saw there was a big opportunity there to grow businesses and improve people’s lives.

Q: What kind of resistance do you still get from law enforcement or the public regarding cannabis?

A: As we go throughout the country now, as we are arguably the largest operator throughout the U.S., we get very little resistance. Any resistance that we do see is quickly overcome by education. It is a lack of education of what is a dispensary and what products are being sold and what is the security like. Once you start to educate the community that you are going into, they quickly see the benefits of not only the medical benefits of cannabis, but also the economic benefits of cannabis and the job creation. A lot of manufacturing has left the U.S. and we bring a lot of skilled jobs and skilled laborers to communities that are under-served. Once you explain what the company is, people adapt to it extremely quickly.

Q: What will your new role be in the new company?

A: It is a really a merger of the two companies and it is really going to be business as usual for us at Verano Holdings. We will help grow the public company and everything we desire.

Q: How do you see the business evolving over the next few years?

A: I think it is poised for explosive growth and I think where we stand today is where Canada stood 24 months ago as a march up to national legalization. I think this is going to be one of the largest industries in the U.S. It is full steam ahead.

Q: What do you enjoy about your work?

A: I enjoy growing a business and at the same time, helping people. If you stand at our dispensaries, you see that people are taking themselves off of opioid pills because of cannabis. There has never been an overdose death due to cannabis, and we are seeing a rapid decline in the states that allow for medical and recreational cannabis in opioid abuse and overdoses. That is the most satisfying thing for me as not only can I have a successful career, but I can help save lives at the same time.

Shout Out is a weekly feature in which we introduce our readers to their fellow community members and local visitors throughout suburban Chicago.

Daniel I. Dorfman is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

POINT ROBERTS, Wash. and DELTA, British Columbia, March 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Investorideas.com, a leading investor news resource covering hemp and cannabis stocks continues with our two part series on how the growing cannabis market is boosting ancillary markets, with part two focusing specifically on acquisitions in the cannabis sector.

According to a recent Forbes article, “most of the businesses growing, processing and selling cannabis across the United States are small independently-held entities. That may change in 2019 which looks like a big year for industry mergers, acquisitions and expansion. Large companies, like those in the food, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries have mostly stayed on the sidelines, held back by regulatory concerns, but are now expected to enter the market. The cannabis industry still has a mom and pop feel but that could change rapidly.”

Canopy Growth Corp. ( NYSE: CGC ) ( TSX: WEED ) is a strong example of one such larger company making acquisitions, having recently acquired AgriNextUSA, a hemp enterprise led by CEO, Geoff Whaling, that has been at the forefront of hemp advocacy and building a vibrant hemp sector in the US. The acquisition is expected to accelerate Canopy Growth’s entry into key American jurisdictions as regulations surrounding the full use of hemp as a crop implementation.

SinglePoint ( OTC: SING ), a company with a focus on acquiring companies that will benefit from the injection of growth capital and technology integration in mobile payments, ancillary cannabis services and blockchain solutions, has been very busy making recent acquisitions in Cannabis and most recently solar, all which could benefit their cannabis division was featured in Part One of this series.

The company offers mobile Web checkout gateway services which allow mobile users to purchase goods and services directly from Web-enabled mobile phones through credit or debit cards. It also sells hemp products through SingleSeed.com, supplies hydroponic supplies and nutrients to commercial and individual farmers through retail and online stores. SinglePoint, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Harvest Health and Recreation ( OTC: HRVSF ) ( CSE: HARV ) recently announced that it would buy competitor Verano Holdings for $850 million in an all-stock deal, marking the largest US cannabis deal to date. The combined company will be one of the country’s largest multi-state operators, presiding over as many as 200 facilities in 16 states.

Steve White, the co-founder and CEO of Harvest, commented on the state of the market in a recent CNBC article. “Presently, we’re in a phase that people are referring to it as a land grab,” White told CNBC’s ’Fast Money.’ “We plan on ... developing the largest retail footprint, the largest retail platform, in the United States, and with this acquisition, I think we’ve done that.”

Green Thumb Industries Inc. ( CSE: GTII ) ( OTC: GTBIF ) also recently announced the closing of the acquisition of For Success Holding Company, the Los Angeles-based creator of the lifestyle suite of Beboe branded cannabis products.

Beboe is the leader in luxury cannabis whose mission is to ‘destigmatize’ legal cannabis through heightened experience and education. Beboe is best known the thoughtful design aesthetic of its iconic rose gold vaporizing pens and edible pastilles, and each product is curated with a unique blend of socially dosed THC and CBD. Beboe is currently available in more than 125 retail locations in California and Colorado and via home delivery across California. In 2018, Beboe launched a direct-to-consumer hemp-derived CBD line of products and introduced several collaborations, including a CBD-infused drink with wellness brand Dirty Lemon.

In early 2019, Barneys New York announced an exclusive partnership with Beboe for a first-of-its-kind luxury cannabis lifestyle and wellness concept shop, “The High End.” The shop will debut at Barneys’ Beverly Hills flagship location in March, with plans to expand to additional locations in the near future. The collaboration includes exclusive, special edition packaging and a silver Beboe vaporizer pen in celebration of the project. With the acquisition by GTI, Beboe products will become available beyond California and Colorado with distribution in select markets.

This “land grab” momentum is expected to continue through 2019 as the cannabis sector expands and consolidates within its own sector and with its ancillary markets. This may mean that the companies making early acquisitions will have a much better chance of success in the market.

Part one The SunnySide of Cannabis; Cannabis Growth Boosts Solar Market; (TSX: $VFF.V) (OTC: $SING) (CSE: $HUGE.C) (CSE: $BGRD.C) https://www.investorideas.com/news/2019/renewable-energy/03211Cannabis-Solar.asp

For investors following cannabis stocks, Investor Ideas has created a stock directory of publicly traded CSE, TSX, TSXV, OTC, NASDAQ, NYSE, ASX Marijuana/Hemp Stocks

About Investorideas.com https://www.investorideas.com/About/

Follow us on Cannabis Social Media https://www.facebook.com/Investorideaspotcasts/https://twitter.com/MJInvestorIdeashttps://www.instagram.com/potcasts_investorideas/

Investorideas.com Disclaimer: Our site does not make recommendations for purchases or sale of stocks, services or products. Nothing on our sites should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. All investment involves risk and possible loss of investment. This site is currently compensated for news publication and distribution, social media and marketing, content creation and more. Contact each company directly regarding content and press release questions. Disclosure is posted for each compensated news release, content published /created if required but otherwise the news was not compensated for and was published for the sole interest of our readers and followers. More disclaimer info: https://www.investorideas.com/About/Disclaimer.asp. Disclosure: this news article featuring SING is a paid for news release on Investorideas.com. Learn more about costs and our services https://www.investorideas.com/News-Upload/ Additional info regarding BC Residents and global Investors: Effective September 15 2008 - all BC investors should review all OTC and Pink sheet listed companies for adherence in new disclosure filings and filing appropriate documents with SEDAR. Read for more info: https://www.bcsc.bc.ca/release.aspx?id=6894. Global investors must adhere to regulations of each country.

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Harvest Health’s $850 million acquisition of Verano positions the company as one of the preeminent multi-state operators

Harvest Health & Recreation is set to acquire Verano Holdings for the jaw-dropping price tag of $850 million, the largest single acquisition in cannabis history and the next step in Harvest’s vision of becoming the most valuable cannabis company in the world.

In March, the two companies entered into a binding agreement that, once finalized, will make Harvest a dominant force in the industry, with licenses to operate 200 cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and retail facilities in 16 states and territories across North America.

Harvest CEO Steve White calmly described the Verano acquisition as “just part of the evolution of the industry,” but experts and analysts said the blockbuster, all-stock deal is emblematic of the increasing competition to acquire licenses and expand retail footprints before federal policy changes open the floodgates for institutional investors.

“There is absolutely a race to beat the end of prohibition,” said Tom Zuber, managing partner of the law firm Zuber Lawler, which serves the global cannabis community.

Zuber said Harvest is taking advantage of the federal prohibition of marijuana, which has prevented major corporations from entering the U.S. cannabis industry.

Included in the acquisition is Verano’s potential cultivation canopy of 900,000 square feet. Photo courtesy Verano.

“When prohibition ends, a lot of deep pockets are going to enter the market — pharmaceutical companies, alcohol companies and so forth,” he added. “In that context, it will be much harder for smaller companies, and cannabis companies today are smaller companies. It’s going to be harder for them to compete.”

White said that scenario is exactly what Harvest is ready for.

“When large financial partners are prepared to come into the U.S. cannabis arena, we want to be their first choice,” White told Marijuana Venture.

After a flurry of acquisition deals, Harvest Health & Recreation has become one of the largest cannabis companies in the world, with licenses to operate in 16 states. Photo courtesy Harvest Health.

Dena Jalbert, the founder and CEO of Align Business Advisory Services, said mergers and acquisitions are the fastest vehicle for multi-state operators to expand. Most cannabis companies require a huge up-front investment to get licenses and build out facilities before an operation can generate revenue — a process that can take a significant amount of time and burn through a substantial amount of capital.

“An acquisition like this allows an organization to bypass all of that and immediately get access to all of the market,” Jalbert said of the Harvest-Verano deal.

Harvest and Verano set a deadline of April 9, 2019 to sign a definitive agreement and finalize the acquisition.

Harvest is “looking forward to integrating Verano’s people and assets as quickly as we can,” White said.

The companies agreed to a mutual termination fee of $20 million should either entity fail to enter the agreement.

“This (termination fee) is probably just doing due diligence on each other seeing if there are any undisclosed liabilities,” said attorney William Gay, a partner at Wilson Elser who has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions. “In this case, Harvest is the publicly traded company and Verano is private, so Harvest would be looking very closely at Verano because they haven’t been a recording company.”

Gay said the “stock-for-stock deal” is typical for publicly traded cannabis companies since federal laws in the U.S. prohibit both businesses from domestic banking transactions.

The $850 million price tag was based on Harvest’s share price of CAN $8.79. The acquisition is believed to be the largest to date in the U.S. cannabis industry, surpassing MedMen Enterprises’ acquisition of PharmaCann in an all-stock deal valued at $682 million.

Since going public in November 2018, Harvest (CSE: HARV; OTCQX: HRVSF) has made several high-profile acquisitions and expanded rapidly.

“Our pace is unlike any you’ve seen in this industry,” White said.

Within the past five months, Harvest acquired San Felasco Nurseries, a vertically integrated company in Florida, CBx Enterprises, a Colorado-based extraction and manufacturing company, and Falcon International, a California cannabis producer, processor and distributor.

The Verano acquisition will make Harvest the largest multi-state operator in the industry, based on the number of licenses held, according to the company. Harvest was already one of the biggest cannabis companies in the U.S., with more than 600 employees and licenses for 140 cannabis facilities. The company has grown steadily since opening its first dispensary in Arizona in 2011.

Verano Holdings was one of the largest privately owned cannabis companies in the U.S.

“This is a natural match between like-minded entrepreneurs who have built our companies from the initial facilities into two of the largest MSOs (multi-state operators) in the U.S., with an unwavering focus on operational excellence, superior quality products and service and delivering value to customers and shareholders,” Verano co-founder and CEO George Archos said in a press release announcing the deal. “Our growth and unique positioning in key markets allowed us to evaluate some of the largest players in the space, but we only had one unanimous choice for a major transaction and that was Harvest.”

Post-acquisition, Harvest plans to hire an additional 300 employees, which would bring the combined companies up to about 1,200. Harvest expects to have a total of 13 cultivation facilities, 13 manufacturing facilities and 70 dispensaries operational by the end of 2019. White said the company will continue acquiring other businesses as it moves forward with construction. Harvest has accrued enough capital to fund current and further expansions through 2020.

Since Harvest and Verano both have branded cannabis products in similar categories, it’s unclear what will happen to Verano’s brand identities, but White said he’s found the two companies’ assets to be complementary. For example, Verano has had more success with edibles and branding its flower, while Harvest has a wider range of vape pen lines.

“We anticipate being overly inclusive and really utilizing the distribution channels to push more brands in more places. … We think there is a place for almost everything under the umbrella,” White said.

Changes in Harvest’s executive leadership have not been announced, but White said the company plans to utilize acquired infrastructure as an East Coast hub for Harvest and continue operation of Verano’s nine Zen Leaf locations.

“Harvest is very smart in how it’s going about acquiring licenses,” Zuber said, pointing out that both Harvest and Verano appear to be very profitable. “That’s a sign of discipline.”

“I think one of the big opportunities here is that (Harvest is) picking up a proven team that has operational experience, grow experience and, on top of that, retail experience,” Jalbert said. “The thought leadership that you are acquiring — you can’t find people with this kind of institutional knowledge.”

Harvest CEO Steve White says Verano’s Illinois office will act as an East Coast hub for the multi-state operation. Photos courtesy Harvest.

Jalbert also said she believes a driving factor of the acquisition for Harvest was gaining access to Verano’s research and development and retail analytics, which could prove to be an invaluable resource in forecasting product trends and desired deliverables to consumers.

Gay said the organic R&D assets, such as genetics or any cannabis material, is much more limited in potential, because federally illegality forbids cannabis from being transferred across state lines.

“If Verano has technology in breeding or whatever it is that is of interest to Harvest, they are going to have to figure out how to do that without transferring any clones or seeds,” he said.

Although the cannabis industry remains a mine field of risks and uncertainty, experts agree the pace of consolidation is likely to accelerate.

“The mergers and the acquisitions that are happening right now are a sign that the cannabis industry is growing up,” Zuber said. “In some sense that will be good for consumers because there will be a sophistication of corporate leadership entering the market. It may ultimately reduce options for consumers, but overall I think that it’s a sign of good health in the sense that the cannabis industry is moving in the right direction. It’s maturing toward legalization and I find that to be a very good thing.”

The American cannabis chain Harvest Health & Recreation announced an acquisition today that could make it the industry’s largest retail license holder—with the right to open 123 retail dispensaries across 16 states and territories. Its Canada-listed stock jumped 18% on the morning’s news, to 10.15 Canadian dollars (US $7.57) on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

As cannabis restrictions fall in one state after another, a half dozen companies are racing to become the Starbucks of legal weed. Like Harvest, they must list their stocks in Canada, or with the OTC Markets Group , because the NYSE and Nasdaq won’t accept them as long as cannabis remains federally illegal.

The Phoenix-based Harvest (OTC ticker: HRVSF) will buy the privately held operator Verano, which is headquartered in Chicago, for stock that the companies valued at $850 million. Verano brings with it licenses for 37 retail locations and seven cultivation facilities. The acquisition announcement said that Verano is cash-flow positive.

“It’s a real big deal,” Harvest chief executive Steve White told Barron’s, “particularly if you’re concerned about profitability.”

The merger will add retail outlets in states where Harvest or Verano already have cultivation facilities, thereby enhancing the group’s margins.“We were profitable in Arizona. Then we became profitable in Nevada. Then we became profitable in Maryland and Pennsylvania,” said White. “So far, there hasn’t been a state where we haven’t been able to turn profitable quickly.

Verano also has a proprietary technology for extracting cannabis ingredients at pharmaceutical grade levels, said the companies.

“The combination with Verano fits perfectly with our vision of creating the world’s most valuable cannabis company,” said Jason Vedadi, Harvest’s executive chairman, in the release. Verano executives said they’d considered some of the largest players in the industry, before choosing Harvest as their acquirer.

The companies plan to discuss the deal in a conference call this afternoon.

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