State regulators vow review of Warren County marijuana grower sale to Canadian investment firm

Warning message

The subscription service is currently unavailable. Please try again later.
Twitter icon

State officials promised a full regulatory review of the proposed purchase of medical marijuana company Etain Health, which has a dispensary in Ulster and a growing operation in Chestertown, near Lake George, by a Canadian cannabis acquisition and investment firm RIV Capital for $247 million.

“As per New York’s Cannabis Law, this proposed transaction, with respect specifically to the registration held by Etain in the State of New York, will undergo a regulatory review and approval process after a complete and adequate application is submitted,” state Office of Cannabis Management Spokesperson Freeman Klopott said last week.

Jen Metzger, a former state senator from Rosendale who is a member of the Cannabis Control Board, said that Etain's medical license is not automatically transferable to a new entity and would be subject to review by the Cannabis Control Board. She added it was too early to comment further on the acquisition just one day after the sale.

RIV announced on March 30 that it was buying the women-owned Westchester-based firm from Amy, Hillary and Keeley Peckham. Etain was one of the first five firms to receive a medical marijuana license in New York state. It is one of just 10 approved vertically integrated operators in New York, according to RIV Capital, meaning that it is involved in every aspect of the product chain. Etain also operates dispensaries in Manhattan, Yonkers and Syracuse.

The publicly-traded Toronto-based investment firm RIV has major backing by "The Hawthorne Collective," a wholly-owned subsidiary of multinational lawn care and garden fertilizer giant Scotts Miracle Gro. RIV said it will receive $25 million from Hawthorne at the time of the closing of the transaction on top of a $150 million investment Hawthorne made in RIV in summer 2021. RIV said it's set to receive another $40 million from Hawthorne at a future date.

The sale of Etain to RIV, comes at a time when officials and lawmakers have touted the law's social and economic equity provisions.

Metzger told the Freeman in December that under the law, 50 percent of the licenses must be awarded to social and economic equity applicants.

Metzger said in December that the new law allows for nine different types of licenses to be issued. She said at that time the board was still working on defining what those licenses are and the criteria one must meet to receive a particular license.

RIV Capital said in a press release on March 30 that it pledged to “strengthen and expand the company’s presence in New York” by opening four new dispensary locations and supporting the construction of a “new state-of-the-art flagship indoor cultivation facility, tailored to specifically address the premium New York market.”

e-mail icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon Reddit icon
Rate this article: 
Article category: 
Regional Marijuana News: