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It wasn’t so long ago that Verano Holdings, an Illinois cannabis company with properties in several states, was looking to join up with Arizona marijuana juggernaut Harvest Health and Recreation. The proposed $850 million merger between the two firms would have created one of the largest cannabis companies in the U.S.

But the deal fell through last March, amid concerns about the pandemic as well as regulatory hurdles.

Post-legalization, though, Verano has been making big moves in Arizona, pushing into the market on its own via a steady stream of acquisitions.

The latest was announced last week. The company will acquire the rights to manage Local Joint, the east Phoenix dispensary located at 4201 E. University Drive, from its current manager, Flower Launch LLC. According to a release from Verano, it was a $17 million transaction — $13.5 million in cash, and another $3.5 million in stock. The deal is expected to close in the next few months.

That’s in addition to the four

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