Valuing a Medical Marijuana Grow

The medical marijuana market in Pennsylvania does not go live until, at the earliest, January 2018. However, the applicants for permits were required to develop business plans based on pro forma projections without having any “actual” information about marijuana sales in the market in which they intend to operate. Actual sales information from other states may be a useful proxy, but not necessarily a completely reliable one because of the differences in the regulations that define the marijuana markets in each state. A good example of the challenge in valuing a cannabis business is the recent proposal by Franklin Labs, which obtained one of 12 permits to grow cannabis in PA, to sell its permit for $20,000,000 months before the PA market goes live.