NEW YORK, USA — One of the largest fully integrated operators in the global cannabis industry, Columbia Care Inc., with licenses across the US and EU, announced that it is one of 14 entities chosen by the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) to dispense medical cannabis in the state. Applicants were evaluated through a rigorous review and selection process, which, according to the UDOH, included a range of criteria such as prior experience in the medical cannabis industry, the ability to ensure safety and security of cardholders, engagement with the local community and an overall strategic plan considered to have a high likelihood of success.
Utah is one of the fastest growing and most popular states in the US with a current population of over 3.2 million residents and over 19 million visitors annually. The combination of the highly regulated, limited license program and a significant total addressable market make Utah a highly attractive, business-friendly environment. Columbia Care’s Springville dispensary is ideally located in the “Art City” within Utah County, the second-most populous county in the state, just 45 minutes from Salt Lake City and its surrounding area, providing the Company with access to over 80 percent of the state’s residents.
Through its Springville location, Columbia Care will introduce its differentiated, patient-centric experience designed to educate and serve those looking for high-quality, plant-based solutions to meet their unmet medical needs.
With ongoing operations in Arizona and California, as well as its recent acquisition of The Green Solution in Colorado, Columbia Care’s newest market complements and strengthens its regional presence and allows the Company to leverage its existing infrastructure, personnel and know-how to achieve scale seamlessly and efficiently. Additionally, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Utah ranks among the top 15 in opioid prescribing states per capita, and in 2017 experienced 15.5 opioid-related deaths per 100,000 persons.
Through its 100 million Ways to Break the Opioid Crisis initiative, Columbia Care is dedicated and committed to providing safe, natural alternatives for opioids to patients throughout the state. Pending final regulatory approvals, Columbia Care’s anticipates opening its Springville location later this year.
“Utah represents the 14th market that Columbia Care has been awarded through a competitive application process, reflecting the proficiency of our local advisory board partners and our pursuit and development teams and allowing the Company to build one of the largest and most scalable US MSO footprints while efficiently allocating its resources through continued organic growth,” said Nicholas Vita, chief executive officer at Columbia Care. “Our ability to meaningfully engage with local communities to understand their unmet needs and identify ways in which we can best serve them is a key component to our application process, as Columbia Care aims to operate in markets where it can make a positive difference in the lives of its residents. We are delighted to continue to build our national scale in a profitable, capital-efficient and shareholder-friendly manner.”
As the Utah medical program continues to develop, Columbia Care anticipates offering its premium suite of services designed to differentiate the Columbia Care patient experience, including its proprietary CNC credit card, the nation’s first legal credit card for cannabis purchases, and its home delivery service “CC@Home.” For more information on the Utah Medical Cannabis Program, please visit: https://medicalcannabis.utah.gov/.