Ionic Gobbles Up Zoots in $11m Deal

Washington-based cannabis firm Ionic Brands Corp. has bolstered its portfolio by completing an $11 million deal to purchase edibles producer Zoots.

Ionic already has the number one vape brand in Washington State and it has expanded into Nevada, Oregon, and California. Zoots products are already sold at licensed marijuana retailers in Illinois, Washington, Colorado, and Massachusetts, so the deal furthers Ionic’s ambition of becoming a leading multi-state cannabis concentrate supplier.

“Our top-rated Ionic vaporizer pen targets consumers interested in luxury cannabis products that can be discreetly consumed, which makes Zoots edibles a natural fit for our brand strategy,” said Ionic Brands chairman and chief executive John Gorst.

Brothers Dan, Michael, and Patrick Devlin founded Zoots in a bid to become the Johnnie Walker of the cannabis industry, targeting the “lower end of premium” and “normalizing” it for Americans. The brothers gained a tier-two producer license and a processor license in 2014 and set about growing marijuana and creating edibles at a facility in Seattle.

The initial portfolio included single-shot beverages, drink additives, chews, bites, and melts, all infused with THC for the adult-use market, with a particular focus on the older generations. By 2015, the firm employed 35 people and sold its products to 123 stores, and the business has continued to grow.

Popular lines include ZootDrops Yipee Ki-Yay Blend and Kick Back Blend, ZootBites Kooki Dough Blondies, ZootBites Caramel Espresso Brownies, and ZootBlast Drink. They have listings at dispensaries in Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto, and Detroit, among other cities.

The dosage can be as low as 5mg of THC per product, to allow consumers to moderate their usage.

Ionic feels that consumers are looking for an easy way to consume cannabis, and that Zoot products fit the bill perfectly.

The deal includes $855,000 in cash and 9,635,150 common shares of Ionic, while it will also assume $600,000 of Zoots’ outstanding debt. It will also issue 4.8 million share purchase warrants to Zoots shareholders, which are exercisable over the next three years.

Dan Devlin will continue as chief operating officer.

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Martin Green
Martin Green is an experienced journalist with a strong focus on the cannabis, alcohol, and gambling industries. He is particularly interested in the political issues affecting the global marijuana trade, and he has a keen focus on regulation changes and legal topics. He holds a BA English Literature, MA Creative Writing and a National Qualification in Journalism diploma. He has worked in journalism since 2009 and written for a broad range of newspapers, business titles and magazines, including The Sun, The Metro, The Journal, Livestrong, Drinks Retailing News, Harpers, Sportsbook Review, Vital Football, Essex Live and Surrey Live. Address: 682 Indian Road, Toronto, Ontario, M6P 2C9. Phone: 416-721-8257.
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