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Major cannabis player moves from Seattle to Tampa

florida

Kush.com is crowning itself king of Florida's cannabis scene.

Driving the news: Just ahead of putting on the state's biggest cannabis-centric trade show, the wholesale cannabis and hemp marketplace tells Axios it's moving its company headquarters from Seattle to Tampa's Embarc Collective. Kush recently acquired Tampa-based TradeCraft Origin, a cannabis brand strategy firm, and named its founder, John Lynch, Kush's new CEO.

Tech entrepreneur and investor Steve MacDonald, the company's new board chairman and a general partner in the Florida Funders VC, gave $2 million to Kush's ongoing funding round, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: Kush will have a major grip on Florida's market if recreational marijuana becomes legal in the state. The company, founded in 2014, already claims to be the country's largest business-to-business network of cannabis products and now it has TradeCraft's network of restaurant chains, beverage companies and retailers.

State of play: Florida has the country's largest medical cannabis market, with industry publication MJBiz projecting $1.3 billion-$1.5 billion in sales this year. More than 700,000 medical marijuana patients are registered in the state as of April — more than double the number in early 2020.

What they're saying: "We think Tampa is the ideal choice now and for the future," Lynch told Axios. "Florida's role in the global cannabis industry will only become more significant. "Kush.com will be the most efficient, reliable route to market for CBD now, and a turnkey path to future THC market authority," MacDonald added.

What's next: The company's Kush Con takes over the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, with Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried as the keynote speaker.

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