Cannacurio #61: Privately Held MSOs – Who Are They & Where Can You Find Them?

Our research team is constantly scrutinizing licenses and the companies that own them. While many of the cannacurious industry watchers focus on the publicly held companies; there is a whole other tier of private companies that have been quietly acquiring licenses across state lines. We think this is where the cannaserious observers are spending their time. These companies are harder to track due to the lack of public filings, but the license information can tell an interesting story.

Since we launched our Cannabiz Intelligence™ product last year, we have been curating a variety of company indices to help customers unearth businesses they might not be aware of. This week, we are evaluating privately held MSOs, which we define as companies that have operations in at least two states and are not publicly traded.  

Key Findings

  • PharmaCann, Parallel, and Nectar Markets were the largest private MSOs we identified.
  • Holistic operates in 10 states while PharmaCann has facilities in nine states.
  • Massachusetts was the most popular state to have a foothold in with 17 private MSOs having a facility there. 


Here are the top 10 out of the 52 we are tracking. To make the top 10, these companies needed at least 23 facilities. The list is topped by two familiar names: PharmaCann and Parallel/Surterra. Parallel attempted to go public via a SPAC but that transaction fell apart.

Another measure of reach for these companies is the number states they operate in. Since entry into a state may require setting up a seed to sale investment, this is no small lift:

Finally, we took a look at all the states where one of these 52 MSOs had operations, and we found they covered 30 states. All totaled, we found 187 facilities held by these companies. The most populous states are below:

The biggest observation we came away with was the cluster of midwestern states on the list including Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. As our research continues, we’ll undoubtedly uncover more of these companies and their licenses. Customers to our Cannabiz Intelligence offering will have access to the entire list and so much more. Details here > 

About the Author

Ed Keating is a co-founder of Cannabiz Media and oversees the company’s data research and government relations efforts. He has spent his career working with and advising information companies in the compliance space. Ed has managed product, marketing, and sales while overseeing complex multijurisdictional product lines in the securities, corporate, UCC, safety, environmental, and human resource markets.  

At Cannabiz Media, Ed enjoys the challenge of working with regulators across the globe as he and his team gather corporate, financial, and license information to track the people, products, and businesses in the cannabis economy.  

Ed graduated from Hamilton College and received his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

Cannacurio is a weekly column from Cannabiz Media featuring insights from the most comprehensive license data platform. Catch up on Cannacurio posts and podcasts for the latest updates and intel.

Discuss On Twitter