Los Angeles Times

LA pot retailer MedMen has 12 shops, a $1.6-billion valuation and, coming soon, Canadian stock

They used to be drug dealers. Then they became dispensaries. Now we have cannabis retailers that "seek to replicate the Apple store model" and give customers "a comfortable, informative and nonthreatening environment."

That's how Culver City firm MedMen describes its pot shops in documents submitted as part of the company's most audacious plan yet: to become the nation's most valuable public cannabis company, worth more than $1 billion.

It's a move that, perhaps even more than MedMen's sleek stores on Santa Monica Boulevard and New York's Fifth Avenue, illustrates how quickly cannabis is entering the mainstream - and how the nascent industry has captured investors' attention even as it remains relegated to the fringes of the financial world.

MedMen, which has yet to post a profit, is not staging a traditional initial public offering. Instead, it's acquiring and taking over an existing public shell. What's more, the company's shares, when they begin trading in the coming days, won't be listed on the Nasdaq

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