Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Licensed Marijuana Producer Aphria Inc. Signs Deal to Buy Nuuvera Inc

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Licensed Marijuana Producer Aphria Inc. Signs Deal to Buy Nuuvera Inc

Article excerpt

Pot producer Aphria signs deal to buy Nuuvera

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TORONTO - Licensed marijuana producer Aphria Inc. has struck an $826-million deal to buy Nuuvera Inc. to fuel its international expansion efforts, marking the latest move by a Canadian cannabis company to extend its global reach while U.S. competition is kept at bay.

The cash-and-stock deal to buy the Toronto-based medical cannabis firm builds on a partnership between the companies as it combines Aphria's production with Nuuvera's expertise in cannabis processing and extraction.

Nuuvera, which is in the final stages under Health Canada's process to become a licensed marijuana producer, has business relationships in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, including a license to import medical cannabis to Italy for sales to domestic pharmacies.

"In all, this positions us to grow internationally and realize the potential of these emerging cannabis markets," Aphria chief executive Vic Neufeld told analysts on a conference call Monday.

Many Canadian licensed marijuana producers have been racing to international markets that have larger populations, and market demand, than at home.

The latest examples include Canopy Growth Corp.'s plans announced in December to establish a 40,000-square-metre production facility in the Danish city of Odense, with the aim of exporting product to other federally legal jurisdictions in the European Union. Meanwhile, Aurora Cannabis Inc. is also retrofitting a greenhouse in Odense and said announced earlier this month it won a tender to supply medical cannabis to the Italian government through the country's Ministry of Defence.

But the recent change in marijuana policy tone in the U.S., where pot remains illegal at the federal level, has further reinforced Canadian marijuana companies' advantage on the world stage -- for now.

In December, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo which suggested the federal government would not intervene in states where the drug is legal, opening up the door for several states to legalize pot for medical and recreational purposes. …

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