Cannabis giant Tilray to acquire the world’s largest hemp food company

Tilray’s stock shot up 4.5% after its announcement to acquire the world’s largest hemp food company.

February 21, 2019

Canadian marijuana giant Tilray said it has entered into a “definitive agreement” to acquire Manitoba Harvest — the largest hemp food company in the world — for up to $318m.

This will be Tilray’s largest acquisition to date, a deal that gives the company access to a wide arsenal of food products that are currently pushed throughout 16k stores in the US and Canada.

Tilray is on a rampage

The Vancouver-based Tilray began trading on the Nasdaq in July, becoming the first cannabis company to go public in the US. Since then, the company has feverishly sped up the burn on its business partnerships. 

In December, Tilray announced a partnership with a division of the Swiss drug giant Novartis AG to commercialize its non-smokable cannabis products — and Tilray didn’t stop there.

In January, the company said it hopes to acquire cannabis cultivator Natura Naturals so it can further expand its infrastructure to supply its high-end products to the Canadian market.

Hemp helps

Tilray stock was up 4.5% yesterday after the company announced its cash-and-stock deal for Manitoba Harvest. Even more impressively, the company’s stock has skyrocketed 165% in the past year.

Manitoba Chief Executive Bill Chiasson told MarketWatch the current plan is to introduce a line of CBD-infused liquid extracts (including a CBD spray and CBD gel caps) in the US as early as this summer.

Other hemp-curious marijuana producers saw a jump as well: Aurora Cannabis, which is also investing in hemp, saw its shares rise 1.5%

Legal… with a caveat

Hemp is hot right now. But while it was legalized in the recent farm bill, the legality is still unclear.

CBD remains under the eye of the FDA, which has issued initial guidelines that say companies must get pre-approval before selling products with CBD in them — a stipulation both Tilray and Manitoba Harvest plan to adhere to. 

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