In a move to reduce its investments in the United States, Aphria Inc. has inked a deal to sell part of its stake in Liberty Health Sciences Inc. While the Leamington, Ont.-based company has decided to sell 26.7 million shares at a price of $1.25 per share, it will continue to retain a 28.1 percent interest in Liberty. As part of the transaction, 80 percent of the shares will be held by the Serruya family and the remaining 20 percent will be held by Delavaco Capital. The agreement comes days after Aphria signed $20 million deal to sell its minority holdings in Copperstate Farms, an Arizona-based cannabis company, to Liberty for $16.4 million USD.
In a statement by Aphria’s Chief Executive Officer Vic Neufeld, “While I continue to believe there is tremendous opportunity in the U.S. for medical cannabis, the sale of these shares serve the best interests of our shareholders.”
Move to comply with guidelines
The decision was taken to comply with mandates from TMX Group Ltd. that runs the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). According to the TMX group, any company doing business in states where cannabis is legal that doesn’t comply with its listing requirements could face delisting. In October last year, the TSX released guidelines indicating that companies doing marijuana-related business activities including cultivation, distribution or possession in the U.S. was not in accordance with the requirements set by the Exchange.
According to the TMX Group, since federal law classifies marijuana as an illegal substance, it makes all marijuana operations in the country illegal and those in violation could face consequences. To save the company’s future, Aphria decided to divest itself of direct operations and sell its stocks. In a separate deal, Aphria has decided to buy its rival Nuuvera Inc. for $670 million to expand its operations globally. The decision comes ahead of Canada’s proposed legalization of recreational marijuana by mid 2018. The deal will enable Aphria to utilize Nuuvera’s network in countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, the U.K. and Uruguay to create an international footprint.
While 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia currently have laws that broadly legalize marijuana in some form (medical or recreational), it still remains illegal under federal law. One of the most commonly used illicit drugs by Americans, cannabis is known to alleviate certain medical conditions and considered to be effective in treating chronic pain. However, the drug’s long-term use and abuse can have disastrous effects on an individual’s physical and mental health. Whether smoked, brewed or eaten, regular use can lead to psychosis, lung damage, memory loss and brain abnormalities. Owing to the drug’s addictive nature and the associated painful withdrawal symptoms, it is advisable to seek professional treatment at certified rehab centers.
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A leading substance abuse rehab center in Texas, Sovereign Health of El Paso, offers highly personalized and cutting-edge treatment in a safe and peaceful environment. The recovery plan at this state-of-the-art center may combine detox with various behavioral therapies, including, but not limited to, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), neurofeedback, and individual, group, and family therapy.
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