A major player in Canada’s cannabis industry is acquiring one of only seven legal Florida medical marijuana cultivators through a complicated purchase that according to one analysis values a state cannabis license at close to $200 million.
Aphria, a publicly traded firm based out of Ontario, plans to invest $25 million in a shell that will purchase most or all of the assets of Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, the Alachua nursery that operates CHT Medical. Aphria, which is now expanding into the U.S. market, will combine its cash with $35 million raised through a private placement in order to purchase and operate the company.
That placement, at $2.08 a share, implies a market cap of $177 million and suggests Aphria’s investment — which includes a 3 percent royalty on sales, plus shares — is worth $67 million, according to an analysis by Canadian investment dealer Eight Capital. Once the deal is completed, Aphria will retain 37.6 percent ownership in the state’s newly formed operator, which will be known as Liberty Health Sciences and operate under the brand of Aphria USA.