Cannabis giant Tilray announces $419-million purchase of world's largest hemp food company

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      A Nanaimo-based licensed cannabis company will soon be in a position to capitalize on the market for edibles once these products become legal.

      Tilray announced today that it has reached a tentative agreement to buy Manitoba Harvest in a deal valued at $419 million.

      Manitoba Harvest is the world's largest manufacturer of hemp-based food products.

      Its products include Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, Hemp Oil, Hemp Yeah! granola, Hemp Yeah! protein powder, and Hemp Bliss milk.

      After the deal closes, Tilray will have a major foothold in the natural-food industry and it's in a position to enhance Manitoba Harvest's expertise in working with cannabinoids.

      “Tilray’s acquisition of Manitoba Harvest is a milestone for the cannabis industry," Tilray president and CEO Brendan Kennedy said in a company news release. "It builds on the strategic partnerships we have formed with consumer brand industry leaders and demonstrates our track record of disrupting the global pharmaceutical, alcohol, CPG, and functional food and beverage categories."

      The Canadian government is expected to legalize edible cannabis-infused edible products by October 17, 2019.

      As of this writing, Tilray shares are up 4.24 percent this morning to US$80.30.