December 21, 2017 / 1:15 PM / a year ago

Aphria bets C$10 mln on Canada's recreational marijuana market

Dec 21 (Reuters) - Medical marijuana maker Aphria Inc said on Thursday it would invest C$10 million ($7.80 million) in the proposed combination of two recreational marijuana companies to expand its presence in the sector.

Recreational marijuana is on track to be legalized in Canada by July 2018, making Canada the first Group of Seven country to allow the drug nationwide and the second in the world after Uruguay.

The merger between privately-held TS BrandCo Holdings Inc and British Columbia-based DOJA Cannabis Co Ltd was announced earlier in the day by the two companies.

The combined entity, to be called Hiku Brand Co Ltd, will have seven cannabis accessory stores across Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia in Canada.

Aphria’s latest investment is in addition to C$1 million that it had invested in TS BrandCo. It has also invested in companies based in Florida and Arizona.

Canada’s TMX Group Ltd, operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, said in October it might delist stocks of marijuana companies with interests in the United States, where their operations are illegal under federal law. ($1 = 1.2824 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Akshara P in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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