Cannabis stocks take a hit early Wednesday but perk up; Aphria rockets on news that it is reportedly in talks with tobacco powerhouse Altria to acquire equity stake

Aphria shares rocketed up after the Globe and Mail reported that Marlboro maker Altria Group is in talks for a stake in the Canadian cannabis producer

The maker of Marlboro cigarettes is reportedly in talks to acquire an equity stake in Aphria Inc, according to the Globe and Mail

Wednesday started off in the red for cannabis stocks, but turned around by afternoon, buoyed by reports that tobacco powerhouse Altria Group (NYSE:MO) is in talks for a minority stake in Aphria Inc (TSE:APH) (OTCMKTS: APHQF) according to reports in the Globe and Mail. 

Shares of Aphria rocketed up 15.2% at C$20.06 in Toronto and up 14.1% at US$15.29 in New York. 

According to reports in the Globe, Altria and Aphria's management have met on a number of occasions, with the most recent talks arranged on Monday. 

READ: Tobacco powerhouse Altria in talks to acquire equity stake in Canadian cannabis grower Aphria, says The Globe and Mail

Other Wednesday winners included Tilray Inc, which was up 6.1% at US$136.80. 

Cannabis company MariMed Inc (OTCQB: MRMD) shares dropped 9.9% at US$4.10 on Wednesday. 

The company recently completed its investment in Sprout, a customer relations manager and marketing software company for the cannabis industry.

Shares of MedMen Enterprises Inc (CSE:MMEN) (OTCQB:MMNFF) also dropped Wednesday after it announced it signed an agreement to acquire a licensed dispensary from Berkeley Patients Group in Emeryville, California.

READ: MedMen Enterprises signs deal for cannabis dispensary in California

“California is the world’s largest legal cannabis market,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen's CEO and co-founder. “We are very proud of the footprint we’ve already established in our home state and look forward to expanding our reach to all corners of the Golden State, starting with our first store in Northern California.”

The North American Marijuana Index, comprised of the leading cannabis stocks in the U.S. and Canada, was on the decline down 6.5% at US$315.06.

Contact Katie Lewis at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @kelewis

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