Canopy Growth (CGC - Get Report) shares were rising in trading Thursday after its proposed $3.4 billion merger with U.S. cannabis company Acreage Holdings  (ACRGF)  was approved by shareholders of both companies. 

The companies said they hope to complete the first stage of the deal this month, but the full deal won't become official until the U.S. legalizes cannabis on the federal level. 

In the meantime, Canopy will make a $300 million cash payment to Acreage stockholders, but not to the company itself. 

"On behalf of Canopy Growth, I thank the shareholders of both companies for their vote of confidence in this historic transaction," said Bruce Linton, chairman and CEO of Canopy Growth. "Completion of the transaction is intended to position us to efficiently and effectively enter the U.S. cannabis market once federally permissible. Alongside our international market strategies and U.S. hemp strategy, we believe the acquisition of Acreage will be a key step in bolstering our position as a truly global company."

Canopy was up 0.54% to $43 per share ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings release, scheduled for after the closing bell Thursday. Analysts are expecting the company to report a loss of 24 cents per share on revenue of $90.6 million.