Tilray, Aphira Surge on Report of Merger Talks

Combined cannabis company would likely move headquarters to U.S.
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Shares of cannabis company Tilray Inc.   (TLRY) - Get Report surged in after-hours trading Tuesday after a report saying the company is in advanced merger talks with Aphria Inc.   (APHA) - Get Report.

An announcement of a deal could come as soon as Wednesday, CNBC’s Sara Eisen tweeted, following a report on Bloomberg Canada. Both companies are headquartered in Canada.

The merged company would keep the Tilray name, while Aphria shareholders would retain a larger stake and a majority of the board seats, according to the report. The combined operation would likely move its headquarters to the U.S. as it pursues increased market share, according to the report.  

Marijuana legalization efforts have continued to advance in the U.S. in recent years. measures to legalize recreational or medicinal use won voter approval in all five states where they appeared on the ballot in November. 

Tilray stock gained $1.41, or 18%, to $9.28 in after-hours trading. 

Aphria shares rose $1.21, or 15%, to $9.33.

Cannabis stocks were mostly higher Tuesday on an up day for Wall Street. Among notable cannabis stocks, 11 rose while 3 fell.

Hexo Corp.  (HEXO) - Get Report shares rose 8 cents, or 7.92%, to $1.09.

GW Pharmaceuticals ADRs  (GWPH) - Get Report fell $4.27, or 3.52%, to $116.95.

The Alternative Harvest ETF  (MJ) - Get Reportrose 41 cents, or 2.77%, to $15.20.

The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF  (YOLO) - Get Report rose 28 cents, or 1.73%, to $16.48.

The Horizon Marijuana Life Sciences ETF  (HMLSF) rose 10.12 cents, or 1.56%, to $6.59.

Large-cap stocks with notable cannabis initiatives were mixed.

Anheuser-Busch InBev ADRs  (BUD) - Get Report rose 74 cents, or 1.06%, to $70.74.

Scotts Miracle-Gro  (SMG) - Get Report shares fell $2.31, or 1.2%, to $190.00.

The S&P 500 index rose 47.13 points, or 1.29%, to 3,694.62.