Aphria takes medical marijuana model to U.S. with $25 million investment in Florida

Medical marijuana producer Aphria Inc. is expanding into the lucrative U.S. market with an initial $25 million investment to set up shop in Florida, which recently legalized pot for medical use.

The foray is its first major step in a U.S. expansion strategy through a series of transactions. The result will be a new company called Liberty Health Sciences Inc., a subsidiary of Canadian Securities Exchange-listed SecureCom Mobile Inc. that will acquire Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, which is one of the seven companies licensed in Florida to dispense marijuana to patients.

The company, which will operate in the U.S. as Aphria USA, plans to expand into the 28 states that have legalized medical marijuana, it announced after markets closed Tuesday. It will also raise $35 million through a private placement.

“Now it’s time for the next chapter of the Aphria growth story,” said Vic Neufeld, Aphria’s chief executive officer, who...

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