Cannabis Company Ayr Said to Buy THC-Drink Maker Cultivauna

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Ayr Wellness Inc., a multistate cannabis company, plans to buy Cultivauna LLC, a maker of cannabis-infused seltzers and water-soluble tinctures, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans.

The transaction would give Ayr, which already sells cannabis in six states, access to a fast-growing segment of the industry: drinks that contain the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, known as THC. It would also expand the customer base for Cultivauna’s Levia brand, currently sold in Massachusetts.

The purchase would be for 100% of the equity interests in Cultivauna, including $10 million in cash and another $10 million in stock up front, with up to another $40 million if certain revenue targets are met, the person said.

Other companies that make beverages with THC include Los Angeles-based Cann, which earlier this year partnered with multistate operator Green Thumb Industries for distribution in Illinois and elsewhere. Canadian company Canopy Growth Corp. also has a deal with Acreage Holdings to sell its THC beverages in the U.S.

The acquisition, expected to close at year-end, comes as U.S. multistate operators struggle to build national brands given that marijuana is only legal in some U.S. states.

New York-based Ayr has a market capitalization of $1.5 billion. Its shares have jumped 18% this year.

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