John Boehner Can Score Big on Pot Deal With Legalized Weed

(Bloomberg) -- Life after politics is working out just fine for John Boehner.

The ex-U.S. House speaker is poised to collect $1.59 million in cash once shareholders approve Canopy Growth Corp.’s acquisition of Acreage Holdings Inc., regulatory filings show. If his former colleagues in Congress help make marijuana federally legal, he’d be eligible to receive Canopy shares worth about $16 million as of Thursday’s market close in exchange for his stake in Acreage.

Boehner, who left Congress in 2015, was appointed to Acreage’s board last year. He currently holds 625,000 shares in the New York-based cannabis company, some of which still haven’t vested. Restricted shares granted as compensation typically vest ahead of schedule in cases of a merger.

Canopy, based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, said Thursday it agreed to buy Acreage on the condition that the U.S. eventually legalizes marijuana for recreational use. It will make an upfront payment of $2.55 a share once the deal is cleared by investors and a Canadian court. If U.S. law is changed, Canopy will pay the remaining consideration in stock. Boehner would end up with about 364,000 Canopy shares in that situation.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who’s also an Acreage director, holds 210,000 shares and 280,000 stock options. The shares would yield him roughly $536,000 in cash if the deal is approved and Canopy stock worth about $5.4 million as of Thursday’s close. Mulroney’s daughter, Caroline, is the attorney general in Ontario and polices pot use in the province.

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