Marijuana stock Aphira jumps as global Markets plunge

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According to the rumor mill, Marlboro’s parent company is in talks with Canadian grower Aphira

Global markets plunged and major United States indices dropped during mid-week trading. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped over 800 points. While Canadian stock prices fell as well, one Canadian marijuana stock jumped over 15 percent.

Aphria Inc. TSE: APH, a Canadian medical marijuana grower that boasts “the most natural growing conditions available” for its products, stood out among stocks due to a rumored deal. The company is reportedly in talks with Altira Group Inc., the parent company of Philip Morris and maker of leading cigarette brands including Marlboro.

The first to report on possible talks between the two companies was The Globe and Mail, which quoted an anonymous source on Wednesday. Like other unconfirmed reports on marijuana stock, it was careful to say the deal was not final and could possibly fall through.

However, optimistic investors took the news that Alphira had met with Altira leadership as a queue. The two companies reportedly met as recently as Monday to discuss a deal similar to the one between beverage giant Constellation Brands and marijuana grower Canopy Growth.

Altria’s portfolio is primarily focused on tobacco products, an industry in steady decline. According to the rumor mill, Altira seeks to expand its portfolio away from tobacco products and into less harmful markets.

The Virginia-based Altria currently has a $119 billion market cap. The news brought a temporary spike in Altira stock of two percent, though it fell back to end Wednesday at 0.3 percent. Aphira share prices rose 15 percent to reach CAD$20.06 in late-day trading.