(Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune file via AP)

Canadian firm iAnthus makes $17.3M bid for spot in New York medical marijuana industry

A publicly traded Canadian firm that┬áhas hopscotched across America making deals for cannabis companies now plans to acquire a firm poised to become one of New York’s 10 medical marijuana licensees.

Toronto-based iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc. (CSE: IAN) signed a letter of intent to buy Valley Agriceuticals LLC for $17.3 million in a mostly stock transaction, iAnthus announced Monday morning. Under the terms of the agreement, iAnthus will pay $2.3 million in cash and $15 million in common shares of its common stock, priced at $2 per share.

Upon closing the deal, iAnthus will have operations in five states: Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York and Vermont.

Related: iAnthus buys Colorado’s Organix LLC for nearly $4.4 million

iAnthus is playing suitor to an operator that has striven to stay a step ahead of the gradually developing New York medical marijuana market. Valley Ag, which has a team of growers with experience in Israel and California, broke ground on its New York cultivation facility in June 2015 just days after submitting its medical marijuana application, the (Middletown, N.Y.) Times Herald-Record reported at the time.

The company has received conditional approval from the state of New York, officials said, adding that they anticipate receiving final approval by the summer.

Valley Ag’s initial plan is to expand its 6,500-square-foot cultivation facility on the 136-acre site with a 14,500-square-foot hybrid greenhouse, officials said in the announcement. The first crop is slated for early 2018.