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Cannabis seedlings are seen at Aurora’s Montreal facility on Nov. 24, 2017.

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. has won the necessary support for its takeover of CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. in what would be the largest marijuana takeover yet, according to people familiar with the matter.

Aurora, which runs its operations out of Edmonton, Alberta, agreed to acquire CanniMed Therapeutics in a sweetened offer worth C$1.23-billion ($950-million) in January, after its smaller rival originally rebuffed its efforts to acquire the company.

Aurora jumped 0.70 per cent to C$11.82 as of 9:54 a.m. in Toronto. CanniMed rose .20 per cent to C$40.29, for a market value of C$992-million.

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More than two-thirds of CanniMed shareholders have tendered their shares ahead of the Friday deadline, clearing the way for the cash and stock deal, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the matter is private.

"We are still satisfying material conditions of the transaction and we have an outside date of March 9 and we are going to beat that," said Aurora spokesman Cam Battley.

A representative for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based CanniMed didn't return requests for comment.

The takeover comes amid a volatile time for Canadian cannabis stocks, with shares sliding from highs in early January. The industry has also seen a wave consolidation as companies seek to gain market share before sales become legal sometime after July.

Aphria Inc. agreed in January to buy Nuuvera Inc., a global cannabis company based in Brampton, Ontario, for about C$826-million in cash and stock.

(Updates with additional details in paragraph two, share prices in three.)

The federal government now says legal marijuana won’t be available for sale before August. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says once the Senate holds a final vote by June 7, provinces will need eight to 12 weeks to prepare. The Canadian Press
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