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The acquisitions are part of Alliance One's efforts to branch out into higher-margin, fast-growing agricultural projects

Ron Ward/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A U.S. tobacco leaf merchant has acquired majority stakes in a PEI licensed medical marijuana producer and a cannabis company that is developing indoor growing operations in Ontario.

Alliance One International Inc., based in North Carolina, says its subsidiary Canadian Cultivated Products acquired a 75 per cent equity position in Charlottetown-based Canada's Island Garden last month.

The publicly held tobacco supplier says its subsidiary last month also acquired an 80 per cent stake in Goldleaf Pharm Inc., a medical marijuana license applicant which is building a roughly 1,850 square metre growing facility in Ontario.

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Alliance One chief executive Pieter Sikkel says the acquisitions, for undisclosed amounts, are part of the company's efforts to branch out into higher-margin, fast-growing agricultural products such as cannabis.

It marks another move by a U.S. company to tap the Canadian cannabis industry as the country prepares to legalize marijuana for recreational use later this year.

In October, Corona-beer maker Constellation Brands inked a deal to acquire a nearly 10 per cent stake in licensed medical marijuana producer Canopy Growth Corp. for $245-million.

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