Canopy Growth head talks U.S. expansion plans after $5B investment


TORONTO — The head of Canopy Growth is talking more aggressively about expansion in the United States, if and when the drug becomes legal there, a day after the marijuana producer announced a $5-billion infusion of cash.

Chief executive Bruce Linton says he has lined up an option to acquire a “humongous” greenhouse in California as part of a broader strategy to enter the U.S. market quickly, even though the drug is currently illegal at the federal level.

He says the company is eyeing states that are major markets for consumer packaged goods companies, such as Florida, Texas and California — and not necessarily the states where cannabis is currently legal.

Linton was speaking on stage and on the sidelines of Marijuana Business Daily’s industry conference in Toronto.

His comments come one day after Constellation Brands, whose products include Corona Beer and Kim Crawford wines, made a landmark $5 billion investment into Canopy, making the Smiths Falls, Ont.-based producer its exclusive cannabis partner.

Linton has said the $5 billion in capital will be used to fuel Canopy’s accelerated global growth as it gears up to fend off competition from big pharma, big tobacco, consumer packaged goods companies and alcohol firms making forays into the pot space.

The Canadian Press