Aphria strikes deal with Southern Glazer’s on cannabis distribution

LEAMINGTON, Ont. — Aphria Inc. says it has reached a deal that will see Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits become its exclusive distributor of recreational cannabis products in Canada.

The Leamington, Ont.-based cannabis producer says Southern Glazer’s new Canadian subsidiary Great North Distributors, which will focus specifically on cannabis products, will represent the company when recreational use is legalized.

Aphria says the deal with Southern Glazer’s, one of North America’s largest wine and spirits distributors, will give it coverage of all cannabis retailers across Canada on the first day of legal adult-use sales.

The deal comes as cannabis producers have been looking to strike agreements with distributors and firm up space with retailers as legalization in Canada approaches.

Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced in February it would buy a 20 per cent stake in retailer Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd., which changed its name last week to Alcanna Inc. to reflect it now has alcohol and cannabis divisions.

Canopy Growth Corp. reached a deal last fall with Constellation Brands that saw the alcohol supplier invest $245 million for a 10 per cent stake in Canopy, and the two partner on marketing and product development.

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