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On the Road Again: Willie Nelson's Cannabis Brand Headed Up to Canada

One of Colorado’s largest recreational pot companies is planning to bring Willie Nelson’s marijuana brand to Canada and go public in Toronto.

LivWell Enlightened Health LLC is planning a series of deals that include taking over management of a Calgary-based cannabis firm and a reverse takeover of investment company Target Capital Inc., the companies said Monday.

It is also changing its name to LivWell International and striking a side deal that will give it perpetual distribution rights in Canada to Willie’s Reserve, the U.S. country singer’s namesake marijuana brand, they said.

The transactions were first reported by Bloomberg News.

On the Road Again: Willie Nelson's Cannabis Brand Headed Up to Canada

LivWell is expected to have an enterprise value of about C$300 million ($228 million) after going public, according to people familiar with the deal. The Denver-based company has about 500 employees and generates about $80 million in annual sales from marijuana growing, processing and retailing, according to its website.

The deals will bring one of the best-known American marijuana brands to Canada, while continuing a trend of U.S. pot companies heading to Toronto to tap investor demand for weed stocks. With U.S. law curbing its ability to expand globally, listing in Canada will give LivWell access to international markets.

The company already had a toehold in Canada through a stake in Calgary-based 51st Parallel. LivWell is taking over management of 51st, which is raising C$50 million, completing the takeover of Target Capital, and buying a $20 million stake in GCH Inc., the owner of Nelson’s weed brands.

The GCH deal will give LivWell 12 percent of that company and a seat on its board, along with a first crack at Canadian rights to other brands GCH develops.

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