Edwin Remsberg—VWPics/Redux

Irwin Simon was best known for creating a health-food giant before signing on to head Aphria, a cannabis company based in Canada, where recreational marijuana is legal. Separately, Brendan Kennedy went to Nanaimo, British Columbia, to launch Tilray after co-founding a private-equity firm to buy cannabis startups. Now they’re merging the two to form the world’s largest cannabis company by annual revenue—more than $685 million. Still, there’s room to grow. The plan going forward involves supporting studies that might widen approved medical targets, like epilepsy, pain and anxiety, and marketing consumer products like THC-infused drinks wherever recreational pot goes legit.

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