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Cannabis company Tilray shares jump 11% after announcing deal with Swiss drugmaker Novartis

Tilray shares jumped more than 11 percent in morning trading Tuesday after the Canadian marijuana producer announced it has entered a global supply and distribution agreement with Swiss drugmaker Novartis.

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The marijuana company would work with Novartis’ generic drug business Sandoz, and supply non-smokable and non-combustible medical cannabis products where it is legally allowed, the company announced in a press release. As a part of the deal, Tilray and Sandoz may co-brand certain products as well as develop new ones.

“This agreement represents a major milestone in the movement to provide access to safe, GMP-certified medical cannabis to patients in need across the world,” Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy said in a statement Tuesday.

In September, Kennedy told CNBC that pharmaceutical companies have to start thinking about partnering with cannabis companies as a “hedge” against the burgeoning marijuana industry. Tilray formed a “strategic alliance” in March with Sandoz to help the drugmaker build this kind of hedge. In return, Novartis would help Tilray co-market and co-develop its products.

Tilray, which has products available in twelve countries, said the deal announced Tuesday builds on the company’s mission of making pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis products available around the world.

Earlier this year, Tilray announced it had become the first and only company to receive regulatory approval in Canada and Germany to export medical cannabis flower for distribution to German patients.

Shares of Tilray are down than 40 percent over the past month. The stock traded lower Monday, to end the day at 65.89 per share.

—CNBC’s Thomas Franck contributed to this report.