What happened

Shares of Tilray (TLRY) climbed on Wednesday after the marijuana company announced it had received regulatory approval to sell medical cannabis products in New Zealand. 

As of 11 a.m. EST, Tilray's stock was up more than 3% after rising as much as 11% earlier in the day.

So what

Tilray's approval represents the first under the New Zealand Ministry of Health and the Medicinal Cannabis Agency's new system that's designed to make it easier and less expensive for patients to obtain cannabis products that satisfy its quality standards.

A doctor is holding a cannabis leaf.

Tilray is helping doctors provide medical cannabis to those in need. Image source: Getty Images.

"As medical cannabis regulations continue to progress around the world, we're incredibly honored to be recognized as a trusted partner in offering the highest-quality medical cannabis products," Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy said in a press release. "We are grateful to partner with New Zealand's Ministry of Health and the Medicinal Cannabis Agency to improve access for patients in need across the country."

Tilray will initially focus on supplying its Purified CBD (cannabidiol) products to New Zealand's hospitals and pharmacies. It intends to offer a broader range of cannabis products later this year.

Now what

As it progresses toward its impending merger with Aphria (APHA), successful international expansion will remain an important growth driver for Tilray. The combined company should be a powerful force within the global cannabis market, with more projected revenue than any other company.