Big Tobacco is finally ready to say, pass that dutch.
Altria Group Inc., the biggest U.S. cigarette company, is reportedly in talks to buy a stake in Aphria Inc., one of a growing number of Canadian cannabis producers that’s attracted the attention of investors this year. The discussions were reported by the Globe & Mail on Wednesday, sending Aphria’s stock soaring 12 percent and giving it a market value of $3.5 billion. Altria, Aphria — it even sounds meant to be.
Not only does this signal that Big Tobacco does, in fact, plan to stake a claim to the nascent cannabis industry, it also brings legitimacy to a hot space that some feared might turn out to be a bubble. With Altria seemingly in the game, two things are now clear: The cannabis industry is real, and the same major companies that dominate our consumer vices and fads now plan to do so in the future. Cigarettes, booze, energy drinks, kombucha — cannabis will be as normal as any of them. See more...