Business

Marlboro maker places $1.8 billion bet on marijuana


The agreement includes a warrant to acquire additional shares over the next four years that could give the Altria, which is based in Richmond, Virginia, a 55 percent ownership stake in the Toronto company.


That would mean Altria’s investment would be in the same league as the $4 billion spent earlier this year by Constellation Brands to acquire shares of Canopy Growth Corp., another Canadian pot producer.


The August investment by Constellation, which makes Corona and other beverages, was the largest to date by a major U.S. corporation in the cannabis market.


Altria’s huge investment lit up shares of cannabis companies that have begun to set up shop in Canada, where recreational use was legalized this year.


Rapid growth in the cannabis market is expected to continue as legalization expands in the U.S. and social norms change.


Consumers are expected to spend $57 billion per year worldwide on legal cannabis by 2027, according to Arcview Market Research, a cannabis-focused investment firm.






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