Marlboro Maker Investing $2.4 Billion In Marijuana Market
Marlboro Maker Investing $2.4 Billion In Marijuana Market
A Pack of Marlboro cigarettes
08 December, 2018, 16:58
"As a company that operates predominantly in the highly-regulated tobacco industry, we believe Altria has valuable regulatory and compliance experience that could end up being a key competitive advantage for Cronos, as it competes with other licensed producers for what seems to be a growing set of global opportunities", Canaccord Genuity analysts wrote in a research note.
Altria's ability to handle regulatory pressures could help the company navigate complex legal issues such as product registration and taxation as more cannabis markets open up around the world, Cronos said.
- There are a handful of companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange devoted exclusively to cannabis, either for medicinal or recreational use, or both: Canopy Growth Corp., Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Cronos Group Inc.
Howard Willard, Altria's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement released by the firm: "Investing in Cronos Group as our exclusive partner in the emerging global cannabis category represents an exciting new growth opportunity for Altria".
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Canadian marijuana company, Canopy Growth, for example, has received a multibillion dollar investment from Corona owner Constellation Brands, CNN reported.
"When we were strategically planning how we would enter cannabis years ago, one of the companies that we looked at and had a lot of respect and admiration for was Altria", he said.
"We believe an investment of this magnitude provides overall legitimacy to the industry as a whole and should represent a positive catalyst for the sector, with the news likely to drive valuations higher", said Canaccord Genuity analyst Matt Bottomley, who has a 12-month price target of $9 on Cronos's stock and a "hold" rating.
Altria is also in talks to take a minority stake of between 20 percent and 40 percent in Juul, sources told Reuters last month. It also plans to focus on more reduced-risk tobacco products.
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As part of the agreement, Altria will have the right to nominate four directors to the Cronos board, which will be expanded to seven members from five. Altria shares that vision, Mr. Gorenstein said. "It's worth noting that Altria does not grow their own tobacco". Aurora Cannabis Inc.'s stock rose 7.8 per cent to close at $7.60 after it announced a new supply deal to Mexico. "We think that that model of growing your own plants is very hard to scale and execute well".
Canada voted earlier this year to legalise weed. Several U.S. states have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use, but pot remains illegal under federal law. Left, making the big Canadian producers "more valuable for that reason".
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