Tobacco giant Altria strides into vape market with $19b Juul Stake

NZ Herald 21 December 2018
Family First Comment: Welcome to Big Marijuana – potentially in NZ one day. NZ Investors are already lining up.
“….The investment comes about two weeks after Altria stepped into the cannabis market with an investment of around $2 billion in Cronos Group, the Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider. North American consumer spending on legal cannabis is expected to grow from US$9.2 billion in 2017, to US$47.3 billion by 2027, according to Arcview Market Research, a cannabis-focused investment firm.”

Altria, one of the world’s biggest tobacco companies, is spending nearly US$13 billion (NZ$19 billion) to buy a huge stake in the vape company Juul as cigarette use continues to decline.

The Marlboro maker said Thursday that it will take a 35 per cent share of Juul, putting the value of the company at US$38 billion, larger than Ford Motor Company, Delta Air Lines or the retail giant Target.

“We are taking significant action to prepare for a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose non-combustible products over cigarettes,” Altria Chairman and CEO Howard Willard said in a prepared statement.

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices have been sold in the US since 2007 and have grown into a US$6.6 billion business, and it is already intersecting with another seismic shift in the US — the legalisation of marijuana across the US.

The investment comes about two weeks after Altria stepped into the cannabis market with an investment of around $2 billion in Cronos Group, the Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider.

North American consumer spending on legal cannabis is expected to grow from US$9.2 billion in 2017, to US$47.3 billion by 2027, according to Arcview Market Research, a cannabis-focused investment firm.

Altria Group isn’t the only major corporation attempting to incorporate marijuana sales.
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