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British Tobacco Manufacturer Looks Towards Medicinal Marijuana Adding Cannabis Vet to Board

Imperial Brands gained the services of a leader in the field of medicinal cannabis as the British tobacco manufacturer seeks to further its push beyond cigarettes.

Simon Langelier, a 30-year veteran of Philip Morris International, joined the board as a non-executive director this week, the Bristol-based company said in a statement Tuesday.

Mr Langelier is chairman of PharmaCielo, a supplier of medicinal-grade cannabis oil extracts. He joined the Canadian-based company in 2015 after a career at Philip Morris that included heading up the next-generation products unit from 2007 to 2010. Imperial stands to benefit from his experience in tobacco and “wider consumer adjacencies,” chairman Mark Williamson said in the statement.

About 18 months after jettisoning the word “tobacco” from its name, the appointment advances Imperial’s efforts to move beyond its main product, as smoking rates in developed nations dwindle. While focusing on e-cigarettes, Imperial previously resisted another alternative to cigarettes – heated tobacco devices, but that stance could be easing. Philip Morris’s main reduced-risk product is a heated tobacco device called iQOS. [Read more at The Independent]

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