NEW YORK (AP) — One of the world’s biggest tobacco companies is diving into the cannabis market with a $2.4 billion buy-in.
Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. is taking a 45 percent stake in Cronos Group, the Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider said Friday.
Altria will pay another $1.4 billion for warrants that if exercised, would give the Altria a 55 percent ownership stake in the Toronto company.
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.Whatever hesitation larger corporations in the U.S. had about entering the cannabis market appears to be fading if there is a financial justification.
Shares of Cronos Group Inc. jumped 31 percent and neared an all-time high at the opening bell Friday.