Earlier this year the people of Canada voted to legalise the use of weed, which made it the second country, and by some distance the largest to legalise recreational marijuana use.
The country has largely been celebrating ever since, but in an unexpected step one of the biggest cigarette firms in the world has announced that it is pumping an incredible CAN $3.8 billion (US $2.9bn / £2.2bn) into the cannabis market.
According to the Mail, the company behind the tobacco giant, Altria Group Inc. revealed it is investing a reported CAN $2.4bn (US $1.8bn / £1.4bn) into Cronos Group, for a 45 percent stake in the Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider.
It was also revealed on Friday, that they are also going to inject a further CAN $1.4bn (US $1bn / £830,000) for warrants, which would give the Altria a 55 percent ownership stake in the Toronto-based company.
The cigarette giant has invested almost $4m into the Canadian firm. Credit: PA
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.
“We believe that Cronos Group’s excellent management team has built capabilities necessary to compete globally, and we look forward to helping Cronos Group realise its significant growth potential.”
This will bring the megabucks investment up to the same level as the CAN $4bn (US $3bn / £2.3bn)which Constellation Brands spent earlier this year when they bought out Canopy Growth Corp., a cannabis producer also based in Canada.
After the news was announced shares of Cronos Group Inc. jumped 31 per cent and neared an all-time high at the opening bell on Friday.
Canada voted earlier this year to legalise weed. Credit: PA
And it is believed that such growth could put further pressure on the United States to push through legislation to legalise the drug south of the border.
As a result of the vote earlier this year, Canadians over the age of 18, can now buy up to 30 grams of weed per time legally. That’s also how much you can have on you at any time in public. At home, you can have as much as you like.
That said, each of Canada’s three territories and 10 provinces will be able to set their own rules around the federal guidelines.
Strangely enough this led to a number of people phoning the police to report drug use in their area after they said they could smell weed coming from their next door neighbours’ homes.
They even had to put out a public announcement to tell people to stop making false reports.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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