Altria bets big on cannabis with $1.8 billion investment in Canada’s CronosPosted by On

(Reuters) – Marlboro cigarette maker Altria Group Inc made a big bet on the rapidly growing marijuana industry on Friday with a $1.8 billion investment in Canadian cannabis producer Cronos Group Inc.

Mike Gorenstein, marijuana firm Cronos Group’s founder and CEO, speaks during an interview in New York, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The deal gives Altria an up to 55 percent stake in Cronos and is the latest in a string of investments from consumer companies hoping to benefit from Canada’s move to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Corona beer maker Constellation Brands announced a $4 billion investment in Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth in August, the biggest investment so far in the industry.

With the Cronos deal, Altria will get a new opportunity to…

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