November 21, 2013

Cigarette Companies to Become ‘Budweiser’ of Marijuana?

In the coming years, major consumer-facing cannabis brands could arise as more states pass medical and recreational marijuana laws and the industry grows.

And one Wall Street guru thinks he knows which companies will be behind these brands.

“Who’s going to be the Budweiser of marijuana? My guess – they would all deny it – would be cigarette companies,” Gerry Sullivan, head of the Vice Fund, predicted in an article by Reuters.

In fact, Sullivan said the Vice Fund – which invests in risque industries such as gambling, guns and alcohol – will keep strong positions in tobacco companies partially for this reason.

Cigarette companies could indeed be positioned well to enter the marijuana industry, and many cannabis professionals have long feared an invasion by Big Tobacco (and Big Pharma).

But it would likely take a significant change on the federal level before this happens. Mainstream corporate giants, such as those in the tobacco industry, would need a clear sign from the government that they could participate in the marijuana sector, likely through new legislation and a reclassification of the drug.

And cigarette companies have shown little interest in the cannabis industry, at least publicly.

Still, there’s no question they are keeping an eye on the situation, and cigarette heavyweights are likely having internal discussions about how to get involved if and when the government changes its position.


4 Comments:

  1. Highly doubtful considering it’s illegal for a cigarette company to be owned by or associated with medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado not sure about other state rules but. Big tobacco can keep there their nicotine out of my plant. Also because the war on tobacco is so huge and marijuana is veiled as medicinal I highly doubt the tobacco industry would be interested in getting into that considering we’re trying to heal the very thing they create. Death –

  2. I have heard that tobacco companies had bought up lots of land in N Cali, specifically in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, in anticipation of marijuana becoming legal.

  3. I’ve heard the the major cigareite companies long ago registered trademarks for brands such as ‘Acapulco Gold’ ‘Kaui Wowie’ and many others back in the 60’s and have maintained those trademarks all through the years awaiting legalization. Any truth to it?

  4. The likely outcome of all this sickens me, but tobacco companies know the business of marketing way better that almost anyone out there. What we need to be really vigilant about is denying them the opportunity to compound nicotine with cannabis products. In the UK, marijuana is routinely smoked with tobacco which makes it just as bad if not worse that smoking cigarettes.

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