First Big Tobacco marijuana player exits marijuana, hemp after bankruptcy

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(A version of this story first appeared at Hemp Industry Daily.)

The first Big Tobacco company to make a foray into the marijuana and hemp industries is exiting both sectors in a bid to shore up its bottom line.

Pyxus International, one of the world’s largest tobacco suppliers, said Thursday it will focus on its more profitable tobacco and liquid nicotine products after filing for bankruptcy in June. Pyxus entered the cannabis space in 2018.

Based in Morrisville, North Carolina, Pyxus was growing hemp in the U.S. and marijuana in Canada. But the company was hard hit by declining tobacco consumption and coronavirus-sparked supply disruptions.

Pyxus’ Canadian subsidiaries, Figr Brands, were not part of the initial bankruptcy filing but have since filed for bankruptcy protection in that country. Pyxus is looking for a buyer for its Figr companies.

“We maintain our belief that there is value in FIGR, and its growth can be accelerated with the right capital structure and partner,” Pyxus CEO Pieter Sikkel said in a statement.

Pyxus, formerly Alliance One International, was part of the influx of Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol into the cannabis industry.

Pyxus trades on the over-the-counter markets as PYXX.