Marijuana sector needn’t fear Big Alcohol, Tobacco – yet

Big Tobacco and Alcohol and Marijuana

(This is an abridged version of a story that appears in the November-December issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.)

There has been a flurry of business activity this year by several multibillion-dollar companies in the alcohol and tobacco space looking to capitalize on opportunities in legal marijuana.

The cannabis industry has seen an influx of liquor companies such as Constellation Brands, Molson Coors Brewing, Heineken’s Lagunitas Brewing as well as tobacco firms Pyxus International (formerly Alliance One International), Altria Group (which owns Marlboro maker Philip Morris USA and is an investor in alcohol giant Anheuser-Busch InBev) and Imperial Brands.

Such influx might frighten small business owners in the U.S. marijuana industry, since the entire market has been built by tiny companies with relatively little access to serious capital with which to scale operations.

These pioneers could be worried – and rightly so – about their market share shrinking with the arrival of heavyweights such as Constellation and the rest.

But just because they’re here doesn’t mean they’re going to dominate anytime soon. At least not in the U.S. market. Click here to read why.