Altria, the parent company of Phillip Morris USA and maker of Marlboro cigarettes, is in talks with Canadian cannabis producer Cronos over a possible acquisition, The Guardian reports.
Cronos representatives said no agreement was reached yet and cautioned investors, who caused the company’s shares to rise following release of the news, that there is no promise of a future agreement between the companies.
Any successful deal between the companies would be momentous. Previously, several large alcohol brands like Corona, Molson-Coors and others have made investments into the cannabis space. The only other notable deal from a tobacco company was London’s Imperial Brands, which took an undisclosed stake in Oxford Cannabinoid in June earlier this year.
Altria is seeking to diversify into cannabis from its traditional tobacco business as the number of tobacco smokers in the U.S. continues to fall. Shares of Altria have declined 20% this year.
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