It’s official. Big Tobacco is continuing its efforts to monopolize the marijuana industry. Altria, one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of tobacco products, announced it is investing $12.8 billion in vaping giant, Juul, a company that controls 68% of the e-cigarette market.
Here is why this is a big deal:
The move came just a week after the Marlboro maker announced it is pumping $1.8 billion in Canadian marijuana grower, Cronos. It also came a week after we learned that marijuana vaping has risen significantly, up more than 50% among all age groups.
Juul has and continues to take heat for how its products are appealing to and getting into the hands of minors. The company is even the subject of a class action lawsuit alleging its marketing specifically targets minors. Sound familiar? Big Marijuana and its predecessor, Big Tobacco, are pros at targeting children.
“Big Tobacco is officially going all in with the marijuana industry now,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “The men in suits who once told America that nicotine is not addictive are now doing the same with marijuana, and laughing all the way to the bank. Big Tobacco’s involvement caused deaths from tobacco to skyrocket. With those same characters now cornering the pot industry, we can expect to see this addiction-for-profit industry become even more nefarious.”