Marlboro Maker is excited about the cannabis industry whether you like it or not
Since cannabis legalization hit the United States, proponents have raised a plethora of concerns shrouded in conspiracy theories about how their precious plant would one day belong to tobacco companies.
Several fake news surfaced years ago suggesting that Marlboro had already gotten into the cannabis game selling joints in constitutional states. None of this was true, of course, but the scenario wasn’t too far-fetched. It turns out that Marlboro maker Philip Morris is currently scrutinizing the cannabis industry to see where it fits in.
RELATED: Marlboro wants to make its way into big marijuana
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In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Philip Morris CEO Andre Calantzopoulos said the company had been carefully monitoring the cannabis market and watching how regulations evolve. “We do all of this work and one day we will determine which paths to take.” he said. “But our priority is what we do with our smoke-free products, and that’s where I would stick to cannabis.”
In contrast to the cannabis industry itself, Philip Morris seems to understand that “smoking” is being stopped by health conscious individuals and government controls. Cigarettes are no longer as common in civil society, forcing tobacco companies to research smoke-free products for the sake of longevity.
In the meantime, the Biden government is expected to take action against the tobacco companies soon by banning menthol cigarettes. Although tobacco sales are in decline, consumption of these products remains a major cause of health problems. Sure, the tobacco control movement will take years to resolve, not to mention countless court battles. But this fight will no doubt be fought to the bitter end. It’s only a matter of time before similar targets are placed on the back of smoked cannabis.
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To be fair, the cannabis industry these days isn’t all joints and blunts. Smokeless products like foods, oils and beverages are becoming increasingly popular on the scene. However, research shows that the average pot user still prefers smoking as their primary consumption method. So we probably won’t see a day soon when cannabis companies give up smokable cannabis products.
However, health lawyers could step in at some point and weeds make life difficult. Some are already on it, saying that smoke is smoke, everything is unhealthy and could increase the risk of cancer.
RELATED: Is It Bad For Big Booze And Big Tobacco To Help Shape Marijuana Legalization?
“Marijuana-burn smoke has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants and carcinogens as tobacco smoke,” said a report from the American Lung Association.
Federal lawmakers are hoping to develop a national cannabis policy that will prevent Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol from dealing with cannabis. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer recently said his law to end the federal marijuana ban would appeal to small businesses rather than large businesses.
“We don’t want the big tobacco companies and the big liquor companies to step in and take over,” he said.
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National cannabis advocates are right there with him. You want to prevent this mixing from happening before it gets out of hand. In a recent article, NORML said The alcohol and tobacco companies have already banded together to form a powerful lobby group that will ensure that national cannabis policies work in their favor. “These corporate interests are trying to shape the landscape in a way that works best for them, not you,” the organization wrote.
Philip Morris does not seem to be alarmed by this attitude. It has actually looked at cannabis for a while. Around five years ago, the company invested in an Israeli cannabis company called Syque Medical to pursue consumption technologies that are less harmful to the consumer. All of this is part of their “Beyond Nicotine” strategy.
We get on nerves and say there’s probably a reason when Philip Morris is looking beyond smoking to stay better in the market. Cannabis companies looking to move to this level once the U.S. is fully legal will have to carry this wisdom and thoughtfulness as they venture into an entirely new way of selling weed. Because rest assured, if it’s legal at the federal level, there will be more regulations to deal with.
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