By Ryan Elmore
The moment that so many cannabis industry entrepreneurs and experts have been waiting for has finally arrived. Big Tobacco is sinking its teeth into the cannabis industry.
More specifically, Altria (who most famously owns Marlboro) just announced that it’s investing a whopping $1.8 billion into Cronos Group, a major Canadian cannabis company. As the deal stands, Altria will currently control 45% of Cronos, but it’ll have the opportunity to take over the majority stake by 2023. Considering that Altria has taken a bit of a hit this year (on their standards), the move makes sense as the company looks to move into what’s widely considered to be the hottest market.
Of course, this comes not long after alcohol-industry giant Constellation Brands made their move into the industry — and that’s not even considering the rumors about other iconic brands like Coca-Cola potentially jumping in soon. Now that the cannabis industry has found a good amount of footing in North America, investors and companies from all over the world are looking to get their piece of the pie before all of the good options are gone, and Altria is certainly about as powerful of an investor as it gets.
But while so many cannabis companies are banking on “deus ex investor” and create a business plan that involves getting bought out by someone entering the industry, Gladbrook Holdings has always believed in using a financially viable model that doesn’t require a giant buyout. Sure, it’s great to see so many huge names from major industries throwing money into cannabis, but relying on one choosing your company is no better than playing a slot machine.
Companies like Altria, Constellation Brands, and Coca-Cola will certainly make a handful of folks in the cannabis industry very wealthy, but those of us here at Gladbrook Holdings are very content to actually put in the work for more realistic investors and continue on with our business plan to help everyone involved.