By Benjie Cooper
YouTube: Lucid’s Vlog
For decades, the American tobacco industry has managed to grow and thrive, even though they manufacture and sell products that are known to cause cancer and other health problems. But things like anti-tobacco efforts and e-cigarettes have contributed to a decline in profits for cigarette companies in recent years.
While some tobacco companies have made up some of the slack by producing their own e-cigarette brands, it hasn’t been enough to compensate for declining tobacco sales effectively.
In April, Reynolds American stock fell 9% in a single day, and Phillip Morris dropped by 17% as cigarette shipment volume showed a 5% decrease of 9.3 billion units from the previous year. Even though the highly-addictive tobacco products naturally fuel a repeat customer base, sales are dropping, and companies are looking for new channels of revenue to fill in the gap.
U.K.-based tobacco giant Imperial Brands, who manufactures Kool, Salem, and Winston cigarettes, recently announced a partnership with Snoop Dogg-backed seed investment firm Casa Verde to invest Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCT), a government-licensed British medicinal cannabis research firm.
OCT has also received backing from actor Patrick Stewart who has been a longtime advocate of medicinal cannabis research in the U.K. and will be serving on the company’s advisory board.
With increased public awareness and easy access to safer alternatives, it’s apparent that traditional tobacco products are becoming less appealing to the general public as time goes on.
For decades, there has been talk of the tobacco industry publicly delving into cannabis ventures when it finally became legal, but now that talk has turned into a reality.
With companies that produce cancer-causing products now investing in the production of cancer-killing plants, time will tell where ventures like the Imperial Brands one will lead.