British American Tobacco said on Thursday it will buy a nearly 20% stake in Canada-based cannabis producer Organigram for about 126 million pounds ($175.81 million) as it diversifies beyond its main tobacco business. Slideshow ( 2 images ) Organigram grows cannabis and makes cannabis-derived products in Canada where marijuana was legalized in 2018. Big tobacco and liquor companies in North America have already made large investments in the nascent industry, with cannabis seen as a less-harmful alternative to cigarettes. And with top Democratic lawmakers in the United States also promising to decriminalize marijuana use, analysts and experts predict record investment in the industry this year. The deal with Organigram will give BAT access to R&D technologies, product innovation, and cannabis expertise, it said in a statement. A ‘Centre of Excellence will be established at Organigram’s facility in New Brunswick, Canada, to focus on developing next-generation cannabis products with an initial focus on natural remedy cannabidiol.

Reuters Staff, Business & Financial News, U.S & International Breaking News | Reuters, 03/11/2021 07:09:00

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