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Business - Cannabis

Big tobacco company Imperial Brands gets into cannabis

  • One of the world’s largest tobacco companies, Imperial Brands, has invested in UK cannabis research start-up, Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies. The move has become the first official tobacco-to-cannabis jump to date.

Imperial Brands—which markets cigarettes like Kool and Winston—invested in a UK cannabis startup.

One of the world’s largest tobacco companies, Imperial Brands, has invested in UK cannabis research start-up, Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCT), marking one of the first official moves of a tobacco company into the cannabis space. Details of the tobacco giant’s deal were not released to the public, but Business Insider reports that OCT raised nearly $10 million from Imperial Brands and other investors. Another major buyer into OCT was Snoop Dogg’s investment firm Casa Verde Capital.

Though the investment marks the beginning of what could be big tobacco’s entry into the cannabis industry, OCT is strictly a research company focusing on the therapeutic uses of cannabis and how they can be applied medicinally.

“Our investment enables Imperial to support OCT’s important research while building a deeper understanding of the medical cannabis market,” chief development officer for Imperial Brands, Matthew Phillips,…

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