The UK’s biggest tobacco firm, British American Tobacco, has said it sees cannabis as part of its future as it moves away from traditional cigarettes.
The legalisation of marijuana has been a controversial topic. While there have been studies about the health and economical benefits, the UK is yet to legalise its purchase.
Nonetheless, British American Tobacco (BAT) intends to invest in cannabis product development as it accelerates its transformation that reduces the health impact of its products.
BAT boss Jack Bowles told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that ‘As we [BAT] think about our portfolio for the future, certainly beyond nicotine products are interesting for us as another wave of future growth.’
In terms of the avenues of this growth, Bowles claimed cannabis-related products would be part of its investment. Presently, the company is trialling a CBD vape product in Manchester. Bowles noted ‘I think [CBD vaping] is part of the future, but the present challenge is reduced harm in tobacco and nicotine alternatives, encouraging people to switch.’
Some will see this as a reflection of falling tobacco sales, but this isn’t the case. In fact, BAT sold 316 billion cigarettes in a six month period. This number sees an increase in the previous six months and has been connected to renewed demand as lockdown measures ease.
Daniel Richardson – UNILAD – 2021-07-28.