The New York Times 12 December 2018
Family First Comment: “There’s always been the expectation that big business was going to come in; we’ve been hearing rumors about ‘Marlboro Greens’ for decades now. Now we’re past the point of no return.”
Legalisation of marijuana is simply the same thing as Big Tobacco II.
They’re already lining up.
Proponents of legal marijuana spent decades fighting a slow battle for mainstream acceptance. Now, with recreational use legal in Canada and many states in the United States, big business is suddenly swooping in.
Altria, the maker of Marlboro and other cigarettes, last week paid $1.8 billion for almost half of Cronos Group, a cannabis company in Toronto.
In August, Constellation Brands, which owns Corona and other beers, paid $4 billion for a major stake in Canopy Growth, another Canadian marijuana company. That month, Molson Coors, another brewer, formed a joint venture with a cannabis company in Quebec.
“There’s always been the expectation that big business was going to come in; we’ve been hearing rumors about ‘Marlboro Greens’ for decades now,” said Bethany Gomez, director of research at Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research group. “Now we’re past the point of no return.”
The arrival of large multinational corporations portends sweeping changes for an industry that until recently operated in the shadows. As billions of dollars pour into product development, marketing and manufacturing, these companies will be looking to create big brands with the market share to match. Brightfield estimates that global legal cannabis sales will reach more than $31 billion in 2021, up from less than $8 billion last year.
But while large-scale investments suggest that the mainstream acceptance of marijuana has reached a significant tipping point, longtime cannabis advocates are worried that the idealistic entrepreneurs who made this moment possible may get left behind.
READ MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/business/cannabis-business-altria-canopy-constellation-cronos.html