The maker of Marlboro cigarettes is ploughing $1.8 billion into the cannabis producer Cronos

Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes announced Friday it intends to invest $US2.4 billion Canadian dollars ($US1.8 billion) into the Canadian cannabis producer Cronos, sending Cronos shares up as much as 35% to $US14.11 a piece.

“Altria is the ideal partner for Cronos Group, providing the resources and expertise we need to meaningfully accelerate our strategic growth,” said Cronos CEO Mike Gorenstein in a press release.

“The proceeds from Altria’s investment will enable us to more quickly expand our global infrastructure and distribution footprint, while also increasing investments in R&D and brands that resonate with our consumers. Importantly, Altria shares our vision of driving long-term value through innovation, and we look forward to continuing to differentiate in this area.”

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