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Marlboro maker leaps into the cannabis trade with $2.4B

The Associated Press
FILE - In this July 17, 2015, file photo, store manager Stephanie Hunt poses for photos with a pack of Marlboro cigarettes, an Altria brand, at a Smoker Friendly shop in Pittsburgh. Altria is diving into the Canadian cannabis market with a $2.4 billion investment in Toronto-based medical and recreational marijuana provider Cronos Group. The investment from Altria Group Inc., would give it about 45 percent ownership of Cronos. Altria will also pay another $1.4 billion for warrants of Cronos Group that if exercised, would give the Altria a 55 percent majority ownership of Cronos. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

NEW YORK – One of the world’s biggest tobacco companies is diving into the cannabis market with a $2.4 billion investment in Cronos Group, a Canadian medical and recreational marijuana company.

Altria, which makes Marlboro cigarettes, is taking a 45 percent stake in the Toronto company.

Cronos said Friday that the Richmond, Virginia, tobacco company will pay another $1.4 billion for warrants that if exercised, would give the Altria a 55 percent majority ownership stake.

Cronos first announced that it was in talks with Altria this week.

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