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Tobacco, Pharma, And Alcohol Companies Plan To Enter The Marijuana Industry


pharmacy medical marijuana michiganFor many decades now, marijuana activists have pointed out that marijuana is safer than tobacco, pharmaceuticals, and alcohol. We have always been quick to point out that those products kill people, that marijuana is a much safer alternative, and that those industries have no place in the marijuana industry. We have all speculated that tobacco, pharmaceutical, and alcohol companies will likely try to get a piece of the marijuana industry pie. This week, we got some confirmation that it appears our speculations are true, and that those industries have their sights set on the marijuana industry. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

The tobacco, pharmaceutical and alcohol industries are looking to get into the marijuana industry and plan to capitalize on the leverage those already in the cannabis space have built, several experts speaking at the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo said on Friday.

“The inconvenient truth is that Big Tobacco is coming for you and, surprise, surprise, she plans on giving it to you good and hard,” Patrick Basham, director of the non-partisan public policy research organization based in Washington DC and London, said during a speech at the conference – run by the parent company of Marijuana Business Daily – in Las Vegas.

While executives in the tobacco industry deny any interest in marijuana, the makers of cigarettes and other products see enormous potential in cannabis with many betting on the burgeoning industry as a way to offset their own shrinking businesses, he said. Basham added that tobacco faces a “perfect storm” of regulatory threats, negative public image, shrinking consumer base and, on a general basis, is a habit of less affluent and uneducated people.

I personally will not support marijuana companies that are subsidiaries of tobacco, alcohol, or pharmaceutical companies. Those industries have fought very hard to keep marijuana prohibition in place, and in no way do I feel that they should receive even one dollar from marijuana consumers. If/when I hear about a company that has ties to the alcohol, pharmaceutical, or tobacco industries popping up, I plan on posting articles urging readers to boycott those companies. If you agree, or disagree, with how I feel, feel free to post your comments below.

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About Author

Johnny Green


  1. I completely agree with you and would be the first to step up and be counted for a boycott against these companies.

  2. I fully agree with you. There is no way I could morally support an oppressive entity just because they now find it profitable to enter into the Cannabis industry.

  3. so… the dispensaries know”who really needs it” and “who needs to be taxed”..yeah.. its their personal friends,family for the former, and everyone else in the latter(especially if they dont like your moustache, or accent, or whatever) THOSE bastards are why the right to personal cultivation is so important. Your comment HILIGHTS exactly what is wrong with Cali. Never give up the right to grow!! lest you want some pompous ass of a budtender deciding if you “really need it” or just “really need to be taxed”

  4. Yup. Some of us may have no choice but between those subsidiaries and the black market. Source: I live in Texas.

  5. That’s not what I got from that. The author said nothing against the users of those substances. He simply stated that since those industries have spent billions over the years lobbying congress to keep cannabis illegal in order to avoid having to compete with it, cannabis advocates should not reward them for getting into the cannabis industry now that we’ve finally beaten them and I agree. The industries have bought our government and played a huge role in the erosion of our constitutional rights in order to maximize their profit at the expense of the cannabis consumer. Why would anyone who supports cannabis buy their product from a company that only a couple of years ago sponsored and lobbied for laws that would have put said advocate in jail? If someone punched you in the face would you buy a tissue from them to treat your bloody nose?

  6. Prices will come down eventually even if the big corporations who take advantage of “economies of scale” don’t enter the market. The regular market forces if left to fluctuate freely, will create efficiencies and competition in the mom and pop industries even if govt and multinational corporations don’t get involved but if they do it will create ARTIFICIAL price supports brought on by their cartels and collusion which then gives them POWER over pricing and the ability to charge you ANY amount of money they want. Its called “laissez faire” economics or LEAVE THE MARKET ALONE!

  7. I agree who knows they might add something to it and lie about it for years until they’ve ruined marijuana too

  8. “I personally will not support marijuana companies that are subsidiaries of tobacco, alcohol, or pharmaceutical companies.”

    So, you would vilify those who smoke, drink, or take pharmaceuticals? Drugs are okay as long as they’re the drugs that YOU prefer?

    There’s no reason to cut yourself off from the burgeoning marketplace, Mr. Green – there is room enough for all, don’t you think?

  9. We manage with it completely illegal,,I can still grow my own after the sun goes down regardless of how they want to write it.

  10. Exactly. They create HUGE barriers to entry and squeeze the little guy out of competing! Govt. intervention is NEVER a good thing for the very reasons stated above!

  11. Actually it is more likely that Mom and Pop decide to retire and sell the business, and if they don’t the kids will. Just look at how our farms have consolidated. Once it becomes a commodity market forces will prevail.

  12. No regulation and large competition = better bud because to survive, you have to. Grow good bud

  13. Big tobacco will not enter Until regulation stomps out competition and hands them the whole pie. Look for regulation sponsored by big industry VERY SOON, if not attached to national marijuana legalization.

  14. Supply and demand set the price sir. Anything after that fact is regulations fault for price increases. Learn basic economics before dumbing down the dumb. Government stepping in is the last thing we want. More regulation means increased price=less competition=more regulation=increased price etc. Until you have a cartel dominating the market and lobbying to keep you and me out of the action.

  15. If the regulation costs are so high that no one can compete, your boycotting will be useless.

  16. Don’t support overregulation that allows only Big tobacco to produce because of the costs. MOm and pop growers/producers will disappear.

  17. The authors write that “despite fervent denials, three multinational tobacco companies”—Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, and RJ Reynolds—have all “considered manufacturing cigarettes containing cannabis. “People have suspected for a long time that Big Tobacco was interested in marijuana,” says Glantz. “The documents we review show that they have been considering legalized marijuana as both a competitor and an opportunity.”
    One of the goals of the study, say the authors, is to make policymakers and public health advocates aware that tobacco companies are prepared to enter the marijuana market with the intention of increasing its widespread use. As states like Colorado and Washington legalize the recreational use of marijuana (and many others are considering it), the authors make a compelling case for policymakers to adopt regulatory frameworks similar to existing tobacco laws in order to prevent youth initiation and tame market domination by companies seeking to maximize profits with the sales of another addictive substance.



    Mr investorwhat’s the first thing that should pop in your head when you hear “regulation”?
    If you have any business sense it should be “how much is this going to cost?”and with big tobacco saying REGULATORY FRAMEWORK similar to tobacco, that means their cost is $0 to play and Millions for EVERYONE ELSE!

  18. Justin Graziano on

    Unfortunate as it may be, these big companies are the only ones with power in the USA. They are the ones hiring lobbyists to get whatever they want done in Congress and State Legislatures. Commercializing weed may be the only way to get it legalized nationwide, especially in the South. Let Marlboro ditch the cancer sticks and start making packs of joints instead. People can still grow their own and mom and pop shops will still exist, though not as many. The fact is, in many states recreational marijuana will likely never be legal unless Big Business steps in.

  19. As an owner of an electronic cigarette business I can promise you this, The Big Pharma, tobacco, and alcohol cannot compete in a lightly regulated market. They know this and spent time trying to regulate and ban their sales. When that wasn’t as successful as they had hoped, It took at least 4 years for them to enter our market with an inferior product. Giant conglomerates are too sluggish and slow to compete with mom and pops. THERE IS PROOF. STUDY THIS HISTORY PLEASE!!!!

    Look for Altria or RJR to sponsor legislation SOON. Do not allow regulation to kill mom and pop businesses. All other markets are dominated by cartel conglomerates that are too expensive for me or you to enter because of hefty regulation price tags.

    Stop Regulations for your own sake. Regulation boards only exist to create more regulation. If they don’t, their jobs are in jeopardy. Stop the madness and be free already!!!

  20. Hybridizing plants is not comparable to gene splicing / altering. Learn the difference, Monsanto has you fooled.

  21. I’m with Johnny Green I won’t give alcohol, tobacco or pharma my money for marijuana drugs. I give them money if I buy alcohol or pills which I may need but tobacco no it’s too many deaths on their backs. I don’t like alcohol but sometime I want a margarita but that is all. No we want and need an unadulterated purely organic natural marijuana plant not a bunch of trash made for profits for themselves and shareholders. The product will end up being poisonous dust and worse.

  22. Captain Obvious on

    I think nearly all industries will be forced to get in on the pie or fail miserably as ‘capitalists.’ They will be forced to just like they were forced to sell alchohol in restaurants or get an internet connection to stay in business. We are about to see a worldwide cannabis industrial/technological/medical revolutionary paradigm shift where the best products are demanded by consumers and some can even be created by consumers if they want.

    With that said, I fully support boycotts on businesses that have been systematically and perpetually WRONG. Further these businesses have caused irreparable damage worldwide by ‘legally’ bribing politicians to play God with legislation. I am hopeful many of these industries are 1 app away from peer to peer replacement. Plenty of disgruntled laid off workers with time to code a revolution and correct this gross misallocation of capital not to mention the stale anti-free-market ‘ideas’ are right out of Mussolini’s 2-bit play book.

    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”
    ― Benito Mussolini

  23. How to prevent corporate takeover: eliminate the high-profit (because wa$teful) $igarette papers format (including Joint, which to children kept ignorant of cannabis is a $igarette advertisement). Start activist campaign to promote SUBSTITUTING Vape for “$moke”, Flexdrawtube Einzelhiffer for Overdose Monoxide– along with cannabis (and 616 other herbs, alfalfa, basil, chamomile, damiana, eucalyptus) for “Zap you’re hooked” nicotine tobacco.

  24. mark_lee481 BSHA on

    Please do not misunderstand, as this is a vital issue. The medical community that wanted cannabis in 1936 dropped us like a hot rock in the 1960s (namely the AMA). This does not elicit much trust for the ones responsible for every study that said we would turn green and grow a tail (not every, but enough to get a reach around from Nixon, Reagan, and Bush the first). Tobacco really was the first industry to consider the possibility of legal cannabis in the times since its rediscovery in the ’50s and ’60s. I just cannot see them as the poster company for cannabis. Alcohol is a massive industry that needs cannabis like Bill Gates needs another few billion. My point is the ones who made it successfully through the longest period of prohibition in history DESERVE to incorporate, hold all patents, and hire the wonderful talent that had to give their freedom in the fight to produce the product legally.
    I simply angers me when these victims of the war on drugs cannot work behind the scenes, to even trim buds. We seem to forget, yes states rights holds water, but each member of the industry is one DEA agents bad day away from 20 years in the federal prison system. Operation Green Sweep of 1991 cost us some valuable talent as one of my close friends could easily have his own productive operation and seed/cuttings business today, if not for DEA special sweeps. He may be an electrical journeyman, or above, but his passion for his work is gone as it was cannabis. If the DEA takes one last “hurrah” sweep, even the ancillary businesses (bloggers) could find themselves in a real pinch. Jane Fonda could have bailed out of most any charge while others can become “lost” in the system. These activists, growers, and breeders (of whom some are permanently scarred from the war) deserve our support. They created many of todays techniques. When problems struck they had the talent to use chewing gum and bailing wire to repair what would be considered catastrophic failures. I should have chosen a better term than two faced, but what would you call it? It is not 100% legal yet, so hire those who have been stung, they will save you grief!!!

  25. There is no corporate engineered round-up ready weed yet is the point invisible man is making….but you are right and that is all that matters eh? I must say the trolls here are very mild….I like that.

  26. This has been speculated for years. I’m sure it’s going to happen. Just like baseball cards and recycling, there are always profiteers sitting in the trees like vultures, ready to swoop down and take ownership right out of the hands of the people. All this time, the people and the “underground” have perfected cannabis to the very point where it is today. Just wait for the gobbernment to become fully invested, hand over the whole bag to industry and see the f ups that will occur. As I always say, the gobbernment does not do anything particularly well. After all, they lied about marijuana for how many years now?

  27. Well said Johnny. A plague on the liquor, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries! If criminal convictions were better publicised, the pharmaceutical industry, especially Eli Lilly, GSK and Pfizer, would have been long dead and buried.

  28. He has been dropping hints. There is a rescheduling case. Maybe he will just let the judgment stand if it changes things.

    The Judge’s ruling is expected in a few months.

  29. These companies thrive on regulations. Best to have no more regulation on cannabis than we have on tomatoes. Every limitation requires enforcers. And that plays into the hands of these companies.

  30. It’s inevitable that as the market grows due to legalization that corporate interests will look for acquisitions. The drug companies have already tried to synthesize or isolate various compounds because that’s what they do. Better that the agricultural companies join the effort to make cannabis legal because whole plant cannabis produces the greatest benefit. Boycott if you want but I support any effort that ends prohibition.

  31. I agree boycott the shit out of them…………After they open shop and endorse the growing business.

  32. Don’t believe that it will take big Phama years to do anything. 1. The government fast tracked big Pharma’s crappy THC products before, in answer to the proof at the time that marijuana DID provide health benefits and they will do it again. 2. Anyone that believes that big Pharma isn’t developing products and hasn’t been doing so for years behind locked doors and off US soil, is living in an alternate reality.

    It is the American way for the hard work to be done by small groups and individuals, only to be sold out for the right price to large corporations. Look at Burt’s Bees products, for an example. Small ma-pa garage business, fabulous chemical-free products, now owned by Clorox.

    Some may say resistance is futile, but this woman is going to resist as long as humanly possible.

  33. Bradley Summers on

    I say let them help make law change than boycott the hell out of them once they start oparation it’s the perfact fu for they have done

  34. I don’t believe Obama will play the rescheduling card. He may blow-off the DEA and congress, but he won’t blow-off the Global War on Drugs treaties that we pushed, partnered and strong-armed other countries to participate in. I hope I am wrong.

  35. Obviously, you don’t fully understand the tobacco and alcohol industries as they stand today. They cut both alc and tobac with additives to cut down on cost or increase its rate of consumption to increase sales. Just because it’s federally regulated does mean these industries have to be involved. We are seperate and need to make that very clear. And the dispensaries know who really needs it and will cut breaks or introduce you to someone who will be able to fit your needs, not everyone is a profiteer like you sound. They also know who will pay these prices and need to be taxed, rightfully. Those people are a drag on our cause and we have to put up with that, so they get taxed, rightfully. I know many people who are resources for those in need and I direct individuals to them when its evident.

  36. You might want to take another look at the pricing in the dispensaries, especially for edibles–it’s outrageous.
    I don’t support having big pharma, tobacco companies, etc. taking over the industry, but if the states, or preferably the feds, don’t step in soon the cost to purchase this medicine is going to force many folks back to the streets where it’s more cost effective even though it’s a crap shoot about what you’ll actually get for your money.
    And as we all know, eventually everything comes down to the money…

  37. We must keep the Monsanto’s monster from twisting up pure strains of cannabis/hemp! Keep us posted WeedBlog!

  38. Michael Marion on

    That’s what shoud happen in the town in mass where they ban selling cig which i don’t use

  39. Here’s a prediction: Obama has two Executive orders up his sleeve. One for immigration reform the other to reschedule MJ. Big pharma is positioning themselves to take advantage of both. A new highly profitable product and the good cheap labor they’ll need to cultivate it.

  40. As an investor I will welcome any research you can dig up on TPA industries trying to hijack the real green revolution.

  41. I pledge to stand by you Mr. WeedBlog. I pledge that I will inform my other marijuana consumers to do the same. Together we can stop these companies from profiting off our sweat and tears that we have shed for this cause, the probation time we have occurred, the jail time, court fines, and lost futures. Together we will fight this.

  42. Totally with you on this one! F’ck em… They push prohibition and then try to get in on the market when they can no longer do so, definitely boycott them.

  43. mark_lee481 BSHA on

    Hey Johnny, I have agreed with you for years. The companies involved with tobacco grew and changed with their game since the days it came wrapped in brown paper and you had to figure the rest out for yourself. Big alcohol were big enough that when their prohibition hit, they actually made money. It would take big Pharma years upon years to synthesize their own plethora of products that would likely be involved in class action lawsuits from here to forever.
    Tobacco is the only company to look into the business seriously before we even had touch tone phones to stay in touch (just to be fair), but this business does not belong to the Aspen uber rich or any corporation!!! It belongs to the growers, the breeders, and the fighters (activists) that kept them doing what they do so very well. It belongs to every person who is helped by cannabis and share their stories so Joe public sees another side of cannabis. It, above all, belongs to the people who have done time, and lost their status as a citizen locked away in some hell where they paid with a chunk of their life!!!
    Cannabis companies are so two faced for refusing to hire someone for a drug offence when if it were tobacco no one paid that sort of price. Those imprisoned are the ones who should be getting a contract from their state, not rich little brats who buy their contract for fun, but know nothing about cannabis except for smoking it and any consequence is paid for by their families. Every major company needs to look in the mirror and say, “without laws that semi-protect me, where would I be?” Far too many did not have those laws and were doing exactly what you are doing.

  44. Educated AHole on

    Hell yes. I will boycott the crap out of them and do my best to convince others to do the same. They can’t wash their hands of what they’ve done and all the horrific ramifications of that decision.

    So screw ’em.

  45. Terri Thompson Richardson on

    Gosh, claygooding, you surprised me with “prices will fall”. First, the House of Reps and Senate (either U.S. or your state) will pass legislation to regulate who gets to to grow it, and who gets to sell it. Unlike tobacco, good marijuana is labor intensive. Plants need to be checked daily, specific nutrients, and other things that I, frankly, can’t remember right now because I’m high. Be it alcohol, pharma, or tobacco, prices will rise because these industries (like most of the rest in America) have only thing on their mind: the money they can amass for themselves and their stockholders.

  46. Welcome..welcome one and all,,the sooner these big rich sons-of-bitches saturate the market with quality bud the sooner the prices will fall,

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