Altria investing $2.4B in Cronos

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CBJ — Canadian cannabis producer Cronos group is getting a $2.4 billion investment from Atria for what will amount to a 45% ownership stake as the global market for legal marijuana continues to escalate.

Altria, based out of Virginia, is a tobacco giant that is the parent of the company that manufactures Marlboro cigarettes.

There is a proviso in the agreement that could see Altria invest another $1.4 billion within 48 months if they so choose, which would lift their ownership stake to 55%. In addition to that Altria will have the right to nominate four directors to the Cronos board, which will be expanded to seven members from five.

Cronos will remain a Canadian company, headquartered in Toronto.

On October 17, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize marijuana for recreational use.