We have seen the headlines on the internet read, “Phillip Morris setting its eyes on the Cannabis industry”. The idea of cannabis cigarettes by Marlboro, have riled up the marijuana community with anger. Especially since tobacco companies have been supporting ‘anti-drug’ campaigns for years. The only problem with the headline is that it’s not true.
Currently, there is no indication that the tobacco industry is interested in cultivating cannabis (cannabis cigarettes) even though they have the infrastructure to take cannabis to a completely new level in terms of distribution, processing and so forth.
Cannabis Cigarettes – why isn’t Cannabis by Marlboro happening anytime soon?
The tobacco industry, which is being subsidized by the government, is one of the heaviest regulated industries (in the U.S). Meaning that by them entering into the cannabis industry they would be under even more scrutiny. Additionally, due to the current pseudo-legal status of cannabis, there are no options for banking and for the tobacco industry is still a volatile market.
Furthermore, there are currently brands within the actual cannabis industry that is cornering the marketing, closing the gap for giant organizations such as Marlboro to enter and dominate. These organizations are trusted by the cannabis community whereas companies like Phillip Morris are generally distrusted and in many cases hated by users. In other words, even though the tobacco industry might be interested in cannabis cultivation, production and distribution… odds are that they won’t get into it simply because the market would not accept their product.
It’s almost as if Monsanto would start producing cannabis seeds. How many people do you think would be buying those seeds? You can rest assured ‘not many’.
How anyone could have believed the myth in the first place
The origin of the myth started years back with a few “click bait articles”. They suggested that companies like Marlboro is interested in the cannabis industry. However, upon further inspection it’s quite obvious that the articles were fake.
For instance, here’s a quote from one of those articles published in 2014;
Norcik [Philip Morris’s senior VP of marketing] added that they have begun contacting former drug lords in Mexico and Paraguay, currently the largest marijuana-producing countries in the world, for the possibility of setting up a distribution ring across the North and South American continents, to streamline the supply lines. Via Abril Uno
Of course, the URL of the website literally translates to “April First” or “April Fools”. For anyone with a half a brain to make the connection that this site is a satirical site. The problem however is that people simply accept information to be true. Once someone has concluded that this article is true, they go out and start telling their friends and acquaintances and so the rumor spreads like digital wildfire.
This is why it’s always important to fact check your sources. Trace the story to its origins and use a bit of logic. The quote I placed on top is obviously not a position that a multi-billion dollar company would take (negotiating with drug cartels).
In conclusion, the idea of “ Cannabis Cigarettes by Marlboro ” might seem like something plausible in the far future…nonetheless it’s not happening soon.