For the past couple of years, news has circulated that the tobacco giant Marlboro is planning a new product. Marijuana cigarettes. But, is this fact or fiction? Fortunately, we’re about to myth bust this claim. Here’s the truth about the great Marlboro marijuana debate.
Marlboro Marijuana: Internet sensation
The buzz started back in 2014. Silly headlines read: “Phillip Morris Introduces ‘Marlboro M’ Marijuana Cigarettes“. It may sound credible when you first start reading, but then things get a little tricky.
The recent article from Abril Uno (translation: April First) casually explains,
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.
Does that sound real to you? It shouldn’t. This article is 100% fake. Plus, if Marlboro were to break into cannabis markets right now, they would have to connect with large-scale growing operations in individual states.
With federal illegality still an issue growers must contend with, cannabis cultivation still viewed as a risky investment for mega corporations like Philip Morris.
Though, admittedly, the faux packaging looks pretty plausible. It’s also plausible that big tobacco has its sights on cannabis. There have been articles recently that suggest that tobacco companies may be interested in diving into the green scene in the future.
A piece by the Daily Caller pointed out that tobacco corporations have been buying up eCig and vape companies. They also cited evidence suggesting that big tobacco has been toying with marijuana for several decades.
Though Marlboro cannabis is fake (for now), large-ish cannabis brands are already emerging. Companies like Dixie Elixirs and O-Pen Vape have branded products that sell in a variety of medical and recreational cannabis states. Current laws, however, limit the ways in which these companies can grow.
Cannabis products cannot be manufactured in one state and shipped to another. Rather, for a cannabis brand to develop in multiple states, a company needs to hire or purchase a production and manufacturing facility in that state in question. The brand must then comply with various state regulations.
In Oregon, for example, recreational edibles cannot exceed 15mg of THC.
So, while the cannabis industry now has semi-large brands for the first time in history, cannabis circulation is still quite limited when compared to other consumer goods. Yet, investment and interest from venture capitalist and tech corporations are heating up the scene.
There’s a lot of money building in the cannabis industry, which is a sign that things will only continue to get larger. Yet, until the federal illegality question is answered, the cannabis industry is stuck in a weird grey area.
Each year, the industry becomes more and more advanced. New products, brands, technology startups are desperately vying for secure market space. Yet, this is all without the official go-ahead from the feds, and without a crystal clear picture of where each company will be in five years.
Without a doubt, the industry is moving toward large, mainstream cannabis brands. Yet, it’s difficult to say when and if we’ll see something akin to Marlboro M in the near future. A lot will depend on the November presidential elections and many state elections to come.