| 22 April 2024, Monday |

Cannabis part of the future says British American tobacco

British American Tobacco, UK’s largest tobacco firm, said it sees cannabis as part of its future as it tries to move away from selling traditional cigarettes.

The company said it wanted to “speed up” its transformation by reducing the health impact of its products.

In March, BAT took a stake in Canadian medical cannabis maker Organigram.

It also signed an agreement to research a new range of adult cannabis products, initially focused on cannabidiol (CBD).

“As we think about our portfolio for the future, certainly beyond nicotine products are interesting for us as another wave of future growth,” BAT executive Kingsley Wheaton told Radio 4’s Today Programme.

Wheaton, BAT’s chief marketing officer, said it saw cannabis related products as part of its future growth. The firm is currently trialing a CBD vape product in Manchester.

“I think [CBD vaping] is part of the future, but the present challenge is reduced harm in tobacco and nicotine alternatives, urging people to switch.”

The tobacco giant released its half year results to the end of June, and reported an 8.1 percent rise in revenues to £12.18bn.

It said more than a third of its UK revenues now come from vaping brands such as Vuse, Velo and glo.

The tobacco giant also saw its fastest gain in new customers, with users of non-combustible products – such as vapes – jumping 2.6 million to 16.1 million.