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Friday Headlines: CW Deal with BAT; FIHO Names Board of Directors



Tobacco Giant Buys Stake In Charlotte’s Web


In a recent news release, Charlotte's Web Holdings announced that it had secured a $56.8 million investment in the form of a convertible debenture from a British American Tobacco subsidiary giving the multinational tobacco conglomerate an almost 20% stake in CW.


According to Charlotte's Web CEO Jacques Tortoroli, "This investment will provide Charlotte's Web with funding that we anticipate will help unlock deeper and broader research and development that is key to our continued innovation, global footprint, and the advancement of our intellectual property portfolio."


"This investment will provide Charlotte's Web with funding that we anticipate will help unlock deeper and broader research and development that is key to our continued innovation, global footprint, and the advancement of our intellectual property portfolio."

- Jacques Tortoroli, CEO of Charlotte's Web


This action is just the latest in a series of cannabis-related investments for BAT over the past few years. In September, the tobacco titan purchased a minority stake in Sanity Group, a German marijuana company. Moreover, in 2021 BAT invested over $175 million in Canadian licensed cannabis producer Organigram Holdings, providing it with a 19.9% stake in that company.


In a statement concerning the Charlotte's Web deal, Kingsley Wheaton, BAT's Chief Growth Officer, explains that "(CW has) strong brand equity, an extensive retail presence … and a track record of in-depth scientific research."


"(CW has) strong brand equity, an extensive retail presence … and a track record of in-depth scientific research."

- Kingsley Wheaton, BAT's Chief Growth Officer


BAT's recent foray into the cannabis industry is not an isolated occurrence. Many marijuana advocates and reformers have expressed deep concerns regarding the influx of capital and influence by Big Tobacco in the burgeoning and potentially massive cannabis sector.


Furthermore, as lawmakers and supporters work hard to end the federal ban on marijuana, watchdog groups are beginning to sound louder and louder alarm bells concerning opposition to having the tainted and sullied fingerprints of the tobacco industry mucking up the fragile foundational first steps of this extraordinary new American market.


It is something to keep a wary eye on as more states and Congress continue to devise legislation to make adult-use marijuana legal for more and more Americans.


International Hemp Organization Finalizes Its First Board Of Directors


According to a recent report, the newly-formed Federation of International Hemp Organizations (FIHO) will announce its first-ever board of directors on November 18th in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Priority number one for FIHO is removing hemp and its extracts from the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Along with tackling that existential issue, the organization will also listen to reports from several committees and tend to other matters related to further formalizing the group, according to the November 18th agenda.


FIHO, which met for an organizational meeting this past March, was formed to aid the fledgling worldwide industry by working with relevant international bodies to focus on pressing topics facing the growing hemp-based agricultural and industrial sectors.


The most critical issues FIHO will address:

  • Promoting the Production, Processing, Marketing and Trade of Hemp

  • Information Sharing

  • Producing Position Papers

  • Research Development and Standards

  • New Innovation and Technology for Hemp Production

International bodies FIHO intends to engage:

  • The UN's Committee on Narcotic Drugs

  • The World Health Organization

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

  • The UN's Food & Agriculture Organization

As the uses and economic impact of hemp continue to grow, FIHO could become a critical organizational body advocating for the young and still woefully underrepresented industry as it begins to establish enthusiastic but still tenuous footholds all over the globe.


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