It looks like the Marlboro Man may soon be into weed: Tobacco company Altria Group is reportedly considering buying a stake in Canadian cannabis producer Aphria.
Canada's Globe and Mail cited multiple unidentified sources in reporting Altria, maker of Marlboro cigarettes, had expressed an interest in acquiring a minority piece of the the pot producer. Details of the investment are still being worked out, but the idea would be to eventually hold a majority footing in the Canadian firm, according to the newspaper.
The talks aren't yet final and could fall through, the report stressed. Altria had no comment on "rumors and speculation," a spokesperson said in an email, while Ontario-based Aphria didn't immediately return a request for comment.
Altria would be just the latest in a slew of American consumer companies looking to ink deals with Canadian cannabis firms as sales of recreational marijuana are set to be legal in Canada, starting in a week.
Coca-Cola last month said it might target consumers seeking to ease inflammation and related pain by using a legal chemical found in pot called CBD that's unrelated to the psycoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
The American beverage company's signaling its interest came about a month after Coors said its Canadian division would partner with Canadian cannabis producer Hydropothecary to develop a nonalcoholic drink containing marijuana.
Separately, Constellation Brands, the maker of Corona Beer, said it would spend $3.8 billion to hike an investment in Canadian marijuana producer Canopy Growth.