Back in 2018, Tobacco giant Altria invested $1.8 billion in Canadian cannabis company Cronos Group. The very public investment gave Altria a 45% stake in the Canadian firm with an option to increase its stake to 55% over the next five years. Since then, the company, which is the parent firm for cigarette brands like Malboro and Parliament, has been trying to increase its stake in the nascent marijuana industry behind the scenes by patenting cannabis technology.
According to records from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Altria filed two patents for vaporizer devices specifically designed for cannabis in late February this year. It also owns two older vaporizer patents from the same inventor filed before Altria bought a stake in Cronos and Cronos got those patents through a sale, a company spokesman said. Designed by Israel-based inventor Youseff Raichman, the vaporizers have temperature controls meant to allow customers…
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