British American Tobacco said it wanted to “accelerate” 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 a deal 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 boss Jack Bowles told Radio 4’s Today Programme. Mr Bowles said it saw cannabis related products as part of its future growth. The firm is currently trialling 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, encouraging people to switch.”
Releasing its half year results to the end of June, the tobacco giant reported an 8.1% 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.