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Big Tobacco Wants In On Medical Cannabis

October 4, 2023
x min read

Big tobacco is making a bet on medical cannabis.

What’s happening:

  • Tobacco giant Phillip Morris has agreed to purchase Israeli based medical technology company Syqe Medical
  • Syqe has developed an inhaler technology that uses medical cannabis to precisely dose patients with chronic neuropathic pain, without psychoactive effects

Why it matters:

  • There is enormous promise in medical cannabis treatments and technology that potentially go far beyond the opportunity of recreational cannabis
  • This is a major sign of validation that tobacco giants are looking to push their way into the medical cannabis space
  • Syqe’s medical inhaler device is currently already available in Israel and Australia and has also been approved by Canadian health regulators

By the numbers:

  • Phillip Morris will invest $120M to fund Syqe through an FDA approval of their medical device technology
  • If they are successful in receiving FDA approval then Phillip Morris will purchase the entire company for $650M
  • Previously Phillip Morris made a $1.44B acquisition of pharmaceutical company Vectura who develops inhaled medications and makes inhaler devices

The intrigue:

  • Phillip Morris was already an investor in Syqe Medical, previously putting $20M into the startup in order to help build out their technology

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