Tobacco giant Altria made a very public splash with its $1.8 billion investment in recreational cannabis in 2019. Since buying in, the company has been much more quietly trying to claim a long-term stake in the marijuana industry by patenting cannabis technology, public records show.
In late February of this year, Altria, the parent company of cigarette brands including Marlboro and Parliament, filed two patent applications for vaporizer devices specifically designed for cannabis, according to United States Patent and Trademark Office filings.
The company is also the current owner on two older vaporizer patents from the same inventor filed earlier and acquired through a sale, a company spokesman said. Those patents also specifically mention cannabis.
The Altria cannabis devices have temperature controls meant to allow consumers to vaporize THC or CBD.