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Imperial Brands invests in medical cannabis research company

The size of the investment in biotech company, Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, was not disclosed by the FTSE 100 tobacco firm
Medicinal cannabis
Imperial appointed an expert in medicinal cannabis to its board of directors last year

Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) said its subsidiary, Imperial Brands Ventures, will invest in a British biotech company researching how marijuana can be used in medicine.

The FTSE 100-tobacco company did not disclose the size of the stake it would be taking in the company, Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, but the investment follows a previous move last year when Imperial appointed an expert in medicinal cannabis to its board of directors.

READ: Imperial Brands shares jump as it reports ‘significant progress’ in next generation products

The announcement also comes a day after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a cannabis-based drug for the first time, a move seen as opening floodgates for more research into the medicinal properties of cannabis.

The investment forms part of a wider trend among tobacco companies, who are trying to diversify their product ranges outside of traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes in order to maintain market share.

In mid-afternoon trading Thursday, Imperial Brands shares were up 1.6% at 2,779p.

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