Marlboro cigarette maker Altria is in early stage talks to acquire Canadian cannabis producer Cronos, as it seeks to diversify its business beyond traditional smokers, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.
Cronos has not agreed to any deal and there is no certainty it will do so, the people said.
The news comes as Altria is also eyeing a significant minority stake in e-cigarette company Juul, people familiar with the situation have told CNBC.
The people asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Altria did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while Cronos said in a statement that it "confirmed that it is engaged in discussions concerning a potential investment by Altria Group ... in Cronos Group."
"No agreement has been reached with respect to any such transaction and there can be no assurance such discussions will lead to an investment or other transaction involving the companies," the company's statement said.
Reuters first reported the talks between Altria and Cronos.