British American Tobacco (BAT) has announced it will take a near 20% stake in Canadian cannabis producer Organigram for around $US175 million as it seeks to diversify its interests.

The deal will give BAT access to R&D technologies, product innovation and cannabis expertise, with an initial focus on CBD.

Organigram chief executive Greg Engel said the companies will jointly develop new products for oral and vapour-based cannabis delivery and will be able to commercialise any products developed under their own brands.

BAT will become Organigram’s largest shareholder with two directors on the board.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...