RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Tobacco leaf supplier Universal Corporation is launching a joint venture to produce liquid nicotine for the electronic cigarette industry.
The Richmond, Va.-based company said its Virginia Tobacco Company subsidiary is joining botanical extraction company Avoca Inc. to create AmeriNic Inc.
Universal says the new business will produce pharmacy-grade liquid nicotine in the U.S. using fully traceable and compliant tobaccos. Production is expected to begin before the end of 2013.
CEO George Freeman III noted that the electronic cigarette industry is growing rapidly and that the company looks forward to being a reliable, high-quality supplier for the emerging market.
Universal Corporation is a global leaf tobacco supplier and conducts business in more than 30 countries.