Beverage giant Molson Coors is attempting to smoke out profits from the marijuana industry with cannabis infused beverages after Canada legalizes the drug for recreational use on October 17. Molson is planning to invest in and collaborate with several cannabis companies on cannabis-infused beverages in an effort to halt declining beer sales and capitalize on the approaching legalization in Canada, Bloomberg reports. According to the report, over the past few months, Molson has been negotiating with various cannabis companies, including Aphria Inc. and Aurora Cannabis Inc., discussing its partnership plans.
“We have assembled a team in Canada to actively explore the risks and opportunities of entering the cannabis space in that market, where it will be federally legal by this fall,” said Chief Executive Officer Mark Hunter at an investor presentation on June 6.
A source familiar with Molson Coors’ plans told Bloomberg the brewer is seeking “high quality product that isn’t going to embarrass them” and enough pot to make a potential cannabis-infused beverage feasible on a large scale. The source also mentioned that the company is most interested in marijuana with a fast-infused reaction that can imitate the effect of drinking a couple beers in 15 to 20 minutes.
With declining alcohol volumes, opportunities in craft beer and potential new revenue streams in legalized cannabis, Molson Coors is not the first brand attempting to enter the marijuana industry. Constellation Brands, the parent company for Corona, bought a minority stake in the United State’s largest marijuana producer, Canopy Growth in late 2017, and we can soon expect other alcohol conglomerates to diversify into cannabis. Rivals such as The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. plans to develop a product-testing and manufacturing center to explore using cannabis in everything from iced teas, juices and sports drinks.
It seems as though major beer brands are preparing for the effects of legal marijuana after sales of some beer companies dropped in Colorado, Washington and Oregon after the drug was legalized in these states.
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