As it stands, legal marijuana and alcohol are, essentially, to be kept at an arm’s length. While on the surface, getting legally ‘twisted’ sounds like it could be a fun time, states are clamping down on the fusion of alcohol and marijuana.
California, for example, has strictly outlined that their legal marijuana industry can, in no way, intertwine with the pre-existing alcohol market. That means no CBD-infused alcohol beverages, no strain and wine pairings, and, above all else—absolutely no cannabis can be sold in the same venue as alcohol.
However, while certain states in the U.S. might not be so keen on pairing alcohol and weed anytime soon, Canada, which is set to legalize recreational cannabis on October 17th, seems pretty bullish on the cannabis-infused drink market. In fact, one of the biggest names in the beer distribution business, Molson Coors, is set to claim a stake in Canada’s upcoming legal weed market.
Molson Coors Enters The Cannabis Industry
On Wednesday, Molson Coors Canada announced their burgeoning partnership with the cannabis company, The Hydropothecary Corporation. The two are set to produce and distribute non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.
While these beverages are non-alcoholic, it still remains another strong partnership between an alcohol and cannabis company. Fredric Landtmeters, the President and CEO of Molson Coors Canada, expressed his excitement to join the burgeoning industry.
“Canada is breaking new ground in the cannabis sector and, as one of the country’s leading beverage companies, Molson Coors Canada has a unique opportunity to participate in this exciting and rapidly expanding consumer segment,” Landtmeters said. “While we remain a beer business at our core, we are excited to create a separate new venture with a trusted partner that will be a market leader in offering Canadian consumers new experiences with quality, reliable and consistent non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.”
According to the company’s press release, Molson Coors Canada will have a 57.5% controlling interest in the joint venture. The deal is expected to be finalized on September 30th.
The Future of Cannabis-Infused Beverages
Again, while some early recreational cannabis laws forbid any sort of overlap between marijuana and alcohol, insiders believe that there will be a large market for weed-infused beverages. The common belief is that most places with recreational cannabis will eventually find a viable way to regulate the market.
Take Canada as a prime example. Although recreational pot will be fully legal come October 17th, their beverage sector will not be underway until at least 2019. Still, this has not deterred investors from claiming their stakes.
Constellation Brands, who owns Corona, paid $191 million for a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth last October. The company is simply gearing towards Canada’s soon-to-be-legal sector.
Other companies in the U.S. have also set their sites on the cannabis-infused drink market, albeit, with some risk. For example, Lagunitas, who are owned Heineken, debuted a cannabis-infused beverage last August. And a Nevada-based company, Cannabiniers, is set to launch their own brand of cannabis-infused beers next month.
However, people around the industry are especially high on Molson Coors’ investment in the industry. In fact, they believe the partnership is a complete game-changer for the blossoming market.
“We believe that the merger of the cannabis and beverage industries hold great potential for investors looking to reap the benefits of innovation in the space,” a group of analysts at Beacon Securities said, per Business Insider.