Cannabis-infused drinks could be worth billions says top US brewer
One of the world’s biggest beer brewers is bullish on cannabis-infused beverages.
Non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages could account for as much as $US3 billion, or 30 per cent of the total market in Canada alone says Molson Coors chief Mark Hunter.
Molson Coors is the world’s seventh biggest brewer by volume and owner of popular US beer brands such as Miller and Coors.
Many brewers are expected to move into the emerging legal recreational cannabis market because they fear legal marijuana could eat into alcohol sales.
“We decided as a business that we did not want to be a spectator as this new market opened up,” Mr Hunter said over night during the company’s earnings call.
“And we clearly wanted to be a participant.”
A specialised growth-oriented team at Molson has been “chasing down an opportunity in cannabis” he said.
In August, Molson Coors entered into a joint venture with HEXO, a Quebec-based marijuana cultivator, to produce cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market.
Canada legalised marijuana for all adults on October 17, though products like beverages, edibles, and vaporisers won’t be available until next fall.
Hunter said Molson Coors, through the joint venture, was “well-placed” to take a meaningful share of that market when it opens up.
“We’re already in research around the portfolio and the beverages that will be offered,” Hunter said. “We’ll be in a ready-to-go position and one of the first on the playing field as that market opens up.”
Molson Coors’ foray into the cannabis space comes as beer sales have declined slightly across the industry.
There are about 30-odd ASX-listed companies in the cannabis space and several such as Creso Pharma are already working on cannabis-infused beverages.
Today Stockhead reported that the segment is starting to make money: