August 2, 2018

The weed-infused beverage war is quietly brewing as Molson Coors enters joint venture

Molson Coors is the next beer maker to turn to Canada’s booming weed industry to make up for shrinking beer sales.

Molson Coors is the latest big brewer to officially enter Canada’s budding legal ganja industry. 

MC has partnered with Canadian-based MJ producer The Hydropothecary Corporation to make booze-free, cannabis-infused beverages as soon as recreational weed is legalized in Canada this October.

The new venture will run as a stand-alone startup operated by both companies, giving Molson Coors a 57.5% interest and 3 seats on the board of directors.

Molson Coors is in its experimentation phase 

The No. 2 US brewer is looking for new growth avenues as they continue to struggle with another weak quarter of sales for light lagers (or, as our sales guy Matt lovingly calls them, “canoe water”). 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Molson Coors’ global volume dropped 2.4% in Q2 (4.8% in the US) with a 3.1% decrease in revenue.

Meanwhile, Canadian weed is set to become a $7.5B industry…

And companies are hopping on board before it further cashes alcohol sales.

Corona brewer, Constellation Brands, took first greens in October, paying $191m for a 9.9% stake to develop weed-infused bevs with Canadian-based Canopy Growth.

Spiros Malandrakis, head of alcoholic drinks at Euromonitor, sums up the alcohol industry’s sudden interest in trees, predicting, “A transition towards a holistic, responsible intoxication model will be the end game.” 

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