Neil Tackaberry

Major Beer Companies Test Cannabis Market Waters

Several large beer corporations have begun experiments in the cannabis space, according to a Forbes report. Market analysts predict a greater battle for each consumer dollar as cannabis becomes legalized in more U.S. states and eventually the continent and world. Major beer companies are already attempting to get a slice of that pie with cannabis-infused beers and other beverages.

With Canada’s legalization coming soon, most of the pilot beverages are being researched and launched in the northern nation. Constellation Brands, owners of the Corona and Modelo brands, were the earliest of the beer behemoths to begin investing in the new market. Molson Coors was next, with CEO Mark Hunter announcing that he had “assembled a team in Canada to actively explore the risks and opportunities of entering the cannabis space in that market.”

In the U.S., where cannabis prohibition is still ongoing, Heineken-owned Lagunitas Brewing Company has created a cannabis-infused sparkling water called “Hi-Fi Hops.” Lagunitas aims to distribute throughout California. The market for cannabis beverages is expected to grow stronger as many beginner cannabis consumers abandon smoking for healthier cannabis delivery methods.

While many other large beer companies are hesitant to experiment as much as Lagunitas, that may be changing. Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands has told investors that he has a team working on cannabis brands for the “world market, including the U.S.”

“We’re looking closely at precisely that issue and making sure that we understand what we can do and what we can’t do. We’re looking at it pretty carefully and if we see that opportunity within the confines of what we can legally do, we will do it.” — Rob Sands, in the Forbes report

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