Molson Coors to make cannabis-based drinks in Canada

04 August, 2018, 05:48 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Gatineau's Hydropothecary, Molson Coors launch cannabis drink project

The joint venture will be set up as a start-up company with both its own board of directors and an independent management team.

Hydropothecary would own the rest.

"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", Frederic Landtmeters, President and CEO of Molson Coors Canada said.

Closing of the transaction, which is targeted to occur before September 30, 2018, is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.

The Hydropothecary Corporation partners with Molson Coors and the pair hope to develop many cannabis beverages ahead of the national recreational legalization of cannabis in Canada.

Adults in states with legal cannabis binge drink an average of 13% fewer times per month than those in states without legal recreational marijuana, according to Vivien Azer, a cannabis industry analyst at the investment bank Cowen. Molson Coors said it expects cannabis beverages to be legal by 2019.

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"There is a paradigm shift underway and cannabis has the potential to provide answers to the alcoholic drinks industry's existential questions", said Spiros Malandrakis, head of alcoholic drinks at Euromonitor. "Indeed, our own consumer survey work in Canada, as well as consumer survey work conducted by Deloitte, indicate that only 20% of users regularly consume alcohol when using cannabis".

He added: "As two leading companies who share a track record of excellent practices, as well as respect for law and regulations, Hexo and Molson Coors Canada have established a relationship built on trust, and together we will develop responsible, high-quality cannabis-infused beverages for the consumable cannabis market in Canada".

Corona beer distributor Constellation Brands Inc. invested $245 million for a 9.9 per cent stake in Canada's largest licensed cannabis producer, Canopy Growth, last year.

Molson Coors Canada is headquartered in Toronto and is indeed North America's oldest brewer, with sales that capture about one-third of the total Canadian beer market, selling brands like Coors Light, Belgian Moon, Molson Canadian, and several others.

These deals appear to be hedges against falling alcohol sales where legal cannabis has been introduced.

Its stock closed up 11.03 per cent or 0.48 cents to $4.83 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company reported $1.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts' consensus estimates of $1.83 by $0.05.



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