In one of the biggest investments in the industry, Constellation Brands, the maker of Corona beer, is sinking a cool $4 billion into Canopy Growth, one of Canada’s largest cannabis producers.
Constellation, among the first big alcohol makers to invest in the marijuana industry, also pumped nearly $200 million into Canopy last year in a deal to produce a non-alcoholic cannabis-based beverage.
Canopy will use the proceeds to expand to the nearly 30 countries that are likely to approve medical marijuana, said the company’s CEO, Bruce Linton, per Reuters.
“This is rocket fuel,” Linton said. “We’re going to be way more global.”
We knew it had to happen
The alcohol industry is obviously adding cannabis as an edgy ingredient to their brew in the face of slowing sales as increasing numbers of people are choosing weed over whiskey.
Molson Coors Brewing Co. started a joint venture with Hydropothecary Corp. to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market.
Heineken-owned Lagunitas launched a non-alcoholic drink infused with THC, which by the way, is negligible.
But, their efforts are paying off if the stock market is any indication. Canopy’s Canadian shares jumped as much as 52 percent after the announcement.
How does this translate to the US market where yes, it’s legal in one state, and no it’s not in another?
Linton, of Canopy, predicted that cannabis may become federally legal in the U.S. “sooner than people think” and that his company is doing everything lawful to get ready.
Still, these companies face a formidable obstacle in the Trump administration. Perhaps, more specifically with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who for decades has made prosecuting marijuana crimes one of his main focuses.
Still, Trump appeared to slightly budge on the issue when he signaled that he would allow states to decide how to regulate their state-legal medical marijuana programs after MMJ protections were inserted into a House Appropriations bill in May, against the will of AG Sessions.