According to sources at BNN Bloomberg, Molson Coors Brewing Co. is discussing expansion with several Canadian cannabis producers including Aphria Inc. and Aurora Cannabis Inc., and a deal could be announced within a year.
Also, Molson-Coors CEO Mark Hunter announced on June 6 that the company was exploring opportunities in Canada’s new recreational cannabis market. “We have assembled a team in Canada to actively explore the risks and opportunities of entering the cannabis space in that market,” Hunter said. Recreational cannabis will go live in Canada on Oct. 17.
The aphorism “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” now applies to the beer industry. The beer industry is inexorably linked to the cannabis industry. When one increases in popularity, the other decreases. Unless companies like Molson-Coors take advantage of the imminent cannabis industry in Canada and elsewhere, they are going to lose out on opportunities.
Analysts at Cowen & Co. studied the relationship between the beer and cannabis industries. “Our analysis found that adult-use cannabis states also have consumers that report meaningfully lower quantities of alcohol consumed per binge drinking session, relative to medical and non-cannabis states,” Vivien Azer, a senior analyst for Cowen & Co. told BNN Bloomberg. Cannabis is best enjoyed by itself, and usually doesn’t mix well with alcohol. Because of this, some beer companies have experimented with alcohol-free drinks that are infused with cannabis.
It wouldn’t be the first time that beer brands have ventured into the cannabis industry. Constellation Brands Inc., the U.S. distributor of Corona beer, recently made a deal with Canopy Growth Corp. Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits LLC announced a partnership with Aphria in May as well, signaling a trend involving beer and wine companies.
It’s likely that we will hear more from Molson-Coors in the near future, with recreational cannabis sales looming in a matter of months.