Montreal- One of the largest beer producers in the world is entering the cannabis industry.
Earlier this week, Molson Coors announced that they have agreed to partner with The Hydropothecary Corporation to produce non-alcoholic drinks infused with cannabis.
The deal is expected to be finalized by September 30. The infused beverage company will operate independently of The Hydropothecary Corp and Molson Coors. It will have its own board and management positions as well.
“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 according to Business Insider.
Landmeters did stress that Molson Coors is still primarily a beer maker despite the new venture.
“While we remain a beer business at our core, we are excited to create a separate new venture with a trusted partner that will be a market leader in offering Canadian consumers new experiences with quality, reliable and consistent non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages,” he continued.
Investors seem excited at the idea of combining the cannabis and beer industry.
“We believe that the merger of the cannabis and beverage industries hold great potential for investors looking to reap the benefits of innovation in the space,” a group of analysts at Beacon Securities, a Toronto-based investment bank, said in a statement.
Recreational cannabis sales are set to begin on October 17 in Canada. However, infused edibles and drinks will not be available initially.
Molson Coors is not the first beer maker to enter the cannabis industry. Lagunitas, a company owned by Heineken, also produces a cannabis-infused beer.
Legal cannabis sales have gradually started to cut into beer sales. Last year, a study was released showing that as much as 7.1 percent of beer sales could be siphoned from the cannabis industry.
Earlier this year, the Aspen Department of Finance released revenue numbers showing that the cannabis sales in the resort town generated $11.3 million in revenue while liquor sales totaled $10.5 million for 2017.