It’s no secret that alcohol companies are moving into the cannabis industry, and no business has made a bigger move then Constellation Brands, the parent company of both Corona beer and Robert Mondavi wine. Constellation was already a big player when it purchased just under 10% of Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth and now Constellation, seeing the benefits of the burgeoning industry, has invested billions more in Canopy, as MarketWatch reports:
Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog said the news is “very positive” and the right move for Constellation Brands, as it “further solidifies Constellation Brands’ first-mover advantage as many of the major brewers are now pursuing cannabis as a potential growth driver.
“While there could be some cannibalization risk for Constellation Brands beer/alcohol portfolio, we believe the strategic partnership will ultimately be incremental to Constellation Brands’ core business, especially as the deal opens the door to tremendous white space opportunities globally – beyond Constellation Brands’ current U.S. limits with its core brands.”
The liquor company may eventually buy all of Canopy, she added, noting it has already reported a gain of more than $700 million on its initial investment.
As Market Watch notes, Canopy will now use the additional C$4.5 billion ($3.8 billion U.S.) to (wisely, in my opinion) expand operations in about 30 countries around the world. The full legalization of cannabis in Canada has given Canadian companies a huge advantage over other marijuana businesses and they are taking full advantage.
In full disclosure, the International Cannabis Business Conference has teamed up with Canopy Rivers, who works collaboratively with Canopy Growth, to host the “Micro License, Macro Impact” Pitch Day at the most recent ICBC in Vancouver where one company was awarded the chance to earn up to a $1 million dollar investment.
With businesses like Constellation Brands entering the cannabis industry, it is clear that capital is needed for many to survive and thrive in this ultra-competitive market. While it doesn’t match the multi-billion investment by Constellation or a potential million from Canopy Rivers, I’m proud to help the ICBC award at least $10,000 to an Oregon craft cannabis business at the upcoming ICBC in Portland. Even bigger than the $10,000 award is the opportunity for businesses to pitch their business in front of a room filled with investors and entrepreneurs. Who knows, maybe an Oregon Mom and Pop’s Constellation or Canopy Rivers will be in the audience?