Corona Owner Wins on Canadian Cannabis, Interested in the U.S.
Constellation Brands, the owner of Corona Beer and Robert Mondavi wine made big news when the company bought a stake of Canopy Browth, the largest cannabis producer in Canada and the first cannabis company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. That investment has paid off as Consteallation has already netted a $700 million windfall according to Chief Executive Officer Robert Sands in a conference call to reporters, while noting that the company would be interested in making a similar investment in the U.S. once federal law changes, as Bloomberg reported:
Sands suggested the company might invest in the U.S. market if it would be legal to do so. While marijuana is outlawed at the federal level, Massachusetts will on Sunday become the seventh state to allow recreational sales.
“We are not going to do anything that is volative of federal law, but we are looking closely at that issue and making sure we understand what we can do and what we can’t do,” he said. If it’s legal, “we will do it,” he said.
Constellation paid about about C$245 million ($186 million) for an almost 10 percent stake in Canopy in October. Sands said earlier this year that the alcohol giant and Canopy are developing a pot-laced beverage for the Canadian market.
Constellation’s financial gains in the cannabis world come at a good time for the company as its stock prices just took a dip after profit margins dropped. Once federal prohibition ends, it looks like there will be some competition from a couple of other brewers as well as a tobacco company, according to Investor’s Business daily:
In an effort to get ahead, Heineken (HEINY)-owned Lagunitas, a brewer in California, said this week it will launch a THC-infused sparkling water in California dispensaries on July 30. Sands said Constellation was “pretty interested” in what Lagunitas was doing, and how it was doing it.
Lagunitas’ cannabis beverage, Hi-Fi Hops, stems from a collaboration with AbsoluteXtracts, which is part of CannaCraft, a California marijuana producer.
Molson Coors (TAP) is also reportedly weighing whether to partner with a Canadian marijuana company to offer cannabis-infused drinks. U.K. tobacco company Imperial Brands (IMBBY) this week said it was investing in a medical marijuana research company.
Alcohol companies entering the cannabis market are too be expected and we should seek to capitalize on the benefits they provide. Beer is about as American as apple pie and cannabis-infused products provide a new revenue stream as well help bring cannabis into the mainstream. As big companies enter into the cannabis market, we must work even harder to ensure that regulations don’t become too burdensome and that we stay true to our foundational principles of keeping people out of prison and helping patients in need. We can seize economic opportunities while staying true to our cause for freedom.
To stay up to date on the latest developments in the cannabis industry and network with top investors, entrepreneurs, and activists in the industry, join us in Portland, Oregon, for the Internationational Cannabis Business Conference this September 27th-28th. Get your tickets by September 12th to save $200!