With several beer companies making the leap into the burgeoning cannabis industry, many observers are wondering if the trend will continue or whether we’ll see other business sectors make a similar jump. With evidence showing the legal cannabis may be hurting alcohol sales generally and that younger drinkers are choosing other options to imbibe, it makes sense that beer companies will start investing heavily in cannabis especially with Canada legalizing for all adults. Mike Adams, writing in Forbes, wonders if Anheuser-Busch will be the next major brewer to join the cannabis industry after the Globe and Mail reported that the beer giant was meeting with Canadian cannabis producers:
Forbes asked the beer giant to elaborate on this claim, all Anheuser-Busch VP of Communications Gemma Hart was willing to say is that “we are closely following the legalization trends in the cannabis industry.”
“There are still many unknowns regarding the long-term commercial and societal impacts of marijuana legalization,” she added. “It is our hope that the public health community and policy makers are examining this issue carefully so that marijuana is regulated appropriately where it’s legal.”
What we do know is the cannabis trade is the largest growing business sector in North America. Sure, Anheuser-Busch has Budweiser, conceivably the most popular domestic beer brand on the planet, but beer sales have been sliding into the proverbial crapper for the past five years. Generation Z and even Millennials are simply no longer interested in drinking alcohol like the generations that came before them. Some data even shows that the majority of these demographics prefer marijuana to alcohol.
Just following the current business trends, it would appear that it is only a matter of time before Anheuser-Busch joins the cannabis industry. There is simply too much money to be made for major alcohol companies to just sit back and watch their market share move towards marijuana when they could easily become a major player in the cannabis industry.
While huge corporations play the wait-and-see game on cannabis, opportunities are opening up for entrepreneurs and investors alike. There is certainly a lot of risk and volatility in the cannabis market, but the potential for reward remains great. As potential profits turn into actual profits after Canada legalizes on October 17th, deep-pocketed businesses like Anheuser-Busch won’t be staying away.
Learn the latest trends and network with top investors and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in Portland, Oregon, this September 27th-28th. Purchase your “early bird” tickets by September 12th to save $200.