Another large corporation is looking to cash in on the legal cannabis industry. Molson Coors Brewing Co., the seventh largest brewer in the world, recently announced that they plan to sell cannabis-infused beverages in Canada starting in 2019. Executives at Molson Coors say they plan to “secure a meaningful share” of the cannabis beverages market as soon as edibles become legal in the great white north next year.
“We will be in a ready-to-go position and, you know, one of the first on the playing field as the market opens up,” said Molson CEO Mark R. Hunter in a conference call.
Adult use of recreational cannabis became legal on October 17th. Cannabis oil, flower and plants are available for sale and are legal to own, but legal edibles won’t happen until 2019.
Even though the market for edibles and cannabis-infused beverages hasn’t yet been proven, Molson Coors sees the move as a lucrative strategy, considering that overall beer sales for large companies have been steadily declining in recent years. Many financial experts point out that there is a strong correlation between legal cannabis and consumer spending on booze.
“The emergence of legal cannabis in certain U.S. states and Canada may result in a shift of discretionary income away from our products or a change in consumer preferences away from beer,” stated the company’s 2017 year-end shareholder report.Molson Coors isn’t the only large corporation to notice the trend in consumer spending shifting from booze to herb. Several corporations have made plays – or plan to do so – to try and cash in on legal cannabis. The corporation that owns Corona beer made a “$4 billion bet” on cannabis earlier this August. Even Wal-Mart announced that it was doing “preliminary fact-finding” and researching whether the retail giant wanted to enter in the legal cannabis space in Canada.
Craft brewers and smaller winemakers would like to enter the emerging cannabis beverage market, but many of them cannot afford to change along with the constant regulatory climate and endless bureaucracy that unfortunately surrounds the legal cannabis industry.
Even though more mega corporations are entering the legal cannabis space, if fewer consumers are ditching harmful alcohol in favor of cannabis, that appears to be a win for everyone: the consumers themselves, the general public, and law enforcement. Do you think that there are too many corporations trying to cash in on legal cannabis?