Coors To Brew Marijuana-Infused Beer
Good news for our Canadian neighbors up north! Molson Coors Brewing Company has partnered with cannabis producer, The Hydropothecary Corporation (HEXO), to develop a non-alcoholic marijuana-infused beer in Canada.
"HEXO continues to lead the way for smoke-free cannabis innovation in Canada . We are excited about this partnership with Molson Coors Canada, an iconic leader in adult beverages, as we embark on the journey of building a brand new market," said HEXO's CEO and co-founder Sebastien St-Louis in a statement. "With this new company, we are bringing together Quebec's oldest, most established company with one of its newest success stories in a truly innovative partnership. As two leading companies who share a track record of excellent practices, as well as respect for law and regulations, HEXO and Molson Coors Canada have established a relationship built on trust, and together we will develop responsible, high-quality cannabis-infused beverages for the consumable cannabis market in Canada ."
For those unaware, Canadian lawmakers voted overwhelmingly, 52-29, to pass a bill legalizing marijuana for recreational use. This effectively made Canada only the third country in the world to do so, and the first of the big G7 and G20 nations to allow recreational marijuana use. Previously, Uruguay and Georgia were the first nations to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Canada's marijuana laws go into effect on October 17, 2018.
Surprisingly, the sales of marijuana-infused drinks are still prohibited under Canadian law. That said, both Molson Coors and HEXO are thinking forward, expecting that Canada will amend their law by 2019 in order to accommodate the sale of drinkable marijuana-infused edibles. No word yet if this amendment would allow alcoholic versions of this proposed marijuana drink, though currently there are no countries that allow both marijuana and alcohol infused drinks.
"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. This new venture is consistent with our growth strategy and our commitment to being First Choice for Consumers and Customers by ensuring that Canadians have access to high-quality products that meet their evolving drinking preferences," said Frederic Landtmeters, President and CEO of Molson Coors Canada, in a released statement. "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. We look forward to partnering with HEXO, a recognized leader in the medical cannabis space in Canada that will bring robust production capacity, a track record of innovation, and, most importantly, shared values when it comes to doing business the right way and earning the trust of consumers."
Molson joins fellow beer maker Ceria, the creators of Blue Moon, in jumping on the marijuana-infused beverage bandwagon. Ceria announced in March that they were also producing a non-alcoholic THC-infused beer. Ceria beverages plan to offer three THC strengths: light, regular and full bodied. Light will contain up to 6 mg, regular up to 10 mg, and full bodied will have up to 15 mg of the psychoactive compound.
Ceria's drinks are expected to be sold wherever marijuana is recreationally available. It is still unclear if Molson will import their brew to the U.S. market, but it is highly unlikely while the United States' federal prohibition of marijuana remains a thorn in the marijuana industry's side. It has been shown that alcohol sales have declined in states where marijuana is recreationally available. It will be interesting to see if any other breweries will develop cannabis beers in the future as more states legalize marijuana.
While it is unlikely that marijuana-infused drinks will reach Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries anytime soon, medical marijuana patients will be able to purchase tinctures in Ohio dispensaries that can be added to drinks. As always, stay tuned for more updates!