One of the world’s biggest alcohol distributors thinks the future of inebriation could involve less alcohol and more weed. The Wall Street Journal reports that Constellation Brands, owner of Svedka vodka, importer of Corona and and other beers, and a major wine producer, paid $191 million for a 9.9 percent stake in Canopy Growth Corp., a publicly traded Canadian cannabis company. This deal marks Constellation Brands’s hope to be in on the ground floor of the production of alcohol-free, cannabis-infused drinks.
Noticing the slow but steady legalization of marijuana at the state level, the spirits company feels that now is the time to make moves in the cannabis-infused products industry. As opposed to doubling down on alcohol, Rob Sands, Constellation's president and CEO, sees an opportunity for his company be involved with any product a consumer may choose to take the edge off. “Could it be a threat? Yes, I guess it could be,” Sands told the Journal. “We’re not going to stand around twiddling our thumbs.”
High on a 13 percent uptick in Corona sales, Constellation has the funds to make what could seem like a risky move, but may ultimately be an incredible payoff. The company’s money will go towards the development of cannabis-infused beverages like bottled coffee, sodas, and fruit drinks.
While Constellation won’t sell their marijuana-infused products in the US until weed is made legal nationwide, Sands told the Journal that since such products are likely to be legal in Canada as soon as 2019, they may start there, as well as in other countries that have already legalized weed.
With niche cannabis products products like weed-infused coffee pods and a bowl that packs both weed and cereal popping up all over the country the great excitement of consumers, a large company like Constellation’s foray into this market seems perfectly timely.