The New York-based company that sells Corona beer plans to create marijuana-infused beverages – but not for sale in the United States.
Beer-lovers in Canada, however, may find it on the market in their country in 2018.
That’s because unlike the U.S., Canada plans to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana at the federal level in 2018.
Given the current administration in Washington, the U.S. seems pretty far away from making that a reality any time soon.
Corona Staying Competitive
Constellation Brands, based in Upton, N.Y., this fall bought a minority stake in Canopy, a Canadian medical marijuana grower. Constellation sells Corona, Modelo and Pacifico, among other brands.
It’s a big deal in the business world. The $191 million investment marks the first time a major beer distributor has invested in the marijuana industry, according to Bloomberg. That means other major beer distributors could follow, such as Molson Coors and Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Part of the reason is the potential market for such products. The other is surveys that have indicated some people will buy less beer and more marijuana if it’s legal where they live.
Recreational cannabis will be legal in eight states in 2018: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Also, the District of Columbia.
About one in every five Americans live in these states. For beer companies, it could become a matter of “If you can’t beat them, join them.”
“There’s a threat on the horizon that if they don’t get into the game, they’re going to be left behind,” Jason Zandberg, an analyst at Vancouver-based PI Financial, told Bloomberg.
Choices In America
Constellation is not looking at working with Canopy on an infused drink product in the U.S. The company made that clear in a press release announcing the investment in Canopy:
“Constellation has no plans to sell any cannabis products in the U.S. or any other market unless or until it is legally permissible to do so at all government levels.”
The obvious choice is Canada. Officials there are working to craft regulations that will allow of nationwide legalization of medical and recreational marijuana nationwide in July 2018.
However, in the United States, there are still plenty of marijuana-infused beverages to choose from. For example, Lagunita’s has launched Supercritical, made with cannabis terpenes flavor (it doesn’t contain THC, the ingredient that causes the “high” feeling).
It’s only available in California, however.
There’s also CBD Living Water, which uses cannabidiol from marijuana, which is associated with positive health benefits. In this case, conditions such as nausea and even anxiety.
Of course, there’s also a great variety of edible products, even some for your pets. But for that marijuana-infused drink from Corona? America, you’ll have to wait.