AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, and Canadian cannabis producer Tilray will invest $100 million to research marijuana-infused beverages.
The companies said the partnership is limited to Canada and decisions regarding the commercialisation of the non-alcoholic beverages will be made in the future.
AB InBev’s participation will be through its subsidiary Labatt Breweries of Canada and Tilray’s participation will be through its Canadian cannabis subsidiary High Park Company, which develops, sells and distributes a portfolio of cannabis brands and products in Canada.
Each company intends to invest up to $50 million, for a total of up to $100 million to research beverages which contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Canada legalised the recreational use of cannabis in October, leading to a surge in investments in Canadian marijuana companies.
In August, Molson Coors Canada announced a partnership with Canadian cannabis producer The Hydropothecary Corporation to create a joint venture selling cannabis-infused drinks.
Meanwhile, Constellation Brands invested CAD 5 billion ($4 billion) in Canopy Growth Corporation, taking its overall holding in the supplier of medicinal marijuana up to 38%.
Kyle Norrington, president of Labatt Breweries of Canada, said: “Labatt is committed to staying ahead of emerging consumer trends. As consumers in Canada explore THC and CBD-infused products, our innovative drive is matched only by our commitment to the highest standards of product quality and responsible marketing.
“We intend to develop a deeper understanding of non-alcohol beverages containing THC and CBD that will guide future decisions about potential commercial opportunities. We look forward to learning more about these beverages and this category in the months ahead.”
Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Tilray, said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with a world-leading beverage company, AB InBev, to research how to create enjoyable cannabis beverage products.
“Tilray and AB InBev share a commitment to responsible product development and marketing, and we look forward to beginning our work on this important partnership as Tilray continues to pioneer the development of a professional, transparent, and well-regulated cannabis industry.”
AB InBev and Tilray said they believe that the legal market for THC and CBD beverages “will only thrive if the industry embraces appropriate regulation of adult-use cannabis, including responsible production, marketing, sale and consumption”.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019