TORONTO – The parent company of Labatt Breweries is teaming up with Tilray to partner on research geared towards the creation of a variety of non-alcoholic beverages containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Tilray chief executive Brendan Kennedy says that the BC-based cannabis producer and the Canadian arm of brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev will set up a joint venture to build on the expertise of their respective businesses.
Each partner has committed to provide the equivalent of about $67.5 million of funding to the joint venture that will look at a broad spectrum of ready-to-drink and ready-to-mix beverages.
“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,” said Kyle Norrington, President, Labatt Breweries of Canada. “We look forward to learning more about these beverages and this category in the months ahead.”
Current federal law allows adult-use of dried cannabis flower and oils. Regulations regarding edibles and extracts are currently undergoing public consultation and edible cannabis products and beverages will be introduced to the market by Oct. 17, 2019.
Ahead of the next wave of legalization, Canadian cannabis producers have been teaming up with global food and beverage brands. Molson Coors and Hexo, a Quebec-based cannabis producer, announced a similar partnership in August. Alcohol producer Constellations Brands Inc. invested $5 billion in Canopy the same month.
Kennedy says that Tilray’s strategy is to partner with global companies, like AB InBev, that can help it eventually grow beyond Canada. “We’re proud to be global pioneers and we want to pioneer with other global pioneers who are leaders in their respective sectors,” Kennedy said in an interview.