Corona beer owner Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) has made a major play towards the future of booze with plans to sell cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages.
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The U.S.-based beverage company announced Monday that it has agreed to buy a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis company, for $191 million.
The company said it is planning to work with the grower to develop, market and sell cannabis-infused beverages.
Constellation Brands President and CEO Rob Sands told the Wall Street Journal that the move is in anticipation that marijuana will soon be legalized nationwide in the United States.
"We think that it's highly likely, given what's happened at the state level," Sands said. However, he added that his company doesn’t plan to sell any of the products in the U.S. until marijuana is legal nationwide, even if other states like California – which is expected to legalize the cultivation and selling of recreational marijuana in 2018 – get passed. Instead, he says the company will focus on selling its new products in overseas markets where recreational marijuana is legal. “Canopy Growth has a seasoned leadership team that understands the legal, regulatory and economic landscape for an emerging market that is predicted to become a significant consumer category in the future,” Sands said in a statement. “Our company’s success is the result of our focus on identifying early stage consumer trends, and this is another step in that direction.”