business news in context, analysis with attitude

Molson Coors reportedly is looking at Canada’s legalization of marijuana for recreational use as a potential profit opportunity.

The Denver Post quotes the company’s CEO, Mark Hunter, as having recently told investors that Molson Coors has “assembled a team in Canada to actively explore the risks and opportunities of entering the cannabis space in that market, where it will be federally legal by this fall.”

The story says that Molson Coors is said to have “held talks with several Canadian-based marijuana companies to invest and collaborate in cannabis-infused beverages in an attempt to halt declining beer sales … The speculation comes the same week as Canada gave the final approval for recreational sales to begin on Oct. 17. While edibles, including beverages, won’t be legal initially, companies are already jockeying for market share due to the potentially lucrative opportunity. There’s been an ‘explosion of interest’ in edibles and six out of 10 consumers will probably choose to consume edible products, according to a June 5 report from Deloitte.”

The Post goes on to note that Constellation Brands, which markets Corona, bought a minority stake last year in Canada’s largest marijuana producer, and a number of rivals are planning “a product-testing and manufacturing center to explore using cannabis in everything from iced teas, juices and sports drinks.”
KC's View:
How about ice cream? Marijuana-infused ice cream would be a two-for-one deal, giving you the munchies and satisfying them all at the same time. (I’ve heard from reliable sources that marijuana gives one the munchies…)

Even though I’m not sure how I feel about pot being made legal for recreational purposes (I have no doubt that it should be legal for medicinal applications), it seems to me that national legalization in the US probably inevitable. (Not in this administration, but down the road apiece. The current Attorney General is avowedly anti-pot, and the folks in the White House aren’t likely to look at Canada with a fond maybe-we-should-be-like-them attitude.)

There was a story in the Los Angeles Times the other day about how, after recreational marijuana became legal in California, “he Desert Hot Springs Inn in the Coachella Valley began advertising itself as cannabis friendly — a place where guests can smoke by the pool or heat up a vaporizer in the rooms.” The result? Business improved by 50 percent, driven by upper-income baby boomers.

The Times writes that “cannabis advocates and some hotel industry experts say that it is only a matter of time before vaping rooms and pot-smoking patios become as much a part of hotels as fully stocked mini fridges and cocktail bars.”

This all probably is going to happen. With that in mind, it only makes sense for beer companies - and, when you think about it, every other packaged food/beverage manufacturer - to start looking at the opportunities.

Just thought of another one: Marijuana-infused Oreos. I mean, they’ve tried about every other damned flavor.