Molson Coors launching joint venture with Canadian pot producer

Will develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:22 pm

The Canadian business unit of Molson Coors Brewing Co. will launch a joint venture with Canadian cannabis producer The Hydropothecary Corp. to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused bevereages for the Canadian market, the companies announced today.

Molson Coors Canada will have a 57.5 percent controlling interest in the joint venture and The Hydropothecary Corp, or HEXO, will have the remaining ownership interest. The joint venture will be structured as a standalone start-up company with its own board of directors and an independent management team.

“While we remain a beer business at our core, we are excited to create a separate new venture with a trusted partner that will be a market leader in offering Canadian consumers new experiences with quality, reliable and consistent non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages,” said Frederic Landtmeters, Molson Coors Canada president and chief executive officer.

Bloomberg reported in June that Molson Coors held talks with Canadian marijuana companies to explore the potential for cannabis-infused beverages. The company has also highlighted the emergence of legal marijuana and the resulting shifts in consumer preferences as a potential risk factor for its business.

“We are excited about this partnership with Molson Coors Canada, an iconic leader in adult beverages, as we embark on the journey of building a brand new market. With this new company, we are bringing together Quebec’s oldest, most established company with one of its newest success stories in a truly innovative partnership,” said Sebastien St-Louis, HEXO co-founder and CEO.

The transaction is expected to close Sept. 30.

Canada is set to begin the legal sale of marijuana in October with regulation of a consumable cannabis market expected next year.

Molson Coors is the parent company of MillerCoors, which produces Miller Lite and Coors Light in the U.S. The company also owns the Leinenkugel brand as part of its Tenth and Blake craft beer division.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.