Briefing

Anheuser-Busch joins pot industry with Tilray beverage partnership

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Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the maker of Budweiser, is partnering with B.C.-based marijuana firm Tilray Inc. to research non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages. The two companies will   each invest up to $50 million. The partnership is limited to Canada, and decisions surrounding the commercialization of any potential products will come later, as marijuana edibles and beverages won’t be legal in the country until 2019. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: Anheuser-Busch is joining the ranks of other alcohol giants entering the cannabis industry. Molson Coors Brewing signed a joint venture with Hexo Corp., a Quebec-based cannabis producer. Constellation Brands—an international producer of beer, wine and spirits—is now the biggest shareholder in Canopy Growth, investing $5 billion back in August, and Tobacco company Altria Group announced a US$1.8-billion investment in Cronos Group earlier this month. While the Constellation and Altria deals include the option to take majority control in the future, Tilray wanted to remain independent. The company’s shares increased 16 per cent in post-market trading on Wednesday, and are up over 10 per cent as of Thursday close. Also Thursday, the federal government released its plan for regulating cannabis edibles, limiting solids and beverages to 10 milligrams of THC per package, prohibiting the inclusion of any alcohol or nicotine and limiting caffeine.