Legal cannabis hits beer sales in Canada

January 9, 2020
By Alana House

Canada’s first full year of legal cannabis has led to a 3% fall in beer volumes according to data from Beer Canada.

“This is far worse than the trends seen between 2014-2018, where beer industry volumes fell an average 0.3%,” Cowen & Co analyst Vivien Azer reported in a note to investors this week.

Domestic beer volumes fell 3.9% through to last November, while imported beer volumes grew 1.4%.

Those who smoke marijuana also prefer mainstream beer ‘as they pursue better “buzz for your buck”‘, Anzer said.

Anzer became Wall Street’s first pot analyst in 2016 and believes the fall is related to Canada’s legalisation of marijuana in late 2018.

She expects Canada’s launch of newly legal pot products such as vapes, edibles and cannabis beverages to “perpetuate this trend” of declining beer volumes, and said she favours cannabis over mainstream beer as an investment.

Canada’s Cannabis Act allows people 18 and older to buy marijuana online or in retail stores. Most provinces have raised the minimum age to 19, however, to align with the country’s legal drinking age. 

AB In-Bev launches cannabis tea

The Financial Post reports AB-InBev is kicking off its push into cannabis-infused beverages with a lineup of flavoured teas — Lavender Chamomile, Vanilla Rooibos and Peach Ginger Green.

Cannabis tea

The “Everie” teas will contain 98% pure cannabidiol, the non-psychotropic ingredient in cannabis, with only a trace — 0.05 milligrams — of THC, the component that gets you high.

They will be sold through Fluent Beverages, a joint venture between AB-InBev NV’s Labatt Breweries of Canada and pot company Tilray Inc’s High Park Co.

The drinks will hit the shelves after pot edibles and beverages become legal in Canada next week. Non-alcoholic sparkling beverages will follow early in 2020, the company said.

AB-InBev joins Molson Coors Brewing Co, which entered the cannabis beverage market through a joint venture with Hexo Corp, while Constellation Brands is the biggest shareholder in pot company Canopy Growth Corp.

Canopy plans to offer both THC and CBD drinks made from distilled cannabis while Truss Beverage Co will sell Flow Glow CBD beverages.

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