Molson Coors Forms JV with Canadian Cannabis Company, Shares Q2 Results

Molson Coors Forms JV with Canadian Cannabis Company, Shares Q2 Results

Molson Coors Forms JV with Canadian Cannabis Company, Shares Q2 Results

Industry experts have pointed to the stigma of smoking as one reason companies are developing smoke-free ways to consume cannabis once its recreational use is legal in Canada, as of October 17 this year.

According to a December 2017 Georgia State University study, alcohol sales fell by as much as 20 percent in U.S. states that legalized marijuana. Molson will own 57.5 percent of the venture, while Hydropothecary holds 42.5 percent.

The partnership will be structured as a standalone company with its own board and management team and a chief executive officer is expected to be named within the coming weeks.

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"We believe, potentially, it's got really significant potential and we're going to learn a lot and if other markets start to open up in due course and this becomes federally legal then we'll be in a good place at that point in time", Molson Coors CEO Mark Hunter said during a conference call about its second-quarter results.

The deal will be finalized by the end of September and is subject to the final approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Canada's statistics agency has suggested that the value of the country's cannabis industry could be between CAD 5 billion ($3.76 billion) and CAD 7 billion ($5.27 billion).

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"The new company will combine the proven beverage experience of Canada's leading brewer with a recognized innovator in the fast-growing cannabis sector to explore the highly anticipated consumable cannabis market, which is expected to be legally permissible in Canada in 2019", the release said.

HEXO is based in Gatineau, Que., and now has more than 27,8700 square metres (300,000 square feet) of production capacity with an expansion more than three times that size to be completed by the end of the year.

Molson Coors is the latest beer company to enter the Canadian cannabis market.

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"There is a paradigm shift underway and cannabis has the potential to provide answers to the alcoholic drinks industry's existential questions", said Spiros Malandrakis, head of alcoholic drinks at Euromonitor. Blue Moon creator Keith Villa, who retired from Molson Coors after 32 years earlier this year, is also in the process of launching his own line of THC-infused products under the Ceria Beverages label. For the three months ending June 30, the company reported more than $2 billion in sales, down 3.1 percent compared to 2017 levels.

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