Friends, if it’s a Tuesday, it must mean that I’m going to write yet another missive about the opportunity for and/or threat to the cannabis industry from (link, link, link, link, you get the point) and/or to (link) the alcohol industry (I think it’s an opportunity). On that front, the newswires printed late last week that The Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams) is making a move into cannabis beverages in Canada. Per the press release, they’re developing a “dedicated research and innovation hub in Canada focused on non-alcoholic cannabis beverages” (link), which sounds like it would rival a Tim Horton’s donuts testing lab for the title as best science place in Canada.
This is yet another good example of a prominent North American alcohol beverage company finding a way to wade into the cannabis industry, do the diligence, learn its players, build relationships, and navigate its choppy waters, all without running afoul of U.S. law (not legal advice). Although these multinational companies are coming into cannabis with low costs of capital, established supply chain networks and know-how, and marketing prowess, they (will most likely) need the knowledge and experience of seasoned cannabis operators to succeed. The opportunity is not just there for Canadian LPs partnering with U.S. beverage and other consumer products companies – it is also there (although, admittedly, in a more limited way) for U.S. cannabis companies to similarly develop those relationships today.