The worth of the legal marijuana industry is projected to be around $75 billion by 2030. Once marijuana achieves full legalization, it is predicted sales will upset the alcohol industry, leading beer companies to worry about a potential drop in consumer alcohol consumption.
As brewing companies feel threatened by the rise of marijuana consumption, those with more long-term vision seek strategic partnerships with marijuana stocks.
Several months ago, Molson Coors Brewing Company (NASDAQ:TAP) expressed the rising level of anxiety other beer companies are also experiencing in reference to marijuana as a “risk factor.” Similarly, the CEO of Craft Brew Alliance (NASDAQ:BREW) deemed marijuana “disruptive” in relation to the alcohol industry.
Craft Brew Alliance CEO, Andy Thomas, expounded on this sentiment with his forecast: “I think regardless of what kind of path you take, you can’t help but say it’s going to be another one of those forces that changes the way people socialize.”
However, some risks are worth taking rather than fighting the potential outcomes in the future; for this reason, more new partnerships are developing between visionary marijuana stocks and brewing companies.
Among industry pioneers, a few brewing companies and key marijuana stocks to invest in are on the path to finding a niche in the changing industry.
Among marijuana stocks to invest in, Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED) is the most fearless. The company partnered last year with Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE:STZ), the makers of Corona, in the first endorsement of cannabis among publicly traded brewing companies to the tune of a $245 million investment by Constellation. After Constellation released its Q4 earnings last month, the CEO discussed plans for the company to add $20 million to their initial investment in marijuana sectors and e-commerce. The goal, according to Constellation’s CEO, is to outpace the trends in order to meet continually evolving consumer needs.
The key to winning the competition between marijuana and alcohol, it seems, is to stay on top of consumer trends. The recently retired founder of Blue Moon Brewing, Keith Villa, and his wife decided to start up a brewing company, CERIA Beverages, in Colorado. The mission of this new company is the research and development of an alcohol-free beer infused with THC, in partnership with ebbu.
Villa, whose hometown is Arvada, Colorado, may be retired, but, he has found a new motivation for continuing to create innovative brands. In an interview with his local paper, he said, “I’m ready to introduce another high-impact brand to the industry again. Today, the opportunity and the demand are here, inviting Americans to enjoy a more social way of consuming cannabis by drinking rather than by smoking it.”
Later on in the year, CERIA Beverages intends to offer its own brand of cannabis beers. A labeling system will let drinkers know the level of THC, and subsequently, how stoned they can expect to be depending on their choice of ale.
Though a focus on cannabis beers is relatively new, beverages infused with cannabis are not. An article published by High Times this month discussed cannabis beverages and beer was not at the top of the list. Teas, milk, and alcohol infused with cannabis are already mainstays in cannabis culture.
Marijuana stocks companies are starting to invest most of their beverage focus on beer infusions.
Marijuana may still have huge hurdles to face in legislation, but, it has undoubtedly altered the way people choose to be social with each other. By offering people their favorite alcoholic beverages infused with cannabis, major marijuana stocks can stay current with consumer interests.
The infusion process is simple, working much the same way as weed is baked into brownies; with alcohol, it’s simply done on a far larger, commercially-based scale. First is the process of decarboxylation, which binds the flower and THC together to prevent it from being lost in the process of cooking. In decarboxylation, the use of heat extracts THC. This process often occurs when people vape or smoke cannabis, but, it’s a longer process when infusing beers.
Some of the best marijuana stocks to invest in may be those who have found their sweet spot between the cannabis and beer industries.
Those looking to try cannabis-infused beers now need not wait. While few bars in the U.S. are serving cannabis beers (the CERIA brews won’t be available until later this year), Americans looking to satisfy their cravings can turn to microbreweries.
A microbrewery, as defined by the Brewers Association, produces under 17,600 hectoliters of annual beer. This past year, more than 500 microbreweries were opened which means there is more potential for sampling unique flavor combinations such as brews featuring cannabis oils and hemp. Meanwhile, the UK prepares to unveil its first brew infused with cannabis in just a few months when the Stockton Brewing Company launches its Buffalo Soldier brew.
As is evidenced by the number of breweries searching for ways to incorporate and celebrate cannabis, it seems common ground can be found in the struggle between marijuana stocks and alcohol companies. Investors may find this risk worthwhile.
(For more marijuana stock mergers in the alcohol industry, read More Positives for Pot Stocks: Two Big Marijuana Mergers This Week.)