by Eric Vengroff, Financial Analyst, Cannabis Daily

Some people believe there’s no such thing as a coincidence.  I’m beginning to think that it’s less about things happening at the same time, and more like it’s two or more things moving in the same direction that are more likely to bump into each other.   Take for instance this article I re-tweeted last month about the Constellation/Canopy deal (https://mjbizdaily.com/big-alcohol-makes-another-foray-into-canadas-cannabis-market/).  Last month, at the Lift & Co. Expo., in Toronto numerous cannabis-infused drinks were on display from various vendors, months and months ahead of availability to the consumer market.

Last Friday and much of Monday, the business media was covering the now-confirmed speculation that Molson-Coors, market capitalization of $19 billion, has an open-to-buy for a cannabis deal.  No wonder; when compared to Canopy, Aurora and Aphria, the top 3 Canadian cannabis producers, barely three years old with a combined valuation of $16 billion, this beer conglomerate with 377 collective years of brewing experience, is looking a bit tired.   Big beer is either going to have to get crafty, as in buying up craft beer brewers, or their going to have to buy weed -for corporate or personal use.   Their current product offers are boring by comparison.  The potential combination, for whichever companies might be the lucky contenders for the attention of Molson-Coors, would be unique, or even that innovative.  Big tobacco and alcohol have combined their mutual interests before and will again.

It was also last Friday that I received the pre-registration announcement for the 2019 Cannabis Drinks Expo in San Francisco, July 25, 2019.   Clearly the business is mobilizing, and this show claims to be the first time the drinks industry gets to address this game-changing legislation, presumably in California.

I’ve never personally tried cannabis-infused beverages, but I find the claims interesting.  At the Lift & Co. Expo in May, I spoke with Virginia Vidal, founder and CEO at Mary’s Wellness Ltd.  She informed me that her infused tea will begin to take effect within 20 minutes, much faster than the typical delay of 90 minutes that one might expect between ingestion and effect in consuming an edible cannabis product.  If this is true, then cannabis-infused drinks can offer about the same time of effect onset as alcoholic beverages, in an equally, if not more variable delivery, in terms of taste, fizziness, colour and texture.   Would it also be true that such a beverage might not produce the deleterious effects of a hangover the next morning?  If so, this is potentially exciting for millions of party-goers not eager to wake up with a headache and hair on their tongues the next morning.  No wonder the alcohol companies are shopping.