The world’s largest beer manufacturer is arriving fashionably late to the party
While the majority of the world’s top breweries have already stepped into the marijuana space, Anheuser-Busch (A-B) – the global leader in beer – has shuffled its feet. It looks like this is about to change, however, as evidence has surfaced that the company has begun to put in place infrastructure to brew THC-infused products.
A-B CEO Carlos Brito said earlier this year that cannabis was something that is potentially on the company’s radar, but that it wasn’t quite ready to commit to any development. Apparently, things are changing, as the company has recently created a new Chief Non-Alcohol Beverages Officer, whose only function is to expand the company’s non-alcoholic beverages division.
According to a company statement, “The Chief Non-Alcohol Beverages Officer will focus on supporting zone teams to accelerate growth in our existing non-alcohol business (this does not include low and non-alcohol beer), which already represents more than 10 percent of our current volume.”
While it’s certainly not a definitive response and doesn’t specifically mention any cannabis relation, it’s a logical conclusion. Two of the company’s competitors – Molson Coors and Constellation – offer cannabis-infused beverages that are alcohol-free.
According to some reports, THC-infused drinks could be a $15-billion market in the US alone if the federal government would legalize marijuana. It could also help the country’s northern neighbor, increasing its market share from $5 billion to $22 billion.
Rumor has it that A-B, Crown Royals’ Diageo PLC and Coca-Cola have been leading conversations with cannabis producers in Canada for the past several months to discuss the feasibility of bringing the country’s cannabis beverages to the US market.