Tilray is buying Molson Coors and Anheuser-Busch beverage brands as the cannabis industry struggles

Dried cannabis flowers in the packing room at the Aphria Inc. Diamond facility in Leamington, Ontario, Canada on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

Anne Sakkab | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tilray Brands expands its presence in alcoholic and cannabis beverages, acquiring brands from Molson Coors And Anheuser-Busch as legal restrictions hamper the marijuana industry.

The major cannabis company announced on Friday that it will acquire the remaining 57.5% stake in cannabis beverage maker Truss Beverage from Molson Coors Canada. The transaction price was not disclosed.

The move comes as part of a broader push by Tilray to move away from more traditional cannabis products. Tilray announced earlier this month that it would acquire eight beer and beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch for $85 million. It was the latest in a series of craft beer acquisitions that have made Tilray one of the biggest forces in the space in the United States

Tilray is one of the largest cannabis companies in the world with a market cap of $1.79 billion. The company also specializes in beverage and wellness products and has grown to become the fifth-largest craft beer company in the United States

The acquisition of Truss is part of a larger “diversification strategy” Tilray is currently pursuing. As the growth of the North American cannabis industry falters, companies specializing in weed are looking to expand their portfolios.

THC beverages and craft beer are among the fast-growing beverage sectors that have caught the interest of cannabis executives.

Tilray said the deal to buy the remaining shares of Truss makes the company the market leader in adult-use cannabis beverages in Canada with a combined market share of about 36%.

The company said in one press release that cannabis beverages represent “a significant opportunity” to reach adult consumers who are new to cannabis. It is also expected that “regulatory changes” will bring significant growth to the market.

Blair MacNeil, president of Tilray Canada, said the acquisition will “further diversify our product offering while expanding our customer reach.”

Tilray CEO on buying beer brands from Anheuser-Busch

A similar effect is hoped for by buying up beer brands from Anheuser-Busch. The deal, announced earlier this month, includes brands Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Co. and HiBall Energy.

The transaction includes all of the brands' current employees, breweries and associated brewpubs. The deal is expected to triple the size of Tilray's beer business and increase production from 4 million to 12 million cases a year.

Tilray Brands already owns other craft breweries, including Alpine Beer, Green Flash Brewing, Montauk Brewing, and SweetWater Brewing.

Despite its diversification, Tilray aims to be a leader in the U.S. adult-use cannabis market when it becomes federally legal. The lack of nationwide reforms and the patchwork quilt of government regulations have hampered US growth

“After legalizing cannabis at the federal level,” CEO Irwin D. Simon said in one opinion In announcing the Anheuser-Busch deal, we anticipate that we will be able to “leverage our leadership position, broad distribution network and portfolio of popular beverage and wellness brands to incorporate THC-based products and maximize any commercial opportunity.”

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