Molson Coors Canada latest player to announce new cannabis-infused beer

By Tina Yazdani

With marijuana legalization right around the corner, some big players are jumping on the chance to create cannabis-infused beer.

Molson announced a joint venture with the Hydropothecary Corporation to develop the non-alcoholic beverages.

“Canada is breaking new ground in the cannabis sector and, as one of the country’s leading beverage companies, Molson Coors Canada has a unique opportunity to participate in this exciting and rapidly expanding consumer segment,” Molson president Frederic Landtmeters said in a press release.

But, Molson isn’t the first company to jump at the burgeoning cannabis market.

In fact, local company Province Brands has already started brewing water, hops and cannabis.

“We knew it was coming, when you have a great idea there’s always going to be people who jump on the bandwagon,” said Province Brands co-founder Jennifer Thomas.

Since cannabis beer would fall under the edibles category, it won’t be legal for at least another year.

So far, the federal government doesn’t have any concrete plans to regulate it – including whether or not the drinks will end up at bars and restaurants, or what labels will look like.

SmartServe, a training program for servers and bartenders, is ready to tackle changes when the time comes.

“We can launch it pretty quickly once we have the information that we need to put into the program,” said SmartServe Ontario’s Executive Director Richard Anderson.

As for what the beer would taste like – Province Brands already has an idea.

“Everyone who tries it loves it,” said Thomas. “It has a nutty flavour, it has a flavour not too far away from Barley but it’s very unique and interesting.”

Thomas expects the product will have the same effects as beer.

“The same warm and familiar feeling, but guess what, you won’t have the hangover,” she said.

They also hope it will follow the same nomenclature as regular alcohol.

“Our beverages will give you a similar lexicon that will tell you this is comparable to a beverage that has this amount of alcohol,” said Thomas.

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