Alcohol beverage giant Constellation eyes cannabis

The giant beverage company that owns Corona beer and Svedka vodka is considering entering the cannabis industry via MJ-laced libations, a sign that other big players in the alcohol business may eye cannabis as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that his corporation is “looking at” the marijuana trade. “There are going to be alcoholic beverages that will also contain cannabis,” he observed.

Sands added that it only makes sense for companies like his to get into a market that is expected to rival the salty snacks sector in North America by 2026, Bloomberg reported.

“Why wouldn’t big business, so to speak, be acutely interested in a category of that magnitude?” Sands said. “If there’s a lot of money involved, it’s not going to be left to small mom-and-pops.”

It’s an interesting development between two industries that have and haven’t gotten along.

For example, two alcohol industry trade groups in Massachusetts gave $75,000 to anti-legalization efforts there, while the Arizona Wine & Spirits Association contributed $10,000 to the anti-legalization campaign there.

But singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge has produced her own marijuana-infused wine, and top management at Lagunitas Brewing are also known cannabis enthusiasts.

According to reports from investment firm Cowen and Co. and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of cannabis consumers who also drink alcohol has declined over the past decade, while more alcohol consumers now also consume marijuana, Bloomberg reported.