Hexo, Molson Coors launch Truss cannabis beverage portfolio

Canadian cannabis producer Hexo Corp. and brewer Molson Coors Canada have launched new beverage products under their Truss Beverage Co. joint venture, marking increased competition in Canada’s much-hyped marijuana beverage market.

The lineup of five drink brands unveiled Tuesday includes both CBD and THC products.

Most contain 2.5 milligrams to 5 milligrams of THC, characterized as a “medium dose.”

The “XMG” beverage brand contains 10 milligrams of THC, the maximum allowed under Canadian cannabis regulations.

Like competitor Canopy Growth, which is backed by liquor giant Constellation Growth, Truss’ beverage strategy appears to involve attracting new or infrequent cannabis consumers with products that don’t rely on combustion.

A Truss news release cited market research that suggests consumers are looking for nonsmokable cannabis options.

“This data shows just how ready Canadians are for a new cannabis experience that better fits their preferences and lifestyles,” Truss Beverage Co. marketing head Lori Hatcher said in the release.

“Quite frankly, it shows how game changing cannabis beverages can be for consumers.”

Whether or not cannabis beverages will change the game for producers such as Hexo and Canopy remains to be seen.

Recent data from Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario shows that vape pens have been far more popular than edibles, beverages and other “Cannabis 2.0” products, which launched in Canada at the end of 2019.

Cannabis beverages accounted for 1.5% of market share in Alberta in June, 1.1% in B.C. and 1.4% in Ontario, according to Seattle data analytics firm Headset.