Trouble brewing: CBD could cripple booze industry

CBD and cannabis-infused beverages are a major threat to the multi-billion-dollar booze industry, according to a top brewer.

In a Molson Coors’ annual shareholder report, the company listed cannabis among the biggest risks to its business.

It said: “Although the ultimate impact is currently unknown, the emergence of legal cannabis in certain US states and Canada may result in a shift of discretionary income away from our products or a change in consumer preferences away from beer.

“As a result, a shift in consumer preferences away from our products or beer or a decline in the consumption of our products could result in a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.”

Alcohol companies are now seeking partnerships with CBD firms, such as Anheuser-Busch InBev announcing a partnership with Tilray to research non-alcoholic beverages infused with THC and CBD.

CBD-infused drinks are growing in popularity

Meanwhile, Constellation Brands has invested $4 billion in Canopy Growth Corporation, Molson Coors agreed to a joint venture with The Hydropothecary Corporation, and Heineken subsidiary Lagunitas has partnered with cannabis company AbsoluteXtracts.

XPhyto Therapeutics Corp has just announced that its German subsidiary, Bunker Pflanzenextrakte GmbH has entered into a cannabis research and development agreement with the chair of brewing and beverage technology at the Technical University of Munich.

Robert Barth, of XPhyto, said: “Given the commercial potential for CBD infused beverages in Europe, XPhyto is very pleased to have secured such a strong development partner right here in Bavaria.

“We are excited to work together, and we are particularly looking forward to the development of cannabis-infused fermented beverages and sports drinks.”

In August a CBD food and drinks supplier chain claimed CBD-infused drinks could help restaurants struggling because booze sales are plummeting.

US-based West Coast Venture Group (WCVG) says the emerging trend can help offset the decline in alcohol consumption, particularly among younger consumers – with general sales declining by 0.8% last year.

This same trend has also led to an increase in alcohol free drinks and health-orientated products, the company claims

Jim Nixon, founder and CEO of WCVG, said: “This represents a significant problem for any restaurant owner.

“In fact, the rule of thumb says that alcohol sales should be around 30% of a restaurant’s revenue, but in some rare cases it can be as high as 50%.

“This is a significant portion of any restaurant’s revenue that is melting away before our eyes. CBD-infused water could provide a way around that.”