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Will legendary beer pioneer Anheuser-Busch be the next beverage company to enter the legal cannabis space?

By the year 2025, Anheuser strives to develop a line of non-alcoholic offerings that will make up 20 percent of the company's total sales revenue

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Over the last few months, the cannabis industry news has been inundated with announcements from big-name brewers entering the legal weed space.

We have already learned about the recently announced partnerships between Constellation Brands and Canopy Corp Growth, Molson Coors Brewing Co. and Hydropothecary Corp., as well as the potential deal that may soon be struck between Diageo PLC and an unknown cannabis company.

The latest mega-brewer rumored to have moved in the same direction as their rivals is Anheuser-Busch. Compared to the aforementioned beverage companies, Anheuser is undoubtedly the largest, making the prospect of a brewing deal very exciting.

Earlier in the year, Anheuser CEO Carlos Brito said that his brewery was “trying to learn more about” the legal weed industry. However, Brito dismissed any potential game plans. Nonetheless, we have reason to believe that Anheuser may have its sights set on the cannabis-infused segment of an ever-expanding legal weed market.

Anheuser just hired a Chief Non-Alcohol Beverages Officer

It is clear that Anheuser is planning to expand its operations in the non-alcoholic beverages division. Not so long ago, the company opened up a brand new role within the company: a Chief Non-Alcohol Beverages Officer “to maximize the opportunities we have in our existing portfolio,” states the company. 

“The Chief Non-Alcohol Beverages Officer will focus on supporting zone teams to accelerate growth in our existing non-alcohol business, which already represents more than 10 percent of our current volume,” the company disclosed in a statement.

By the year 2025, Anheuser strives to develop a line of non-alcoholic offerings that will make up 20 percent of the company’s total sales revenue.

Since the legal weed industry is on track to rake in billions of dollars worth of revenue over the next five years, there is a good chance that Anheuser will dabble in some cannabis deals, just like many of its industry competitors are starting to.

Multiple beverage companies are in talks with cannabis producers

While nothing has been confirmed as of yet, the Globe and Mail reports that numerous beverage companies have been in talks with Canadian cannabis producers.

Aside from Anheuser, soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola and creator of Guinness beer Diageo PLC are believed to be in the process of considering deals that would help their brand to gain some serious exposure in the legal weed industry.  

In spite of the reports, Anheuser vice president of communications, Gemma Hart, did not go into detail on the claims when asked by Forbes.

“We are closely following the legalization trends in the cannabis industry,” said Hart.

However, it could be a good idea for Anheuser to target a mass market with cannabis-infused beverages, what with this growing sector in the legal weed industry poised to disrupt the $350 billion alcohol industry.

https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/how-to-make-pot-infused-beer-thrillist-nation

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