Anheuser-Busch joins forces with Tilray to research cannabis-infused drinks

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Anheuser-Busch joins forces with Tilray to research cannabis-infused drinks

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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A major investment is being funneled into the cannabis-infused drinks industry by two pioneers of the beer and weed worlds.

Based on the details of a recent news release, Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD), and British Columbia-based Tilray (Nasdaq: TLRY) will invest $100 million in a project to research a range of THC and CBD-infused drinks. InBev’s cannabis stock trading symbol is reflective of the company’s famous beer brand, Budweiser.

Tilray is owned by Seattle-based cannabis-focused private equity firm, Privateer Holdings. The company is responsible for many well-known brands, including the cannabis brand that reggae legend Bob Marley’s family created in his legacy, Marley Naturals.

The joint-funded Canadian cannabis business venture will focus heavily on researching weed-infused beverages. Development of the products being researched by AB InBev and Tilray will ensue as per the details of the agreement, which is limited solely to research.

Nonetheless, each company has agreed to set aside $50 million for the prospective future production of cannabis-infused drinks.

The research into cannabis-infused beverages is fronted by a subsidiary of AB InBev, Labatt Breweries, and a subsidiary of Tilray, High Park Co.

“We intend to develop a deeper understanding of non-alcohol beverages containing THC and CBD that will guide future decisions about potential commercial opportunities,” said the President of Canada’s Labatt Breweries, Kyle Norrington. joint partnership between a highly successful beer brand and an acclaimed cannabis brand comes shortly after other established liquor and tobacco companies made sizeable investments in the legal cannabis industry last year. One such example is the $1.8 billion investment that maker of Marlboro cigarettes, Altria Group, is pouring into Canadian medical cannabis company, Cronos Group.

The cannabis-infused drinks business venture will commence through AB InBev’s subsidiary. According to Tilray, the partnership will not expand beyond Canada’s borders.

“For us, it’s early days in this industry and research feels like the right place to start,” said Tilray’s Chief Executive, Brendan Kennedy, during a recent telephone interview. “At Tilray, we’ve been performing research and development for almost five years on lots of different aspects of cannabis and cannabinoid delivery.”

The selective choice of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) is indicative of a rapid shift in opinion on the green plant, which has been hailed by scientists and consumers alike for its potent health benefits.

While THC may cause a consumer to feel “high,” the same cannot be said for the non-psychotropic compound CBD. Both compounds, however, have been exposed in clinical trials and studies on the powerhouse plant.