• Jeffrey Friedland

Moosehead Breweries is Partnering with the Canadian Cannabis Grower

Sproutly to Launch Cannabis Beverages

The Jointly-Owned Company is Expected to be Formed by the End of May with the Objective of Launching Cannabis Beverages in Canada

Moosehead Breweries Ltd., Canada’s largest and oldest independently-owned brewer is the latest beer company to enter the cannabis-infused beverage market.

Moosehead Breweries is a 152 year-old company with the experience and infrastructure that the company indicates will enable it to quickly enter the Canadian market with cannabis-infused beverages.

Moosehead sells more than 140 million cans and bottles of beer annually in Canada, the United States, and in 15 other countries. The company’s product line includes Moosehead Lager, Moosehead Radler, Alpine, and Hop City Barking Squirrel.

Moosehead Breweries is forming a joint venture with the Canadian cannabis producer, Sproutly. The jointly-owned company will develop, produce, and market a line of cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic beverages.

The jointly-owned company, which intends to utilize Sproutly’s proprietary, naturally produced, and water-soluble cannabinoids, “Infuz2O” is being established by the end of this month. It will operate as a standalone business with Sproutly and Moosehead each owning 50 percent. The company intends to launch its cannabis beverage line when cannabis edibles, including beverages, are legalized in Canada, which is expected to be in mid-October.

In announcing the new business direction, Andrew Oland, Chief Executive Officer of Moosehead stated, “With the anticipated legalization of edibles in Canada later this year, Moosehead has made the strategic decision to enter the cannabis beverage market. As one of the oldest brands in Canada and a leader in the beer category, we believe we are uniquely positioned to be a leader in the cannabis beverage category.”

Matthew Oland, a Moosehead senior vice president who will be heading the jointly-owned company also stated, "After careful analysis of the cannabis industry and the cannabis beverage opportunity in Canada, we believe that Moosehead and Sproutly together are well positioned to become a significant player in the category.”

Oland also stated, “As a 152 year old company spanning six generations, we are very selective about new business opportunities. After a significant amount of due diligence on Sproutly’s APP technology and Infuz2O water soluble cannabinoids vs other competitive technologies, we are excited to announce this joint venture. With their advanced technology and our long-standing product development experience, we expect to bring to Canadian consumers cannabis beverages that address the major issues currently limiting appeal of this category in other markets; a beverage that: 1) actually tastes good; and 2) provides an immediate and controllable cannabis experience lasting up to 90 minutes.”

Moosehead and Tilray are joining a growing list of Canadian beer manufacturers who are investing in cannabis beverages. Other large brewers who have initiated cannabis beverage strategies including Anheuser-Bush InBev, which is proceeding with the cannabis grower Tilray, Constellation Brands which has invested in Canopy Growth, and Molson Coors which is partnering with the Canadian grower Hexo.

Zenith Global has predicted that cannabis-infused beverages will be a $1.4 billion market by 2023, up from an estimated $89 million in 2018.

Beverage companies are seeing Canada as the first market where cannabis beverages can be launched on a national basis. The general consensus of beverage and cannabis insiders is that the Canadian market is a great test-market, which will enable companies to then launch their beverages in other countries.

About Phyto Intel

Phyto Intel provides strategic assistance to enable company management and entrepreneurs to enter and succeed in the fast-growing and fast-evolving legal cannabis, hemp and CBD markets, in the United States and globally.

Phyto Intel also provides market intelligence, formulation and “go to market” strategies for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies interested in developing, formulating, manufacturing and marketing products containing hemp seed oil and/or CBD.

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