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Anheuser-Busch InBev hangs fire on cannabis move - CEO Carlos Brito - just-drinks EXCLUSIVE

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The head of Anheuser-Busch InBev has said the group is happy to watch the development of the cannabis industry from the sidelines for the time being, despite a recent move into the category from one of its North American peers.

Anheuser-Busch InBev "doesnt feel we need to do anything" for the time being in the cannabis industry

Anheuser-Busch InBev "doesn't feel we need to do anything" for the time being in the cannabis industry

The recent legalisation of cannabis in a raft of US states, along with the pending legalisation for medicinal use in Canada, prompted Constellation Brands to spend just over US$190m last year on a stake in Canopy Growth Corp. The Canadian company produces medicinal cannabis, with Constellation saying at the time that the deal formed part of its plan to "identify, meet and stay ahead" of evolving consumer trends.

Speaking exclusively to just-drinks late last week, however, A-B InBev CEO Carlos Brito distanced himself from making any immediate move into the sector. "Cannabis is something that we as a company are trying to learn more about," he told editor Olly Wehring. "It's going to be regulated, it's going to be commercialised. But, it's still a very restricted business and, in most places, it's not legal."

Brito highlighted an ongoing delay in the legislation to legalise marijuana in Canada. "They're finding lots of issues as they go along the path to legalisation," he said. "The other day, our guys in Canada were saying that some neighbours of stores preparing to sell cannabis have been saying: 'Not here.'

"In the US," he conceded, "there's a big tidal wave coming. Most people appear to be in favour of legalisation.

"We'll continue to follow it," he said. "But, for now, we don't feel we need to do anything."

Click here to read part two of just-drinks' exclusive interview with Carlos Brito


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