The Canada-based cannabis and beer group – which last week moved to acquire a clutch of brewing assets from Anheuser-Busch InBev – has snapped up the 57.5% stake in Truss Beverage it did not own from Molson Coors Canada.
Citing data from last month, Tilray said the deal would give the company 36% of Canada’s market for cannabis beverages on a pro-forma basis. Tilray’s portfolio includes the XMG and Mollo brands.
“In addition to acquiring full and direct ownership of a stable of high-growth brands, this acquisition further strengthens Tilray’s number one cannabis market share position in Canada and positions the company at the forefront of the adult-use beverage sector,” Blair MacNeil, the president of Tilray’s business in Canada, said.
Pointing to Canadian government data from last year, Tilray said there are more than 10.6m “potential consumers” of cannabis beverages “remaining untapped”. The company also cited research from last year that valued Canada’s cannabis beverages market at “almost C$100m at retail”.
In a statement announcing the Truss Beverage deal, Tilray added: “Regulatory shifts are expected to facilitate market entry for beverages, with the possibility of on-tap THC options in restaurants and bars promising substantial growth for this category. Over time, we expect the regulatory landscape for beverage distribution to evolve, with authorities re-evaluating their consumer policies. We expect this shift to fuel strong growth in the market for cannabinoid-based beverages, catering to diverse needs and occasions.”
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Last year, the Coors Light brewer announced it would end its Truss USA joint venture with Canadian cannabis company Hexo Corp. in the US.
At the time, Molson Coors said the fact “there remains no near-term pathway to federal legalisation” was behind its decision. The brewer added it would be willing to re-enter the segment should the regulatory landscape in the US change.
Tilray acquired Hexo in June. In a statement on the sale of the Truss Beverage stake to Tilray, a Molson Coors spokesperson said today (18 August): “The cannabis beverage market hasn’t grown to the industry’s initial expectations, so we decided to sell our portion of the Truss Canada JV and exit this space as we turn our focus to other segments with stronger growth potential.”
Earlier this month, the Molson Canadian brand owner moved to bolster its position in spirits with a deal to buy US distiller Blue Run Spirits.
Molson Coors entered the US whiskey market in 2021 with the launch of its Five Trail blended whiskey. A year later, its fledgling spirits business added Bourbon to its range with the roll-out of Barmen 1873.
The brewer has decided to set up a unit, Coors Spirits Co., to house the two brands and its Blue Run assets.