August 1, 2018 / 2:23 PM / 4 months ago

Molson Coors Canada signs deal to make non-alcoholic marijuana drinks

Aug 1 (Reuters) - The Canadian unit of Molson Coors Brewing Co said on Wednesday it will form a joint venture with marijuana-producer Hydropothecary Corp to make non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused drinks for the Canadian market.

Toronto-based Molson Coors Canada Inc is the latest brewer looking to capitalize on Canada’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana later in the year, a market industry watchers say could be worth $5 billion to $10 billion.

If legalized, Canada would become the first major economy to do so and its rollout is being closely watched by global investors, who have already poured billions into Canadian marijuana firms.

Last year, Corona maker Constellation Brands Inc became the first major wine, beer and spirits producer to partner with a Canadian marijuana producer, by investing nearly 10 percent stake in Canopy Growth Corp.

Molson Coors Canada, the no. 2 beer maker in the country, said the joint venture will be a standalone company with its own board of directors and an independent management team.

Molson Coors Canada will have a 57.5 percent controlling interest with Hydropothecary owning the rest.

The deal is expected to close before Sept. 30. (Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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