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As the legal marijuana market in the United States continues to grow — four more states approved recreational marijuana use in last week’s election — alcohol giant Constellation Brands Inc. is considering jumping aboard the pot train with cannabis cocktails.
Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands tells Bloomberg:
“We’re looking at it. There are going to be alcoholic beverages that will also contain cannabis.”
Constellation makes and sells Corona beer, Casa Noble Tequila and Robert Mondavi wine.
Although some people view cannabis as a threat to the beer and spirit industry, Sands says he sees the booming weed business as an opportunity to grow Constellation’s brand. He explains:
“Why wouldn’t big business, so to speak, be acutely interested in a category of that magnitude? If there’s a lot of money involved, it’s not going to be left to small mom-and-pops.”
Sands also warns that it might take quite some time before a cannabis-infused alcoholic beverage actually hits store shelves. Why? Because it’s still illegal at the federal level. Regulators will also need proof that combining marijuana and alcohol together in one drink is not harmful to those who ingest it.
According to MarketWatch, Richard Blau, a partner with Gray Robinson law firm in Florida, says:
“Perhaps there will come a time when there’s sufficient data that understands how cannabis and alcohol interact with one another. … My sense is that you will not see true cannabis alcohol products anytime soon.”
Voters in Maine, California, Massachusetts and Nevada gave the thumbs up to recreational marijuana use in those states during last week’s election. The drug is already legal for medical and recreational use in Oregon, Washington, Maine, Colorado and Washington D.C., according to Governing.com. Two dozen other states have approved cannabis for medical use.
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