A Toronto craft brewer has partnered with one of the largest medical cannabis companies in Canada to create a “cannabis-inspired beer” in a project that could be the start of cross-industry collaboration on product development and branding in the nation.
It’s the first time a Canadian licensed cannabis producer has worked with a local craft alcohol maker to introduce a beer.
Such collaboration already has occurred in the United States.
Darren Karasiuk, vice president of strategy for Ontario-based MedReleaf, told Marijuana Business Daily his company worked with Toronto’s Amsterdam Brewing Co. to figure out the right blend of hops and malts “that would give it a subtle hint of some of the cannabis flavors.”
The beer “contains no cannabis at this point in time,” he said. It is called 4:20 Pale Ale.
Recreational marijuana is on schedule to be legalized in Canada this summer, but infused cannabis products will be brought into the legal fold within a year of the launch of the recreational industry.
Financial terms for the MedReleaf partnership, including revenue sharing, were not disclosed.
MedReleaf’s role in the project is to:
- Come up with the idea.
- Develop the brand.
- Design the can.
- Market the product.
Amsterdam’s duties are to:
- Develop the beer (i.e., create a recipe.)
- Brew it.
- Package it.
- Sell it on premise and through Ontario’s Beer Store.
MedReleaf lists as LEAF on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The Canadian marijuana market already has had a preview of the prospect for cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages.
Last October, New York-based Constellation Brands – which owns, distributes and markets 100 beer, wine and spirits brands, including Corona and Robert Mondavi – agreed to acquire 9.9% of Smiths Falls, Ontario-based Canopy Growth for 245 million Canadian dollars ($190 million).
Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]
To sign up for our weekly Canada marijuana business newsletter, click here.