Business

Corona owner branches out, buys stake in marijuana company

Constellation Brands Inc. said Monday that it has no plans to sell marijuana in the United States or any other market until it’s legal at all government levels. But the business bought a minority stake in a Canadian medicinal marijuana producer.
Constellation Brands Inc. said Monday that it has no plans to sell marijuana in the United States or any other market until it’s legal at all government levels. But the business bought a minority stake in a Canadian medicinal marijuana producer. MCT file photo

The spirits maker Constellation Brands is branching off and buying a minority stake in a Canadian medicinal marijuana producer.

Constellation will pay $245 million Canadian dollars ($190.5 million) for a 9.9 percent interest in Canopy Growth.

Constellation Brands Inc., based in Victor, N.Y,, near Rochester, said Monday that it has no plans to sell marijuana in the United States or any other market until it’s legal at all government levels.

Shares of Canopy Growth Corp., with the ticker symbol “WEED,” jumped almost 14 percent in Toronto.

“This investment and relationship is consistent with Constellation Brands’ long-term strategy to identify, meet and stay ahead of evolving consumer trends and market dynamics, while maintaining focus on its core total beverage alcohol business,” Constellation said in announcing the purchase.

The parent of Corona beer, Constellation also bought a minority stake in Bardstown Bourbon Co. in October 2016. Constellation also owns High West Distillery, Prisoner Wine Co., Ballast Point brewery, Mexican beer brand Modelo, Svedka Vodka, Black Velvet Canadian whiskey, and Casa Noble tequila.

According to Bloomberg, Constellation and Canopy will collaborate on cannabis-based beverages to be sold where legal at the federal level. Canada plans to legalize recreational marijuana next year but infused beverages won’t be allowed at first.

Staff writer Janet Patton contributed to this report.

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