dagga beer
  • Multinational brewing company AB InBev announced a partnership with Tilray, a Canadian pharmaceutical and cannabis company, to look into crafting dagga beverages.
  • The research partnership combines AB InBev's expertise in beverages with Tilray's in cannabis products.
  • The partners intend on investing up to R1.4 billion into the project.

JSE-listed multinational brewer AB InBev (which acquired South African Breweries in 2016) this week announced a R1.4 billion partnership with Tilray, a Canadian pharmaceutical and cannabis company, to look into non-alcoholic beverages containing dagga extracts tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

AB InBev said the research partnership combines its "deep experience in beverages with Tilray's expertise in cannabis products," in a statement on Thursday.

Tilray is a NASDAQ-listed company that conducts research, cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis and cannabinoids for medical-use in 12 countries.

See also: This is SA’s first dagga beer - now available for R18 a bottle at Spar

The two companies intend on investing up to $100 million (R1.4 billion at current exchange rates) and says they're committed to staying ahead of changing consumer demands and tastes.

The R&D project will be headquartered in Canada, which recently passed a federal cannabis law that formally legalised the recreational and medical use of dagga.

"We intend to develop a deeper understanding of non-alcohol beverages containing THC and CBD that will guide future decisions about potential commercial opportunities,” says Kyle Norrington, president of Labatt Breweries of Canada, an AB InBev subsidiary.

See also: You can’t buy weed at the Cannabis Expo today – but you can get dagga doggy treats and massage oil

A bottle of Durban Poison Cannabis Lager (supplied
A bottle of Durban Poison Cannabis Lager (supplied)

News of the partnership was well-received by the markets with Tilray shares rallying 19%, hours after the joint venture was announced while back home on the local bourse, AB InBev had a strong opening.

JSE:ANH, 20 December. (Google Finance)

Any "decisions regarding the commercialisation of the beverages will be made in the future," says the brewer.

Now read: Here's why launching a dagga product in South Africa could be a nightmare

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