A JSE-listed beer company is looking into making drinks with dagga rather than alcohol
- 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.
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
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.
Any "decisions regarding the commercialisation of the beverages will be made in the future," says the brewer.
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