By philipedwards, Jan 5 2018 09:29AM
5th January 2018
Constellation Brands Inc., a major US alcohol producer, has agreed to buy a 10% stake in Canopy Growth, which is the largest publicly traded cannabis company. This is with the view to market and sell a new cannabis infused drink. The company’s CEO Rob Sands, announced in the Wall Street Journal that this move anticipates relaxation of national legislation on use of Cannabis in the US, and also in Canada1. Canada is expected to legalise recreational use in 2018, and then allow the sale of edible and drinkable cannabis products by 2019. On 1st January, California became the latest and largest state in the US to have legalised the recreational use of cannabis and many more states have legalised its use medically. This branch into new cannabis products is a positive indicator of changing views towards cannabis and provides a glimpse into a future containing comparative options for adult beverages. This is in contrast to the current monopoly enjoyed by alcohol.
This new collaboration comes at a time when there is a growing acknowledgement of the potential uses of cannabis and other previously illicit drugs in the development of new medicines. The stigma surrounding such substances is now being drowned by a plethora of new research advocating the use of some compounds and derivatives for the benefit of human health2. This was highlighted recently by Oxford University who announced a £10 million research programme to uncover the medical uses of cannabinoids3. This view is also supported by the growing research into psilocybin (the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’) in and its medical uses, including that of a treatment option for depression4.
Modern developments are encouraging to us at Alcarelle, who believe that science can play a transformative role towards a healthier society, if given the opportunity. Our goal is to create a non-alcoholic adult beverage and we are targeting compounds which would aim to mimic certain aspects of alcohol. The promised deal between Constellation Brands Inc. and Canopy Growth Corporation confirms our beliefs that when common sense prevails, the alcohol industry will become an important partner in the development of ‘Free-from Alcohol’ products. The alcohol industry in general will need to move with the changing times and see these alternatives for what they are, namely opportunities to provide better options for consumers who increasingly demand a healthier range of food and drink products.
1.Wall street journal Big Brewer Makes a Play for Marijuana Beverages Jennifer Maloney and David George-Cosh, 2017
2.Bilkei-Gorzo, A., Albayram, O., Draffehn, A., Michel, K., Piyanova, A., Oppenheimer, H., Dvir-Ginzberg, M., Rácz, I., Ulas, T., Imbeault, S. and Bab, I., 2017. A chronic low dose of [Delta] 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice. Nature Medicine.
3.Oxford University www.ox.ac.uk/news
4.Robin L Carhart-Harris, Mark Bolstridge, James Rucker, Camilla M J Day, David Erritzoe, Mendel Kaelen, Michael Bloomfield, James A Rickard, Ben Forbes, Amanda Feilding, David Taylor, Steve Pilling, Valerie H Curran, David J Nutt, Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: an open-label feasibility study, In The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 3, Issue 7, 2016