One of the most prominent alcohol production companies in the United States is open to developing a new line of cannabis-infused alcoholic drinks that could help in bringing such products into the mainstream.
The decision for cannabis-infused alcoholic drinks
Constellation Brands, owners of such well-known alcoholic brands as Corona and Svedka vodka, among over 100 others, announced that it intends to develop and release cannabis-infused alcoholic drinks.
Constellation CEO Rob Sands confirmed that plans were in the works to make aspirations of the product a reality.
We’re looking at it… There are going to be alcoholic beverages that will also contain cannabis.
It appears to be an opportune time for Constellation to make its move. Sales within the spirits industry are expected to grow almost tenfold in the next decade, with 2015’s $6 billion in sales to ballooning to $50 billion by 2026, according to one estimate.
That brings to a total of seven the number of states in which people may feel free to use the product and expands the opportunity to millions of people
Cannabis-infused edibles have made a splash in many states in which medical and/or recreational cannabis have become legalized.
States such as Colorado have diversified their field of edibles, as the market for cannabis-infused products has exploded in the past several years.
According to Sands, the reasons for the product’s sizable market are self-evident, though the industry may require a larger actor to address the demands of the market.
Why wouldn’t big business, so to speak, be acutely interested in a category of that magnitude?… If there’s a lot of money involved, it’s not going to be left to small mom-and-pops.
Crucially, statistics show that states the offer legalized cannabis have not seen a dropoff in their alcohol sales, an encouraging sign to alcohol entrepreneurs like Sands’ company that the two areas may not be in conflict.
People who are using cannabis may be disinclined to drink as much as they might have otherwise, but maybe they weren’t going to drink in the first place and then they drink something.
There are a number of different obstacles that could prove troublesome if Constellation goes forward with its plans to produce the alcoholic beverage.
The first setback is the fact that approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) – the agency housed within the U.S. Treasury Department whose approval is needed in order to launch new alcoholic drinks – would first have to give their approval.
The approval of the agency is reportedly unlikely, given that cannabis remains illegal at the federal level.
Another challenge could also be the politics of the forthcoming administration of President-Elect Donald Trump. Imports into Mexico account for a sizable portion of Constellation’s net sales, almost half of which are driven by consumers of Latino origin.