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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Beer and hemp giants end joint venture that was planning to make drinks

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Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev said it will continue to develop non-alcoholic CBD-infused drinks in Canada after dissolving its joint venture with cannabis producer Tilray this week.

The two companies severed their partnership with Fluent Beverage Co. , which was formed in a deal struck over two years ago that aimed to develop beverages containing THC and CBD. New York-based Tilray revealed a breakup in a regulatory filing this week.

A little enthusiasm

Analysts say cannabis-containing beverages are not being quit, as consumers prefer THC and CBD in smokeable blossoms, vape products, and edibles.

AB InBev, Leuven, Belgium, said Fluent will continue to operate, as a subsidiary of the beer giant’s Labatt Breweries division, with Tilray as a manufacturing partner. Tilray said it has retained the manufacturing equipment associated with producing CBD and THC drinks as well as a global license to use the technology, which was developed by the joint venture.

$100 million deal canceled

Tilray and AB InBev entered into the partnership in late 2018, and said they would invest $100 million in research and development of cannabis-containing beverages for the Canadian market. The partners announced at the time that they had overcome the challenge of sourcing active ingredients to maintain their stability and potency over the lifecycle of these beverage products.

Tilray later integrated With cannabis rival Aphria in an all-share deal for 2020, it constituted a “reverse acquisition” of Tilray.

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