Canada’s Collective Arts Brewing to Enter Cannabis Market

Canada’s Collective Arts Brewing is venturing into the cannabis sector.

The Hamilton, Ontario-based craft brewery, located about 50 miles from the New York border, has established a sister company called Collective Project Limited that will develop and sell cannabis-infused beverages.

In a conversation with Brewbound, CEO and co-founder Matt Johnston said the new line of THC- and CBD-infused beverages would be “artisanal” in nature, and could include non-alcoholic beer, as well as cold brew coffee or tea.

“Our company was founded on creativity and innovation,” he said. “We like to play and try new things.”

Johnston said the company, which already distributes its beers in 12 U.S. states, is aiming to launch hemp-based CBD beverages in the U.S. this summer.

However, Collective Project Ltd. must wait until at least October 17 before it can introduce cannabis-infused beverages into the Canadian market, as edible and drinkable products are not currently permitted for legal sale.

Nevertheless, Collective Project Ltd. is pushing forward with a plan to produce its infused beverages in the U.S., and it is in the process of establishing “potential partnerships on the supply and co-packing side of the cannabis world,” Johnston said.

The company is also planning to make a multi-million dollar investment on dealcoholization equipment, which will be used to produce non-alcoholic beer infused with THC and CBD, Johnston said.

Collective Arts, which produced fewer than 50,000 barrels of beer in 2018, according to Johnston, currently distributes beer to New York, Illinois, Tennessee, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Florida, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Virginia, the U.K., and Sweden. It is planning to expand sales of its beer to New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Spain, Norway and China in 2019.

Johnston said the Collective Project Ltd. sister company would look “more holistically” at “marrying the footprint” for its CBD-infused products while focusing on West Coast states such as California and Oregon where recreational cannabis is legal for distribution of its THC-infused products.

Collective Arts joins a growing list of beer manufacturers that have already invested in the cannabis space. Large beer companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev (Tilray), Constellation Brands (Canopy Growth) and Molson Coors (Hexo) have each struck partnerships with Canadian cannabis companies. Other U.S. beer manufacturers, including Flying Dog, and Heineken-owned Lagunitas have experimented or explored the possibility of THC- and CBD-infused beverages. Craft Brew Alliance is also eying the sector.

Recreational use of cannabis was legalized in Canada last October. It is not federally legal in the U.S., however 10 states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C. — have established laws permitting the sale and use of recreational cannabis within their borders.

A press release with additional details about Collective Project Ltd. is included below.

Collective Arts to produce cannabis-infused beverages under sister company, Collective Project Ltd.

February 4, 2019 – Hamilton, Ont – Collective Arts announced today that it plans to launch a portfolio of cannabis and hemp infused beverages in Canada and the United States. Cannabis and hemp products will be produced, marketed and sold under a sister company, Collective Project Limited, in late 2019 pending anticipated government approvals for cannabis and hemp products.

“Collective Arts is committed to producing high-quality, innovative products that we and our community of creatives want to enjoy. We push the boundaries when it comes to making beer and cider, and now cannabis; creativity, quality, and our relationships with our artists are at the core of what we do. Moving into a territory such as infused cannabis beverages gives us an ideal palate to be innovative, and also creates a new format for social experiences outside of alcohol,” explains Matt Johnston, CEO, and co-founder of Collective Arts.

Collective Arts has applied for an R&D License, License for Standard Processing and a Licence for Sale pursuant to the Cannabis Regulations Ontario. Their intention is to produce these products at their current facility in Hamilton, Ontario and a partner facility in the United States. Collective Arts is in talks with licensed producers and infusion technology providers and will announce these partnerships later this year.

About Collective Arts

Collective Arts was founded in 2013 by Matt Johnston and Bob Russell on the belief that creativity fuels creativity. Collective Arts is committed to fusing the craft of brewing with the inspired talents of emerging artists. Their beers are designed to be as diverse, creative and unwavering as the artists profiled; respecting tradition but not constrained by it. Collective Arts features limited-edition works of art on its packaging by artists and musicians that change every few months. To date over 600 artists and musicians have been featured and championed by Collective Arts.

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