As the majority of beer business stakeholders continue to examine what impact recreational cannabis could have on the industry, one alcohol trade association has officially come out in support of legalizing the psychedelic drug. The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), A Washington, D.C. trade group that works to advance the interests of distributors and brokers of wine and spirits, yesterday announced “an official policy position in favor of a state’s right to establish a legal, well-regulated, adult-use cannabis marketplace.”
In this week’s edition of Last Call: Tivoli sues Montucky Cold Snacks over brand rights; President Trump’s trade war with China escalates; Jake Leinenkugel seeks medical marijuana study for military vets; New Belgium joins the American Hemp Campaign; H-E-B begins beer and wine delivery; and more news.
Constellation Brands reported its first-quarter fiscal 2019 earnings today, which were highlighted by 8.9 percent growth in beer depletions (sales-to-retailers) and an 8.6 percent increase in shipments compared to the three-month period in 2017. Although beer was a major focus of today’s call, Sands spent a great deal of time discussing and answering questions about Constellation Brands’ $191 million investment into Canadian cannabis company, Canopy Growth Corporation.
North American sales of cannabis are expected to grow to $24 billion by 2021, Jessica Lukas, vice president of consumer insights at BDS Analytics, shared during the final day of the Beer Institute’s annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That figure, she added, doesn’t account for a potential end to the federal ban on marijuana in the United States.
In this week’s edition of Last Call: President Trump says he may support bill to end the federal marijuana ban; new brewery trademark lawsuits emerge; breweries close in Colorado and New Hampshire; and more.
In this week’s edition of Last Call: International M&A heats up with Heineken, Pernod and Constellation; Rebecca Spicer to depart the NBWA; Michigan Senators vote to outlaw marijuana-infused alcoholic drinks; Sonoma County tallies the economic impact of Pliny the Younger; and more.
E-commerce retail sales are approaching $400 billion dollars, but a mere 0.2 percent of beer — or about 3.5 million cases — was purchased online last year, according to Heineken CEO Ronald den Elzen. Den Elzen, presenting to more than 200 beer industry professionals attending yesterday’s Beer Marketer’s Insights seminar in New York City, called the shift away from brick-and-mortar purchases a “retail revolution.” By 2021, den Elzen projected that online beer sales will grow to 2.4 percent, to 53 million cases.