The maker of Corona beer made an early bet on cannabis — and it's already made more than $1 billion

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Constellation Brand’s investment in the world’s largest publicly traded marijuana companies is already paying off.

In its earnings report Thursday morning, the company behind Corona beer, Svedka vodka, and other alcoholic beverages said its two investments into Canopy Growth Corporation has already netted it more than $US1 billion in unrealized gains thanks to the marijuana producers surging stock.

“Reported basis results reflect $US639 million unrealized gain for an increase in fair value of the initial investment in Canopy Growth Corporation; $US1.3 billion unrealized gain has been recognised since investment in November 2017,” Constellation Brands said in its earnings release.

Canopy Growth shares have climbed more than 285% since November, when Constellation first announced an investment into the company. It followed up its initial stake with plans to invest $US4 billion more by the end of the this month. When all is said and done, Constellation will own roughly 38% of Canopy Growth.

“Our $US4 billion investment in Canopy Growth provides us with a strong foothold in the emerging global cannabis market, which could be one of the most significant growth opportunities of the next decade,” Rob Sands, Constellation’s chief executive, said in a press release.

Bruce Linton, Canopy Growth’s chief executive, explained to Business Insider in July why alcohol brands and cannabis companies were a perfect match.

“We believe people should have a choice in how they wish to improve or alter their socialisation,” he said.

“Why are you having a beverage on a Friday night? It’s about a social lubricant. I think [Constellation] didn’t view themselves as a beverage company so much as an entity that provides those occasions with some kind of lift if you will – and that’s an easy way to look at cannabis, not as a threat, but as an alternative or additional.”

You can read the full interview with Linton here.

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