The CEO of Molson Coors says the market for cannabis-infused beverages could be worth billions. Here’s why it’s ‘chasing down’ that opportunity.

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The CEO of Molson Coors is bullish on cannabis-infused beverages.

Speaking on Wednesday during the company’s third-quarter earnings call, CEO Mark Hunter said the cannabis market could total $US7 billion to $US10 billion in Canada alone.

Nonalcoholic cannabis-infused beverages could account for as much as $US3 billion, or 30% of the total market.

“We decided as a business that we did not want to be a spectator as this new market opened up,” Hunter said. “And we clearly wanted to be a participant.”

A specialised growth-oriented team at Molson has been “chasing down an opportunity in cannabis,” he added.

In August, Molson Coors entered into a joint venture with HEXO, a Quebec-based marijuana cultivator, to produce cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market.

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Canada legalised marijuana for all adults on October 17, though products like beverages, edibles, and vaporizers won’t be available until next fall.

Hunter said Molson Coors, through the joint venture, was “well-placed” to take a meaningful share of that market when it opens up.

“We’re already in research around the portfolio and the beverages that will be offered,” Hunter said. “We’ll be in a ready-to-go position and one of the first on the playing field as that market opens up.”

Molson Coors’ foray into the cannabis space comes as beer sales have declined slightly across the industry.

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