Coors calls cannabis a “risk-factor”

Dylan Simonson

Molson Coors logo with molson in blue and coors in red
Logo for Molson Coors (Photo Courtesy of Molson Coors Brewing Company)

Legalized marijuana and hemp have “threatened” a lot of different industries as of late. It’s speculated that the threat to some industries was why cannabis was made illegal in the first place. Now, Molson Coors Brewing Company, which owns the Coors, Miller, and Blue Moon brands, is saying legalized marijuana is a “risk factor” for its business.

Molson Coors is so concerned with legalized marijuana affecting their sales, they even stated that it could be affecting their current sales in their 10-k that was published recently, according to the Cannabist.

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Coors isn’t the first beer or liquor company to make this statement. The parent company of Sam Adams has said something similar, and so has the Craft Brew Alliance, according to Fortune.

Marijuana wasn’t the only risk for Molson Coors, in fact, it was only one of over 40 concerns, but the company is going to keep a close eye on the market, since the full impact of legalization is currently unknown.

Molson Coors and other companies have reason to be worried though. According to a study by Cannabiz Consumer Group, which involved over 40,000 Americans, 27 percent of beer drinkers are now buying legal cannabis instead of beer or would if cannabis were legal in their state. As more and more states legalize cannabis, this is a large portion of costumers that beer companies are losing. Cannabiz states that if cannabis were legalized nationally, it’s estimated the beer industry would lose over 2 billion dollars in retail sales, or about 7 percent of the beer industry’s market.

According to Time, states like Washington, Oregon, and here in Colorado have already seen beer sales fall, and Colorado is called the “Napa Valley of Craft Beer” and rightfully so. Just look at Fort Collins, the craft beer capital of Colorado, so the threat is certainly real.  

Molson Coors has headquarters in Denver and Montreal. Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana and Canada plans on fully legalizing nationwide by July. So, its headquarters alone are in two places where there is legalized marijuana, and specifically in two places that are pioneers in marijuana policy change.

To help combat this change in dynamic, Molson Coors began looking at potential expansion into the marijuana industry last November, according to Biz-journals. However, they haven’t specified any future plans on the expansion, as they don’t want to rush into anything, and make sure they’ll be making a sound investment.

Constellation Brands, which owns Corona, Modelo, and Svedka, has already started to invest in the marijuana industry. According to Fortune, they invested around $191 million dollars in the Canadian marijuana company Canopy Growth, and hope to eventually make cannabis infused drinks.

Collegian Blogger Dylan Simonson can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @DylanSimonson0