Snack makers are the latest group seeking to partner with marijuana companies to create edible cannabis products for consumers.
Deepak Anand, Vice President of Business Development at Cannabis Compliance Inc., said in a televised interview with BNN Bloomberg that his company is being approached by a number of companies in the consumer packaged goods sector about possible deals to develop edible cannabis products in Canada ahead of the drug’s legalization on October 17.
“We’re clearly seeing a lot of interest from CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies,” he said. “I can tell you we’ve had a number of clients from the CPG world that are very interested in this space and they’re clearly lurking at this point.”
While marijuana use will become legal as of October 17, Health Canada has indicated that edible consumption of the recreational drug will have to wait up to 12 months to be regulated and legalized. Even so, the wait isn’t deterring cookie and chip makers from searching for partners, according to Mr. Anand.
“I think the thing about Canada is we’re doing this in a federal level, so that really changes the game for a lot of these people,” he said when speaking to BNN Bloomberg television. “We’re absolutely going to see CPG and other companies get into this space sooner rather than later.”
Shares of marijuana companies rose sharply on on Friday, with industry bellwether Canopy Growth Corp. rising almost 8% to an all-time high and Aphria Inc. soaring as much as 23.8% after it was reported that Diageo Plc is in talks with at least three marijuana companies about making cannabis-infused beverages.
The distiller’s interest comes amid a series of cross-industry deals. Constellation Brands Inc. announced on August 15 that it’s raising its stake in Canopy to 38%, and could eventually boost its ownership interest above 50%. Meanwhile, Molson Coors Canada unveiled a partnership agreement with Hydropothecary Corp. on August 1.