A former Budweiser Executive thinks cannabis has a promising future, comparable to the craft beer boom of the past several years.
Chris Burggraeve, former chief marketing officer for Anheuser-Busch InBev, told Bloomberg this week that he will invest in two significant ventures in the cannabis industry because he sees high growth potential.
Burggraeve, 52, is hopping from brewing barley to cannabis and has made two investments in the space. GreenRush Group, the San Francisco-based startup, which says it aims to be the Amazon of weed. Burggraeve, a native of Belgium with a master’s degree in economics, recently joined the advisory board the GreenRush Group, a platform to connect consumers, dispensaries and delivery people. He was also the co-founder of Toast, which describes itself as a luxury cannabis brand which makes elaborate-looking, pre-rolled joints.
via Marketing Week
The former beer executive is one of many entrepreneurs and investors increasingly flocking to the cannabis industry from the traditional business world. Big Beer took its first step last month when the Upstate New York-based Constellation Brands Inc., which sells Corona in the U.S., announced its investment in Canopy Growth Corp., a Canadian seller of medicinal-marijuana products. In Burggraeve’s view, that’s just the beginning.
“This is one of the fastest-growing categories globally,” he said. “Why? Because people want it. When consumers want something, you ignore it at your peril.”
Financial Post said in a recent article sixty-four percent of the U.S. population now wants to lift the federal ban on marijuana, according to a Gallup poll released last month. That’s the most substantial rating since the firm started asking about the topic in 1969, the year of the Woodstock music festival when only 12 percent approved.
After leaving the corporate marketing world about five years ago, Burggraeve said he’s focused on teaching, consulting and investing in what he considers disruptive categories.
“The same way that craft beer started and, for the longest time, was ignored and then exploded, there’s no reason why the same thing wouldn’t happen in this space,” he said. “There will be part supplementing and part complementing. The jury is out on how and where that will happen.”
Indeed, investment in cannabis has burgeoned in recent months and years, as social stigmas fall away and more states enjoy an economic boom from legal weed. Corona’s parent company, Constellation Brands, made a $190 million investment into Canada’s marijuana market ahead of its highly anticipated 2018 recreational legalisation. That company now plans to create a cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic drink.
Furthermore, the incline in purchase, money, products and legislation already prove that the possibility is there. Companies have shown a massive increase in sales despite the illegal status. If the consumer wants it, they will get it. Marijuana has a bright future.