Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands Predicts Federal Decriminalization of Marijuana
Big alcohol has always been one of the largest opponents of the legalization of cannabis. No doubt fearing that the legal cannabis industry would bite off a nice juicy chunk of their consumer base, these companies have spent untold sums of money attempting to combat the inevitable legalization of cannabis. As we have explored in our previous investigations, these fears proved to be correct as more youth are choosing weed over alcohol. This is not a flash in the pan either as this trend which has been ongoing over the past decade. It seems that some in big alcohol are of the belief that marijuana decriminalization is only a matter of time. For one, Constellation Brands CEO, Rob Sands, has stated that he believes that the federal decriminalization of marijuana in the United States is inevitable.
Constellation Brands CEO, Rob Sands on Big Alcohol and Cannabis
If the name Constellation Brands sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because they’re one of the biggest names in alcohol, and might soon be one of the biggest names in cannabis as well. Constellation Brands is the parent company of such household names as Corona and Modelo and they recently made an unprecedented $5-billion investment into Canadian cannabis company, Canopy Growth.
I suppose if you can’t beat them… Investing in them is a solid backup plan. Other alcohol companies seem to see the writing on the wall as well, as Heineken, Molson, and Bush have all begun production of non-alcoholic cannabis beverages.
Rob Sands stated that Constellation Brands would not be left behind with regards to marijuana drinkables. The company is currently collaborating with Canopy Growth to create its own non-alcoholic cannabis drinks which would resemble champagnes, beers, spirits, water, and tea.
CBD Leads the way for federal decriminalization of marijuana
With cannabis legalization, it is often the case that the medical system precedes the recreational system. This is precisely the case with Thailand, a nation in the process of ending prohibition.
Similarly, the Constellation Brands CEO believes that CBD, the non-psychoactive, medically useful component of cannabis, will lead the charge for the legalization rest of the cannabis plant.
“We expect (CBD) to become legalized potentially as soon as shortly after this election because there’s a provision in the farm bill that will actually legalize CBD, the non-psychoactive component,”
CBD is currently used in a variety of health products and has shown promise as a potential treatment for conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, and arthritis. The Constellation Brands CEO believes that many more companies will be looking to capitalize on this lucrative new market.
“I think you’ll see a lot of beverages introduced, probably non-alcoholic or in, I would say, most cases, non-alcoholic, to take advantage of at least the CBD legalization,”
With all these well-established alcohol giants in the camp of cannabis, it’s no mystery why Rob Sands believes that the federal decriminalization of marijuana is on the horizon… but what about full legalization? While Sands believes that full legalization is an inevitability, the Constellation Brands CEO believes this might occur much later than many marijuana advocates are hoping for.
THC-containing cannabis, that’s going to be some time off, but I would say that the political front is developing very quickly there. In the United States, we believe that it’s an inevitability that cannabis will be decriminalized at the federal level. And, as we already know, a lot of states have legalized it recreationally.”
The federal legalization, or at the very least federal decriminalization of marijuana, would have massive impacts on the current state of affairs in the United States. If you’re looking to be brought up to speed on how the issue affects cannabis in legal states just click here.
Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands Looks to the International Market
As cannabis goes global, Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands believes his company will have a role to play. The company has its eye on Europe as two of the world’s largest economies look to reevaluate cannabis.
“You shouldn’t lose sight of the international opportunity. There’s huge countries — UK is looking at medical legalization. Germany has already legalized medical marijuana. These are all places, given our Canopy investment, that we can play in. We think it’s important to be able to play in all channels and in all segments, not just beverages and not just recreational.”
By: Stefan Hosko