Another major alcohol beverage company wants a piece of the marijuana pie.
Breakthru Beverage Group, led by Rocky Wirtz, the chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks, announced that it will be investing $9.2 million into CannTrust, a Canadian marijuana producer.
In a press release, both Breakthru Beverage Group and CannTrust, announced a letter of intent that will make Breakthru the exclusive distributor of CannTrust’s recreational marijuana products throughout Canada.
“Breakthru was the first nationally established beverage alcohol broker in Canada and is the country’s leader in representing top beverage alcohol brands in the marketplace,” said CannTrust president Brad Rogers in the release.
He added, “Their progressive model, sales technology, infrastructure and extensive relationships across Canada make them an ideal fit for our business strategy.”
“We’re excited to work with the most respected producer in Canada and leverage our well-established business model, which will put us at the forefront of shaping a high performing organization and socially responsible industry,” said Breakthru vice chairman Danny Wirtz said in the release. “This is a logical extension of our expertise and provides a new growth opportunity into this emerging market.”
“We have a nano-technology that enables us to produce cannabis-infused beverages neutral in taste, and clear as water. This technology will position us to be a leader in Canada, and in future markets globally,” said Rogers.
In a memo to Breakthru employees on Monday, Wirtz had said that the family supported the investment and stated, “To us, this venture is a strategic business decision, not reflective of any personal feelings but instead, focused around an opportunity to be at the forefront of shaping a socially-responsible model for this emerging market.”
Wirtz has said that Breakthru will establish a new sales brokerage firm and work with the provincial control boards in Canada to distribute CannTrust’s products, as is it does with alcohol. He also pointed out that Breakthru’s interest in recreational marijuana is only limited to Canada.
Legal recreational marijuana is set to go on sale in Canada on October 17th.
Recently Constellation Brands said it would invest another $4 billion in Canopy Growth Corporation while Molson Coors Brewing Company formed a joint venture with HEXO, a cannabis company based in Quebec.