Tilray, AB InBev partner in cannabis drink market

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Proposed Health Canada rules would allow Canadians to buy a wide range of edible cannabis products, but limit the amount of THC in each package and ban anything that might appeal to children.

"We intend to develop a deeper understanding of non-alcohol beverages containing THC and CBD that will guide future decisions about potential commercial opportunities", Labatt Breweries of Canada president Kyle Norrington said via the release.

Tilray is also exploring opportunities to make acquisitions in 2019, both within and outside the cannabis space, Kennedy said.

With Democrats winning control of the US House of Representatives, Congress may finally pass the Farm Bill, which would make it legal to produce hemp and potentially open the door for more products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a element found in cannabis. AB InBev, based in Leuven, Belgium, is the world's biggest brewer, with brands including Beck's and Bud Light.

In the cannabis industry's largest investment, Corona beer maker Constellation Brands added $4 billion to its $200m investment in Canopy Growth in August to help fund the Canadian cannabis producer's global expansion.

The regulations covering the wave of new products must be in place by October 2019. The company's stock had finished the trading day down more than 7 percent to $71. Shares in AB InBev, by contrast, have fallen 34% this year. Decisions about commercialisation will be made later, as marijuana edibles and beverages won't be legal in Canada until next year.

The agreement is exclusive in that Sandoz has promised not to partner with another pot company and Tilray has agreed not to partner with another pharmaceutical company on noncombustible products, according to MarketWatch.

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Tilray, a global pioneer in cannabis production and distribution, announced a partnership with AB InBev to research non-alcohol beverages containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

The partnership applies only to Canada, and will be executed through Labatt Breweries, another brewery in InBev's portfolio, while Tilray will operate through a subsidiary called High Park Company.

The partners intend on investing up to R1.4 billion into the project. The company, which is based in British Columbia, specializes in medicinal cannabis products.

The deal does not address future decisions about the commercialization and sale of a potential cannabis drink.

While the final regulations won't be tabled until sometime after consultations conclude on February 20, 2019, the first draft suggests what Canadians can expect once the next wave of cannabis products is permitted.

AB InBev said the research partnership combines its "deep experience in beverages with Tilray's expertise in cannabis products", in a statement on Thursday.

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