Canadian company files technology patent to brew cannabis beer, welcomes competition from Constellation Brands

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Province Brands' patent-pending technology brews a beer that is 'alcohol-free, yet highly intoxicating, and with a dose-response curve similar to that of alcohol.' ©GettyImages/Creative-Family
Province Brands' patent-pending technology brews a beer that is 'alcohol-free, yet highly intoxicating, and with a dose-response curve similar to that of alcohol.' ©GettyImages/Creative-Family

Related tags: Constellation brands, Brewing

Canadian R&D company and brewer of alcohol-free beer, Province Brands, has filed a provisional patent for the technology to develop a beer brewed from the cannabis plant.

The Canadian beverage company’s “marijuana powered”​ beers and spirits are aimed at challenging the $1.2 trillion alcohol industry with a safer and healthier alternative, says Province Brands CEO Dooma Wendschuh.

Province Brands’ founders have raised more than $75m in venture capital from previous projects to help support its development of alcohol-free cannabis beer.

The provisional patent's filing concluded months of development to create a novel technology to replace grains with cannabis during the brewing process resulting in a beverage that is “alcohol-free, yet highly intoxicating, and with a dose-response curve similar to that of alcohol.”

Competition forms in Canadian cannabis category

Canada was the first country in the world to legalize medical marijuana nationwide in 2001; and it legalized recreational use in January 2018, allowing consumers to purchase up to eight grams of cannabis concentrates found in various edibles at state-licensed dispensaries.

"We started our company in 2016 when it was not known whether alcohol-free beverages which intoxicate using cannabis or its phytocannabinoids would ever be legalized in Canada.

"The government, just a few months ago, made it clear they'd allow [these types of products], and I'd suspect that's what made Constellation Brands step up," ​Wendschuh said.

The potential growth of the legalized consumer cannabis market has attracted the attention of global beverage company Constellation Brands​, who acquired a minority stake in Canopy Growth in October, sparking other cross-industry partnerships.

While it is unclear when Constellation Brands​ will introduce its first cannabis beverage to the market, Province Brands said it has the head start it needs to compete with powerhouse newcomers like Canopy Growth and Constellation Brands and believes that more competitors entering this market can only be a good thing, according to Wendschuh.

"The fact that the first Fortune 500 company to invest in the cannabis space was not a tobacco giant like so many had predicted; but was, in fact, Constellation Brands - one of the largest and best run adult beverage businesses in the world - truly validates our efforts and proves the market for beverages like those Province has been brewing," ​said Wendschuh. 

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