Canopy Growth received an operating and secure storage licence from Health Canada for its new 150,000 sq ft beverage facility on November 22. Production of cannabis-infused beverages began yesterday (November 25).
The company is producing 11 beverage lines from its 'unique distilled cannabis process' in the first phase, with more promised to follow. It plans to start shipping products to the provinces ‘within weeks’.
Cannabis edibles became legal in Canada on October 17: although companies must first obtain a licence and observe a notice period for new products, meaning that the earliest date edibles can be sold is December 16.
Beer and wine giant Constellation Brands made a $4bn investment in Canadian company Canopy Growth last year, taking a 35% interest in the company.
From beverages to chocolate
Mark Zekulin, CEO of Canopy Growth, said: "This licence represents years of hard work to bring our vision to life.
"We are deeply proud of the team's hard work and dedication that has brought us from the tear-down of the original building in early 2019, through to the completion and licensing of our brand new facility.
"We also appreciate the support of our partner, Constellation Brands, who lent their expertise from building and equipment design to staffing requirements for this world-class facility.
“Cannabis beverages have the potential to introduce an entirely different demographic to the cannabis category by presenting them with a familiar product format and an onset time akin to beverage alcohol."
Canopy Growth’s beverage facility adds to cannabis production facilities in Smiths Falls including a regional distribution centre with automated excise stamp lines, an automated manufacturing facility, a bean-to-bar chocolate factory, and Visitors Centre.
“With this critical operating licence, Canopy Growth is fully prepared to supply the Canadian market with a variety of innovative new "Cannabis 2.0" products including beverages, chocolates, and vapes,” says the company.
Racing to market
Truss Beverage Co – the joint venture between Molson Coors Canada and HEXO Corp – has already announced plans to launch six cannabis beverage brands in Canada. The first – a CBD-infused spring water produced in partnership with the team behind Flow Alkaline Spring Water – will be launched nationwide in December.
Named Flow Glow, the drink will be a natural spring water with whole grape extract, organic blue agave and natural ingredients and flavours: containing 10mg of CBD. It will launch in two flavors: Goji+Grapefruit and Raspberry+Lemon.
Fluent Beverage Company, the joint venture between AB InBev and cannabis company Tilray, has also announced its plans to launch non-alcoholic CBD-infused beverages in Canada in December. It has not yet revealed, however, what this beverage or branding will look like.