Corona distributor to buy stake in Canada's largest licensed cannabis producer

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      A beer distribution company in the United States is trying to be one step ahead of the curve.

      Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Constellation Brands Inc. will take a 9.9 percent stake worth $245 million in Canopy Growth Corporation, Canada's largest licensed producer of cannabis.

      Canopy, the parent company of brands including Tweed, Spectrum, and Bedrocan; and Constellation, a New York-based distributor of Corona beer, will work in tandem to create infused non-alcoholic beverages intended for countries where cannabis is legal, including Canada—where edibles won't be part of the legal market until July 2019. 

      Constellation CEO Rob Sands told the Walls Street Journal in an interview that in light of the number of states already offering legal recreational cannabis—eight plus the District of Columbia—he expects the federal government won't be far behind.

      The move to obtain part of Canopy was the company's way of attempting to secure "first-mover advantage" in the American market.

      Constellation does not plan to market in the U.S. until cannabis is available recreationally to the entire country, according to Sands.

      While other executives in the liquor industry might see cannabis as a threat to their bottom line, Constellation doesn't seem to share that fear.

      Sands told the WSJ that the company had no intention of lobbying for or against legalization in the United States.