Ottawa Moves To Loosen Restrictions On Cannabis Drinks

The federal government in Ottawa has proposed new regulations that would loosen restrictions placed on cannabis infused beverages, paving the way for more cannabis drinks to soon be available to Canadians.

Federal officials propose to amend the Cannabis Act to allow consumers to buy as many as four dozen 355-millilitre cannabis infused drinks at a time, by changing the equivalency ratio of dried cannabis included in a liquid.

This would be a sharp increase from the five-can maximum that consumers are allowed to purchase at a time now.

Cannabis companies such as Hexo Corp. (HEXO), which has a beverage joint venture with Molson Coors Beverage Co. (TAP), and Canopy Growth (WEED) have invested heavily in bottling facilities and cannabis-infused beverage research and have long demanded changes to regulations to allow the sale of more drinks.

The cannabis beverage segment generates roughly $7 million to $8 million in monthly sales in Canada and represents roughly 2% of all cannabis sales, according to data provider Hifyre.

That lack of return on investment has raised questions among industry analysts as to why companies are spending millions of dollars entering a product category that has yet to gain a strong foothold amongst consumers.