Marijuana companies are partnering with mainstream businesses

Partnership Pioneers

Bill Silver, president of new markets for CannaCraft and its subisidary AbsoluteXtracts, pulls a bottle of Hi-Fi Hops from the bottling line. Photo by Bill Reitzel

Mainstream businesses are heading to the proverbial dance floor with cannabis companies as their partners.

Unfathomable just a few years ago, these one-time strangers of the business world are teaming up to produce and distribute merchandise that includes infused nonalcoholic beverages, CBD gummies intended to help users sleep, pharmaceutical-grade drug treatments and more.

This trend is a major development for the marijuana industry, one that represents the sector’s coming of age. It also signifies a tipping point for mainstream businesses in terms of their comfort level with cannabis.

For both sides, it’s a new opportunity loaded with potential benefits—and pitfalls.

By partnering with mainstream businesses, marijuana companies can gain access to capital, scientific know-how, distribution networks and other capabilities that help them expand, develop products, reach customers and execute other things that growing enterprises need to do to be successful.

In the following pages, Marijuana Business Magazine investigates collaborations between mainstream and cannabis businesses through a series of case studies that explore how successful partnerships were built and why they succeeded—and sometimes fell flat. The partnerships are in diverse sectors: beverage, pharmaceutical and retail, among others. Their unique characteristics color the collaborations.

At the same time, there are similarities that cut across sectors. For example, cannabis executives considering partnerships with mainstream businesses will need to be transparent. They also should expect to be scrutinized by possible partners and be prepared to pivot when things don’t turn out as planned—as often happens.

While more mainstream companies are hoping to get in on the Green Rush by partnering with marijuana companies, landing a mainstream relationship remains complicated and challenging.

We hope this package of executive insights sheds light on those complications and challenges. We also hope it helps you find the right partner to make your company stronger and better equipped to take advantage of trends that will transform the cannabis industry in 2020 and beyond.

Key partnership deals to pay attention to:

Beverages

  • Lagunitas Brewing Co. | Absolute Xtracts
  • Arizona Beverage Co. | Dixie Brands
  • Anheuser-Busch | Tilray
  • Constellation Brands | Canopy Growth Corp.
  • Molson Coors Brewing Co. | Hexo
  • Moosehead Breweries | Sproutly
  • Short’s Brewing Co. | Green Peak Innovations

 

Pharmaceuticals & Health

 

Tobacco

  • Altria | Cronos Group
  • Philip Morris International | Syqe Medical

 

Entertainment

  • Netflix Alternative | Herbal Health Services

 

Farming

  • Village Farms International | Emerald Health Therapeutics

 

Hemp