Canopy CEO eyes 'big prize' ahead of legal edibles

As Canopy Growth Corp. searches for a new chief executive officer, its current boss is staying focused on the next wave of cannabis products set to hit the market.

“We need to see more stores come online and we need to see the value-add ‘Cannabis 2.0’ products come in,” said Mark Zekulin, Canopy Growth’s CEO, during an interview with BNN Bloomberg on Thursday.

“For us, when we talk about those products, we have over 50 different products in the pipeline that we’re developing: From chocolates, to vape pens to, of course, beverages.”

Constellation Brands Inc., which bottles Corona and Modelo among many other beer and spirits brands, invested $245 million for a 9.9 per stake in Canopy Growth in October 2017. The beverage company significantly upped its stake in August 2018 to 38 per cent after investing $5 billion in the cannabis giant. However, Constellation Brands said it expects to book a US$132.5 million loss over the past six months directly related to its investment in Canopy Growth.

Zekulin said he’s excited for that partnership with Constellation to continue as Canada shifts towards the legalization of edibles, with products expected to hit the market as early as late December.

“This is an exciting proposition and it’s a combination of our own cannabis intellectual property with the know-how from Constellation on building a bottling plant and market segmentation,” Zekulin said. “It’s going to be great to bring that to market and to bring that to consumers.”

The move to edibles and hopes of global expansion are just two of the most recent developments that have players in the nascent cannabis industry eyeing big-time profits.

“There is a big prize at the end of this,” Zekulin said. “The cannabis sector is still in its infancy. You have a market that is globally going to be worth many hundreds of billions of dollars.”

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