‘Virtually all’ alcohol firms eyeing cannabis: Q&A with ex-Coors exec & new Sundial CEO

Alcohol corporations ought to be watching their backs.

That’s the warning from Torsten Kuenzlen, a former government for The Coca-Cola Co. and Molson Coors. In his opinion, authorized hashish has an apparent aggressive benefit over alcohol merchandise.

“All alcohol is consumed only as a liquid. Cannabis meets more consumer needs and motivations in the way that it’s consumed,” Kuenzlen stated, including that it’s a matter of time earlier than hashish corporations begin shopping for alcohol makers.

Kuenzlen took the reins of Sundial Growers, a privately owned Canadian hashish firm, earlier this month.

He goals to make the Alberta-based firm into one of many prime hashish firms in Canada, to “build the Coca-Cola of cannabis.”

Marijuana Business Daily caught up with Kuenzlen to speak about synergy between hashish and alcohol corporations, cross-sector tie-ups and the way he plans to make Sundial one of many prime corporations in Canada.

Do you see hashish as a menace to alcohol corporations?

Yes, clearly there’s going to be entry to a leisure various for grownup use. There could be little question about it.

When you take a look at the dimensions of the chance, the revenue pool for hashish is as massive as your complete alcohol business in three to 5 years.

Given your expertise as an alcohol government, what product has a aggressive edge in a totally authorized surroundings?

Interestingly, all alcohol is consumed solely as a liquid.

Cannabis has the benefit over alcohol in that it meets extra shopper wants and motivations in the best way that it’s consumed.

Alcohol corporations want to consider the best way to flip that into a chance somewhat than a menace.

Constellation’s strategy was a very good one. They made a seed funding (in Canopy Growth) to study extra about hashish and work out the place there will probably be synergies – and there’s little question there will probably be synergies between hashish and alcohol companies.

Where do you see overlapping alternatives or synergies?

There are wants and motivations of shoppers which are comparable between alcohol and hashish. But hashish accesses motivation and wishes that alcohol can’t go after.

The synergies are a bigger pool of alternatives to satisfy extra shopper wants than alcohol alone can.

They each work with the provincial liquor board (in Canada), so there’s potential there.

As we take a look at the rising retail panorama, there’s some clients who might be in each the alcohol and hashish business. So there’s synergy there to leverage these relationships.

Do you foresee extra tie-ups between alcohol and hashish corporations?

There may be little question.

We know that nearly all alcohol corporations are very rigorously wanting on the hashish area and trying to companion in some form or type. Those shapes could be something from innovation alliances with pharma and nutraceuticals – and all the best way to partial possession.

Today, alcohol corporations are shopping for hashish corporations. We will see a time when hashish corporations begin shopping for alcohol corporations. Definitely inside the subsequent three to 5 years.

Is Sundial taking a look at a tie-up with an alcohol firm?

We know that all the huge corporations are taking a look at hashish, so clearly we’re speaking to lots of them. What type that takes, would we associate with any person, and for what purpose? To be decided.

Can you anticipate that we’ll enter strategic partnerships in alcohol, pharma, cosmetics, meals and beverage? All of these are prospects and alternatives.

Why did you select Sundial?

Fast-moving shopper items executives, and notably alcohol executives, are in excessive demand. There’s fairly a number of hashish corporations calling.

If you consider the place you need to spend your time, there gained’t be a chance like this in our lifetime.

Then you take a look at all of the hashish corporations that exist, and you determine which of them have one of the best strengths and alternatives.

Which ones have one of the best probability to succeed and be one of many prime two gamers sustainably? You typically discover that in new industries, the primary movers begin the race and run actually exhausting, then fade away.

It’s the quick followers that study from the errors that the larger gamers are making at first, then do it totally different and higher.

Sundial has a chance to be a serious participant in Canada and internationally over the subsequent couple of years.

Do you foresee legalization within the United States?

In my thoughts, it’s a query of when, not if, federal legalization will come south of the border.

So the alternatives to construct nice manufacturers, innovation and capabilities north of the border for the day it turns into federally authorized within the states is a monster alternative for Canada.

How do you weigh worldwide alternatives?

In phrases of constructing international manufacturers, we consider we will construct the Absolut Vodka or Coca-Cola equal of hashish.

When you fast-forward 10 years, shoppers will have the ability to be anyplace on the planet, and they’ll be capable of purchase a model that has the constant expertise they anticipate.

Matt Lamers could be reached at [email protected]

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