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Liquor importer Constellation buys $4B stake in Canadian pot grower

By Ed Adamczyk
Liquor importer Constellation buys $4B stake in Canadian pot grower
Beer and liquor importer Constellation Brands announced a $4 billion investment in Canadian marijuana grower Canopy Growth on Wednesday. File Photo by 7raysmarketing/Pixabay/UPI

Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Beer and liquor importer Constellation Brands announced a $4 billion investment in Canadian marijuana grower Canopy Growth Corp. Wednesday.

Constellation, whose brands include Modelo and Corona beer, Svedka vodka and Case Noble tequila, currently has a 10 percent investment in Canopy Growth. The new infusion of cash will increase the stake to about 38 percent and includes warrants and other incentives to raise its position in the company to 50 percent in the next three years.

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Shares in Canopy Growth, Canada's largest medical marijuana producer, rose over 23 percent in Wednesday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Constellation stock fell by 8.9 percent.

The investment is indicative of a culture in which any stigma of marijuana use is fading, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday. While U.S. federal law still prohibits recreational marijuana sale and use, it is now legal in nine states.

Medical marijuana use is legal in 31 states, and penalties for illegal marijuana possession and use have been reduced in many jurisdictions. Canada will legalize marijuana for recreational use on Oct. 17.

Analysts have suggested that sale of alcoholic drinks may fall in the next decade, Fortune reported.

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Constellation has said it does not intend to enter the U.S. marijuana market until it is legalized throughout the country. CEO Bruce Linton said Wednesday, though, the federal law could change "sooner than people think."

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