CANADA – Molson Coors Brewing Co., a multinational brewing company, has partnered with Canadian cannabis producer The Hydropothecary Corporation, to enter into a deal that will develop cannabis-infused beverages in Canada.

According to the company, it is teaming with Canadian cannabis producer, The Hydropothecary Corporation (HEXO), to create a joint partnership “to pursue opportunities to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization.”

Marijuana use in Canada will become legal later this year.

“Canada is breaking new ground in the cannabis sector and, as one of the country’s leading beverage companies, Molson Coors Canada has a unique opportunity to participate in this exciting and rapidly expanding consumer segment,” said Frederic Landtmeters, president and CEO of Molson Coors Canada, in a statement.

Molson Coors Canada said it will have a 57.5% controlling interest in the joint standalone venture and HEXO will control the remainder.

The Denver-based Molson Coors also reported second-quarter net sales fell slightly but second-quarter earnings per share bested analysts’ expectations.

Molson Coors reported second-quarter net sales fell to US$3.085 billion from US$3.091 billion a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting sales of US$3.1 billion.

Adjusted second-quarter net income rose to US$406.1 million, or earnings of US$1.88 per share, from US$367.1 million, or US$1.70 per share in 2017.

Analysts were expecting earnings of US$1.85 per share.

Sales in the United States fell by more than 3% in the latest quarter, but sales in Europe rose by more than 11%.

“Our full year underlying cost savings and free cash flow guidance has not changed, despite ongoing industry demand challenges in the U.S. and Canada and inflationary pressures.

While we are aggressively addressing our volume performance in North America, performance in our Europe and International businesses was strong in the quarter,” said Mark Hunter, CEO and president.