One of America's largest beer manufacturers just announced a game-changing deal with one of Canada's largest licensed cannabis producers.

Earlier today, Constellation Brands - the leading alcoholic beverage company behind Corona - announced plans to invest $5 billion CAD [$4 billion USD] in Canopy Growth Corporation to expand their partnership and position Canopy Growth as the global leader in cannabis production, branding, intellectual property and retailing.

In so doing, Constellation Brands will increase its stake in Canopy, acquiring 104.5 million shares - roughly equalling out to 38 per cent of the company.

This is the largest investment in the Canadian cannabis space to date. So it has massive potential to enact serious change and bring forth new innovations in the cannabis industry. Constellation Brands is not only bringing capital to the table, but also their expertise as a Fortune 500 company with a consistent record of understanding consumer trends in a rapidly changing marketplace.

"Through this investment, we are selecting Canopy Growth as our exclusive global cannabis partner," said Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands in a press release. "Over the past year, we've come to better understand the cannabis market, the tremendous growth opportunity it presents, and Canopy's market-leading capabilities in this space. We look forward to supporting Canopy as they extend their recognized global leadership position in the medical and recreational cannabis space."

Canopy Growth has said that it intends to use this growth not only to expand its operations in Canada's burgeoning cannabis industry but also in emerging cannabis markets worldwide.

"Our business can now make the strategic investments required to accelerate our market position globally," Canopy Growth Chairman and Co-CEO Bruce Linton explained via press release. "Constellation's concentration of global cannabis activities exclusively through Canopy, coupled with the investment and its expert capabilities in brand-building, marketing, consumer insights and M&A will be a huge benefit as we look to expand our portfolio in Canada, the United States and emerging cannabis markets around the globe. We view this investment in our business as an endorsement of our execution since forming our initial strategic relationship in October 2017."

While the transaction remains subject to the customary closing conditions for deals of this size, such as government regulatory approval and acceptance on behalf of shareholders, it is expected to close by the end of October - just weeks after legalization becomes law on October 17. And with this announcement, Constellation and Canopy look poised to dominate that new legal landscape in Canada.

Global partners

This isn't the first time that Constellation and Canopy have joined forces. Both are also involved in the new Global Cannabis Partnership, which is working toward establishing Corporate Social Responsibility principles for the cannabis industry.

Constellation is involved through their subsidiary GreenStar Brands, which is set to become a leading provider of cannabis-infused beverages in Canada and other countries that have legalized marijuana. 

"Promoting the responsible production, commercialization and consumption of beverage alcohol products has been core to Constellation Brands as a company for more than 70 years," said Sam Carsley - Vice-President, Associate General Counsel of GreenStar Brands - when the partnership's founding members were announced last June.

"Working as part of the Global Cannabis Partnership, GreenStar Brands sees opportunities to apply principles that have been successful in the beverage alcohol space with Constellation Brands to the emerging cannabis market," Carsley added. "And we are committed to doing our part to bring recreational cannabis products to market in a responsible way. Doing this will help ensure the safety, well-being and enjoyment of consumers and is key to sustaining long-term success for the industry as a whole."

GreenStar and Canopy are two of the GCP's 15 founding members. And they look forward to collaborating with the others to develop initiatives that will ensure the sustainability of the cannabis industry by developing a culture of corporate responsibility.

"Building the cannabis industry will require working collaboratively with a wide group of stakeholders and industry partners to advance society's understanding and acceptance of cannabis," Jeff Ryan - VP Government and Stakeholder Relations for Canopy Growth - said via press release. "Through the Global Cannabis Partnership, we can change society's perception of cannabis through impactful, needs-based initiatives."