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Molson Coors brewing up marijuana-infused drinks

Preview: The booming marijuana industry

Molson Coors plans to sell pot-infused drinks in Canada, where consumable marijuana will become legal next year.

Molson Coors Brewing Co. is based in Colorado, which along with Washington, were the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada in October, but consumable forms of the drug will be legal there in 2019.

The brewer said Wednesday that its Canadian division will partner with the Canadian cannabis producer The Hydropothecary Corp. to develop a non-alcoholic drink containing marijuana.

Molson Coors Canada will hold a 57.5 percent controlling stake in the stand-alone joint venture. Hydropothecary will own the remaining ownership interest.

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The deal is expected to close before the end of September.

Sales of the biggest U.S. beer brands are dropping. Bud Light, Budweiser, and Heineken have each dropped more than 3 percent during the 12-week period ended June 18, according to a recent Cowen & Co. report.  Sam Adams Boston Lager saw its sales plunge 14 percent.  Between January and May, U.S. brewers shipped 2.5 million fewer barrels than the year before, according to The Beer Institute trade group — a drop of about 3.7 percent.

Recently, shares of Molson Coors, the parent of MillerCoors, fell to a four-year low after it reported a 3.8 percent fall in volume in the U.S., while Budweiser owner AB InBev reported a 4.1 percent drop.