If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em

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Canopy Growth has scooped up 100% of Toronto’s Ace Valley cannabis company in its latest acquisition, this time with the goal of building brand loyalty among Gen Z and millennial shoppers.

All about Ace’s ‘ready-to-enjoy’ line

Canopy president and chief product officer Rade Kovacevic told the Globe and Mail that Ace’s line of gummies, pre-rolls and vape products had built “a really strong consumer following and brand affinity, which is a particularly difficult thing to do in the Canadian cannabis landscape.”

That success is based on Ontario Cannabis Store data, where Ace Valley holds top five and top 10 market positions across its SKUs.

Taking cues from beer

It’s perhaps not surprising to see two companies with strong ties to beer making this kind of move. Ace Valley was founded by the creators of Toronto-based Ace Hill beer. Constellation Brands – with their huge stake in Canopy — like so many big booze companies, has added craft brewers like Funky Buddha to its portfolio.

Sign of the times?

“Brand portfolio expansion is the new cultivation capacity expansion,” tweeted lawyer Trina Fraser, referring to large-scale producers who have pulled back heavily on their initial mass cultivation strategies and the trend could point to more brand acquisition plays in the next year.

With a number of smaller companies demonstrating great success finding and delighting consumers, it begs the question: who’s next?

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