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Anheuser-Busch to sell eight beverage brands to cannabis company Tilray Brands

Bottles of beer move along a conveyor belt at the Anheuser-Busch InBev NV Budweiser bottling facility in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. Anheuser-Busch InBev is scheduled to release earnings figures October 26. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images/via CNN)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Anheuser-Busch is selling eight of its beverage brands to Tilray Brands, one of the largest cannabis companies in the world, after heavy losses this fiscal year.

Seven of the brands are craft breweries: Breckenridge Brewery, Shock Top, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewing, Widmer Brothers Brewing, and Square Mile Cider Company. The eight beverage brand is non-alcoholic HiBall Energy.

Tilray said the undisclosed purchase price will be paid in cash and the transaction is expected to close this year, The Wall Street Journal reported. The sale will include the breweries and brewpubs, as well as their current employees.

This comes after the company has suffered heavy losses that some believe is linked to controversy over transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s association with the brand. Earlier this year, Mexican beer brand Modelo became the top-selling beer in the United States, pushing Bud Light into second place.

The Anheuser-Busch brand has been laying off hundreds of U.S. workers amid a sales slump that occurred earlier this summer. In a statement to the Associated Press, the layoffs will only impact 2% of the company’s workforce, and warehouse staff, drivers and other frontline employees were not be affected.

Anheuser-Busch is headquartered in St. Louis and employs nearly 19,000 people nationally and many of those people working here are based in the Midwest.

This change doesn’t just affect the Midwest, as several of the brands that were sold by Anheuser-Busch aren’t based in the Midwest. Widmer Brothers Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, and Square Mile Cider Company are all Oregon-based brands, and the five other brands are from states such as Colorado and New York. Tilray Brands currently owns beverage companies SweetWater Brewing Company, Montauk Brewing Company, Alpine Beer Company, and Green Flash Brewing Company.

Forbes reported that with this purchase, Tilray is positioned to become the 5th largest craft brewer in the U.S and control 5% of the craft beer market.