As US states legalize cannabis, companies are betting that people will want to drink it too. Major beverage makers like Constellation, which has invested nearly $5 billion in Canopy Growth, have already entered the cannabis-infused beverage market.
The latest cannabinoid water solubilization technology has made it possible to mix THC into a variety of beverages. Today, beverage manufacturers believe that people who don’t want to smoke cannabis or drink alcohol for social or health reasons can find an alternative in cannabis beverages.
According to Amanda Reiman, vice president of public policy research at New Frontier Dataa cannabis company that tracks consumer habits, the market is becoming increasingly crowded while it is still in its infancy.
“The choice for consumers wasn’t as wide in the past, but we’ve seen dozens of companies enter the cannabis beverage business,” Reiman said.
Leveraging its experience in making beer and spirits, Pabst Blue Ribbon began selling a range of non-alcoholic “High Seltzers”. Each 33 centiliter can contains 10 milligrams of THC, which the company says “is the right amount for having a good time.” The drinks are flavored with pineapple, mango, strawberry or lemon. They are sold online or at dispensaries in states where the use of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes is permitted.
Other beer and spirits companies have entered this sector, including Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser, or Constellation Brands, which distributes Corona in the United States and owns Lagunitas. The range of weed drinks contain varying doses of THC – usually between 2.5 milligrams and 10 milligrams – mixed only in water-based drinks. The mixing of cannabis and alcohol is indeed prohibited in most states that allow the consumption of cannabis.
Brightfield Group, a cannabis research agency, estimates that all cannabis drinks will represent $1 billion in sales in the United States by 2025.
While cannabis drinks have been talked about in the past, some experts call this a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and the right time for this type of drink to be adopted more widely.
“There have been multiple false announcements about THC drinks being the next big thing,” says Keef Brands CEO Travis Tharp. “But I think we’ve gotten to a point where year-over-year growth is substantial. »
Travis Tharp adds that the market for THC drinks has so far been limited by the lack of research on what is responsible consumption, as well as the scarcity of standards and good practices, which for him is one of the main obstacles preventing the industry from reaching the general public more quickly.