Cannabis Beverages Gaining Popularity, Despite Taste – LPC
The Beverage Trade Network in San Francisco will host its first cannabis beverage event this summer. The Cannabis Drinks Expo will focus on “canna-beverages,” which are expected to bring in $1.4 billion (US) by 2023, according to a Forbes article (see link below to full story).
The article talks about many US brands infusing CBD and THC in a wide variety of cannabis beverages such as tea, soda, cider, margaritas and wine. Perhaps most interestingly, the companies mostly market their cannabis beverages to the health and wellness market. They position themselves as a way to get a “midday boost” or “unwind at night.” New Age Beverage straddles the line with its new Marley+CBD Mellow Mood relaxation drink with 25 mg of CBD per serving.
Large Beverage Companies Joining the Canna-beverage Bandwagon – LPC
Heineken is getting in on the cannabis beverage action as well with a sparkling cannabis drink called Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops. This “IPA-inspired” hops-based drink has THC but no alcohol. It also claims to have zero calories or carbs – definitely a plus in the health and wellness market.
Even Coca Cola was rumoured to be getting into the industry with a line of CBD-infused beverages. The company evidently changed its mind, likely because in the US, cannabis is still categorized with heroin and other hard drugs – at least federally. Should the US legalize cannabis, it’s a sure bet they’ll get develop their own drinks as well.
One of the largest hurdles for companies is the taste. THC and CBD does not easily infuse with any water-based liquid because it’s not water soluble. It simply floats in the beverages, leaving a scummy, smelly layer at the top. Many companies try to mask the taste in their cannabis beverages with intense flavours such as ginger and lemon. Sugar seems to help. But for the large part, it’s a problem without a good solution.
Canadian Companies Experimenting with Beverages
In Canada, Canopy Growth has partnered with Constellation Brands, an alcoholic beverage company in the United States selling beer, wine, and liquor. On the strength of legalized hemp in the US, Canopy bought land in New York State near Constellation’s headquarters The Forbes article below also cites an unnamed company that’s infuses beer during the brewing process, eliminating the water-solubility problem.
It’s still hard to tell which way the future of canna-beverages will turn. But given their growing popularity with consumers, it’s almost certain that cannabis beverages are here to stay.
This editorial content from the LPC News Editor is meant to provide analysis, insight, and perspective on current news articles. To read the source article this commentary is based upon, please click on the link below.