The legalization of marijuana has been on the forefront of our society for some time now. Nine states and Washington, D.C. have legalized cannabis for recreational and medical use, while 29 states have granted medical legalization. But how are beverage businesses adapting to this trend?
Companies throughout the United States are developing cannabis-infused beverages, which they believe will enable them to better compete with beer products. For example, Evergreen Herbal distributes and produces cannabis-infused beverages. Vice President of Marketing David Paleschuck states in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., “I see cannabis-infused beverages right next to beer and wine and other alcohol products in restaurants and other establishments where adults are served.” Although Evergreen Herbal only distributes in the Washington state, Paleschuck thinks that it’s only a matter of time until the product is more widely available.
It is not just cannabis companies getting behind this new category of beverages, but also alcohol industry giants like Blue Moon Brewing Co., a division of MillerCoors, and Constellation Brands.
Creator and Head Brewmaster of Blue Moon Keith Villa recently announced the launch of CERIA Beverages, which plans to introduce a line of cannabis-infused, non-alcohol craft beverages in 2018. These beverages will contain THC, a key psychoactive chemical from cannabis plants.
Constellation Brands also is paving its way into the cannabis market by teaming up with Canopy Growth Corp., a Canadian seller of medicinal-marijuana products. Buying into the company with approximately $191 million, Constellation became one of the biggest shareholders of the marijuana company. The two companies are collaborating on cannabis-infused beverages, which will be sold as adult products, in places where it is legal at the federal level.
With stronghold companies like these investing their time and money into the marijuana industry, it probably won’t be long until consumers are able to sit back, kick up their feet, and enjoy the experience.