By Roland Sebestyén
While infused beverages currently only make up a small part of the global cannabis market, some of the largest companies in the sector are reportedly planning on taking their chances by persuading consumers to ditch traditional methods in favour of drinking their cannabis.
According to Politico, American cannabis businesses are looking for getting into the booze industry by introducing quality, THC-infused drinks that have a few advantages over traditional alcoholic drinks.
For example, cannabis drinks can contain fewer calories, and pose a significantly lower risk of causing a hangover.
Also, for consumers who don’t particularly like smoking cannabis but are after still looking for the results and the experience, cannabis drinks could be an effective alternative.
David Culver, vice president of government relations for Canopy Growth Corp., said: “This is a product that they’re going to be very comfortable consuming.
“They don’t want to smoke it. They don’t potentially want to vape it. But consuming it as a beverage is something that they can do.”
According to Politico, the demand for cannabis drinks is growing fast – like, really fast. Forecasts show that the annual sales of the products in the U.S. are expected to hit $421 million this year.
Some predict that sales could hit $1 billion by 2025. That’s a massive number, despite the “beverage sector” only making up an estimated 2% of the global cannabis market.
However, selling THC-infused booze can be tricky – legally speaking. It has a few hurdles you have to pass before a product could be sold from the shelves.
The prices are high; effectively bottling and storing the products could cost a fortune.
Tracey Mason, the CEO of House of Saka, which has been selling cannabis wines since 2019 in California, told Politico: “Would I love to be on the shelf next to Robert Mondavi and other prominent wines? Absolutely.
“Do I see that happening in the very near future? No. But I do see cannabis retail outlets dramatically changing and becoming much more beverage friendly.”
Some states where the legal system supports cannabis businesses are in a better situation.
Pedro Fonseca, for example, who is the director of retail for California dispensary chain Harborside, said selling cannabis booze became an essential part of his business.
He said: “You can bring it to a barbecue and not have to get stoned off your rocker.
“The stigma doesn’t always come with it like it would if you’re just rolling a blunt and smoking it.”