Cannabis drinks are the newest trend in the legal marijuana market

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As cannabis legalization continues to spread throughout the United States, entrepreneurs have jumped at the opportunity to capitalize on a market that was previously inaccessible. In addition to growing, extracting, and selling cannabis in states where it’s legal, new businesses are now offering everything from marijuana-infused beauty products to marijuana pet treats . . . and now, cannabis drinks.

It is edible, vaporizable, and may be smoked. Companies are wagering that as more US states legalise marijuana for recreational use, more people will want to consume it.

Drinks containing marijuana are becoming increasingly prevalent, and well-known beverage producers like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Constellation have already entered the market. Cannabis or weed beverages include the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which makes people high and is still illegal under federal law in the United States, in contrast to CBD-infused drinks, which have been more commonly accessible in dozens of states.

Modern emulsion technology has made it feasible to include THC into a variety of beverages in recent years. Drink producers are also staking a wager that cannabis drinks would appeal to consumers who don’t want to consume alcohol or marijuana due to social or health concerns.

According to Amanda Reiman, vice president of public policy research at New Frontier Data, a cannabis company that monitors consumer behaviour, the industry is becoming saturated even though it is still in its early stages.

“Consumers didn’t have as many options before, but now we’ve seen hundreds of firms enter the cannabis beverage industry,” Reiman said.

Pabst Blue Ribbon has started marketing a variety of non-alcoholic “High Seltzers,” drawing on its experience in the production of beer and spirits. The business claims that the 10 milligrammes of THC in each 12-ounce can “is the optimum dosage to have a fantastic time.” Pineapple, mango, strawberry, and lemon flavours are available. In jurisdictions where marijuana usage is legal for medical or recreational purposes, they are sold online or at dispensaries.

Anheuser-Busch, the creator of Budweiser, Constellation Brands, which produces Modelo Especial and Corona Extra, Lagunitas Brewing Company, and Ceria are more beer and liquor businesses that have joined this market. The selection of marijuana drinks includes various THC concentrations, which are often blended with solely water-based beverages and range from 2.5 milligrammes to 10 milligrammes. The majority of states that permit cannabis usage for recreational purposes forbid combining cannabis and alcohol.

Cannabis research firm Brightfield Group predicts that by 2025, sales of cannabis beverages would total $1 billion in the United States.

Image Source- Beverage Industry

Weeding your way through


According to Travis Tharp, CEO of Keef Brands, a company that produces a variety of cannabis products, drinks only account up around 1% of total legal cannabis sales in the United States. Despite this, Tharp believes there is still plenty of room for the industry to expand.

Drinking drinks have made a number of unsuccessful attempts to become the next great thing, according to Tharp. But I believe we’ve reached a stage where we can demonstrate that the growth from year to year is significant.

Based in Colorado, Keef has grown to eight states with legalised marijuana for recreational or medical purposes, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. A 100-milligram mocktail offered by the firm is one of its offerings, and Tharp likened it to a hard bottle of alcohol.

Tharp advised against consuming the entire bottle of this in one sitting. You wouldn’t consume an entire bottle of vodka.

Some specialists are concerned that consuming beverages with such high THC doses might be dangerous to their health. Although cannabis beverage products are frequently marketed as having wellness advantages or being hangover-free, there hasn’t been any government-funded study on them.

Doctors caution that too much of anything can be harmful.

The department chair of the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, Charles Michael White, stated that THC “may enhance the risk of paranoia, anxiety, and possibly psychosis and hallucinations.” “The risk and severity of these side effects increase with dosage.”

There are still many unknowns, according to White, when it comes to drinking cannabis. It resides in between eating cannabis, which stays in the circulation longer for a slower, more relaxing high, and inhaling it, which delivers an acute high that soon exits the body.

He claimed that the high from cannabis drinks may be strong and unexpected, particularly if an excessive amount is ingested quickly.

Additional research is needed


Tharp said that the absence of research on safe usage, as well as the scarcity of established policies and best practises, have hurt the market for THC drinks.

Cannabis is a schedule one narcotic in the U.S., he said, adding that this is one of the biggest barriers preventing the sector from more swiftly entering the mainstream. “There’s not a lot of research that can be undertaken on it,” he added.

A chemical with a high potential for misuse and no recognised medicinal purpose in the United States is classified as a schedule one drug.

New Frontier Data’s Reiman concurs. She stated that the Food and Drug Administration would research and control THC drinks if they were made lawful on a federal level. That could reassure apprehensive clients and persuade brand-new clients to take a taste.

In addition to restricting research, the current federal ban of cannabis means that producers of cannabis beverages must generally abide by a patchwork of state regulations, resulting in a broken supply chain. This prevents many businesses from expanding significantly, which has caused some to scale back their market efforts and others to give up entirely.

According to Hemp Today, Anheuser-Busch terminated a deal involving the production of drinks containing CBD and THC earlier this year. The firm stated that because marijuana is still prohibited by federal law, its present focus in the United States is on the beer market. It said that while talks with legislators are ongoing, it will keep an eye on initiatives to legalise cannabis.

There is still room for expansion as states like New York and New Jersey are developing plans for recreational markets. Additionally, there is a push for cannabis beverages to be offered alongside alcohol in bars, clubs, restaurants, and even supermarkets as rules change in more developed state markets like California.

Reiman claimed that THC drinks would become more widely available when society comes to embrace marijuana use for recreational purposes.
“Consumers are seeking for something that will substitute an alcoholic beverage but enable them to consume it in the same style and atmosphere as they’re used to,” she added.

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