Cannabis-infused drinkmakers get it popping in Canada

Drinkable cannabis is set to take off in Canada as drink companies invest in developing innovative cannabis-infused beverages in order to be ready for 2019, when edible sales will be legalized.

When it comes to these new cannabis drinks, there are far more options than simply adding cannabis into a drink.

As Jason Stranak, the Head Judge of the year’s Canadian Brewing Awards, stated, “I feel the market is potentially huge for different varieties of it, whether it’s non-alcoholic with cannabis effects, or alcoholic beer using cannabis flavours, or something in between where you’re doubling up on cannabis and alcohol. There’s potential,” based on CTV.

All three of these options are being researched by different companies as the drink industry is realizing the potential that cannabis has in creating brand new merchandise categories for Canadian consumers to enjoy.

Brewing with cannabis

One of the most fascinating of those companies is Province Brands, that are developing a new drink brewed entirely from cannabis.

As CEO Dooma Wendshuch told CBC, “People have been experimenting for many years by substituting jumps with bud. We did something totally different that is to find a way to brew a beer from the cannabis plant itself. ”

He doesn’t want to just mix alcohol and cannabis. He wants to make something new that’s less harmful than alcohol since he told CTV, “Cannabis is by far a safer and healthier alternative to alcohol, which is the first time in any of our lifetimes that we’re able to bring a product like that to promote. ”

Fundamentally, Wendshuch’s firm aims to make a psychoactive, non-alcoholic drink that’s only being made possible by altering cannabis laws.

Cannabis-infused flavours for discerning tastes

“There are a few aromas or flavours that come from hemp or cannabis which do pair well into beer, and that’s something which people have been working on,”  Emily Tipton, President of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, explained to CTV, “So without any of the effects of cannabis, just the flavours and aromas of it”.

Canadian firm Les Quatre Vins infuses cava, a classic Spanish sparkling wine, with the flavours of cannabis using a patent-pending extraction process, and it already has people buzzing, winning the 2018 Best New Product category at Spannabis Barcelona, one of Spain’s biggest cannabis trade shows.

Even better for the manufacturers of Les Quatre Vins, since they are only infusing the aroma and flavour of cannabis into their sparkling wines and not the psychoactive components, their products could be sold anywhere- unlike if they were infusing their wines with THC.

Another firm, Toronto-based Hill Street Beverages, is also getting into cannabis-infused beverages in a big way, having recently appointed new executives (CFO and CMO) to support their foray into cannabis-infused drinks. Hill Street CEO Terry Donnelly considers [CFO and CMO] Chambers and Pullara are uniquely qualified to support the business in introducing its original cannabis-infused beverages while also making its portfolio of alcohol-free beers and wines available in over 7,000 stores across Canada.

Featured picture courtesy of First We Feast.

Sources

CBC: Brownies and beer: How edible cannabis businesses plan to cash in on legalization.

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