The potential of edible products in the cannabis market is growing, as movements to legalize the drug at different levels state-by-state continue.
Ahead of the competition
Smaller brands sell THC drinks in dispensaries, but they are starting to make its way into the mainstream. Lagunitas recently launched Hi-Fi Hops, an IPA-inspired sparkling water infused with cannabis (THC and CBD).
And now Cannabiniers says its Two Roots brand will be the “world's first line of CannaCrafted non-alcoholic THC and CBD infused craft beer.” Two Roots is brewed as a traditional craft beer and then strips out the alcohol using specific equipment that’s gaining popularity in Europe. According to Kevin Love, product development director at Cannabiniers, the machinery they use in the alcohol-stripping process is the ‘“first of its kind” in the US.
The de-alcoholized beer is later mixed with “2.5 mg of THC in a water-soluble microdose that is absorbed by the body within 5-7 minutes” and dissipates over the next 90 minutes.
Love expects competition in the category in the near future, and even predicts that cannabis drinks like his could be sold in mainstream grocery stores within the next five years.
Filling a market void
Cannabiniers has used a data-heavy approach to its business and product development in the last few years. According to Love, the team observed a 27% slide in alcohol sales in Colorado since it became the first state to legalize recreational cannabis consumption in 2014.
On average, they have observed a 15% decrease in alcohol sales in all states with medicinal legalization, recognizing a market whitespace for recreational cannabis-infused beverages.
Love has received a positive response from dispensaries interested in carrying the products, but says they are initially put off by the low dosage of THC in each drink. He describes them as less directed to cannabis enthusiasts and more targeted at people looking for new, non-alcoholic options in social settings.
“The reality is, if you offer a product like our product that is familiar [beer], and the consumption of it kind of emulates the effects of alcohol where it’s not heavily dosed but it has a good serving strength to it, similar to that of a beer, it allows you to be sociable as you’re consuming it,” Love said.
Two Roots Brewing Co. beers and Just Society coffees and teas will launch in Nevada dispensaries this month and will soon expand to other states where cannabis is recreationally legalized. Love expects to be in 12 markets by the end of 2018.