Ben Kovler, the CEO and founder of Green Thumb Industries, says his company invested in Cann because he was impressed with the brand and its ability to attract consumers. Kovler, an heir to the Jim Beam whiskey fortune, believes cannabis drinks are more akin to alcoholic beverages as they are made for socializing and relaxing. By contrast, many flower and edible products are marketed as ways to treat pain or anxiety.
This is all part of Cann’s strategy to target a demographic he calls the “healthy hedonist,” a consumer who wants to have fun but wants a product without artificial ingredients.
Spilling The THC
Beau Wrigley, the billionaire CEO of cannabis company Parallel, adds his company’s THC beverage concentrate—Drops—to enhance his LaCroix.
In January, the company launched Veryvell, a sparkling CBD drink, in Colorado in grapefruit tarragon, strawberry hibiscus and blueberry lavender. The company’s THC beverage joint venture Truss Beverages in Ontario, makes iced tea and sparkling water drinks that range from 2.5 mg of THC to 10 mg.
Want to try a cannabis drink? This bud’s for you.
“This is not a medical product. This is an alternative for White Claw,” Kovler says plainly. “No one under 35 likes beer anymore and calories and hangovers are unattractive. For us, it’s an obvious, forward-thinking idea… there is so much opportunity.”
Every can of Day One has 20 milligrams of CBD. For now, it’s available in just one flavor, lemon—grapefruit and lime are on the way—which was crisp and fresh with a bit of bracing tartness.
Vybes CBD Beverage (12 bottles for $96)
Wyld’s CBD sparkling water is available in four varieties: blackberry, blood orange, raspberry, and lemon. The naturally flavored drinks contain 25 milligrams of CBD and are unsweetened, with just a hint of sour.
Day One Sparkling CBD Water (6 cans for $39.50)
Many of these beverages contain natural fruit flavors and 20 to 25 milligrams of CBD, one of the primary active ingredients in cannabis. CBD has been hailed for its anti-inflammatory and stress-relieving benefits, and many CBD beverage brands say the body absorbs CBD faster and more efficiently when it’s in liquid form. But Tory R. Spindle, a postdoctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins, says further studies are needed to back up these claims, noting there has been little controlled research into CBD’s effects on humans. He adds that cannabinoids—the chemicals found in cannabis—are usually insoluble in water, and he’s skeptical that the amount of CBD in a canned beverage is enough to derive any positive effects. (In a recent study he helped conduct, Spindle says subjects didn’t see a difference between a placebo and a 100-milligram dose of CBD.) This past fall, the National Institutes of Health announced that it will launch a study on CBD’s pain management properties.