The cannabis industry has mastered the art of selling pot-infused brownies, gummies, and even popcorn. But it’s struggling to boost a potentially lucrative market that centers on persuading Americans to drink their weed. Rather than rolling a joint or puffing on a vape, some of the largest cannabis companies in North America see a multibillion-dollar marijuana beverage industry waiting to be tapped as states increasingly embrace legal weed. The universe of cannabis beverages is already large and seems to grow by the day: seltzers, wines, beers, teas, colas, cocktails. Many of the world’s biggest beer companies — Anheuser-Busch InBev, Pabst Brewing Company, Constellation Brands — have invested in cannabis drinks. Craft brewers like Lagunitas Brewing Company in California and Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Company are also getting into the business. And there are some promising signs for the industry. Most marijuana drinks have negligible calories, and the products pose little risk of a hangover. Cannabis beverage sales in the U.S. are expected to hit $421 million this year — more than double 2019 figures, according to Brightfield Group, which tracks the industry, and double again to nearly $1 billion by 2025. Yet the beverage sector is less than 2 percent of the larger $20 billion legal weed marketplace.

Politics, Policy, Political News – POLITICO, 07/31/2021 20:00:00

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