Don’t look now, but behind the scenes, food manufacturers from breweries to natural foods brands are trying to get marijuana into your beverage. Or at least something like that.
AriZona Beverages — you know, the company that makes the big cans of tea sold for .99 cents that come in a bunch of flavors and taste great with a deli sandwich — announced on Aug. 6 that it’ll be entering the marijuana market. It’ll be partnering with Colorado’s own Dixie Brands, a seller of edible marijuana products, to distribute cannabis products under the AriZona label in pot shops in six states.
“AriZona has always led the way in product innovation,” said Don Vultaggio, chairman of AriZona Beverages, in a statement. “The cannabis market is an important emerging category, and we’ve maintained our independence as a private business to be positioned to lead and seize generation-defining opportunities exactly like this one. The cannabis category is an ideal space to bring the flavor and fun of AriZona into new and exciting products, and we selected Dixie Brands as our partner to bring these products to market after touring their best in class manufacturing facilities, and spending considerable time building a strong relationship with their management.”
The partnership represents a massive shift in the way cannabis will reach consumers, and how everyday folks think of cannabis. AriZona products are ubiquitious, and the company’s endorsement and investment of cannabis-infused beverages is a milestone.
But AriZona isn’t alone in the quest to deliver cannabis and its derivatives to the public via liquid. Keith Villa, the creator of Blue Moon, stepped down from his position at MillerCoors to launch Ceria, a nonalcoholic beer infused with THC.
While cannabis- and THC-infused beverages carve out a market for themselves, other producers are infusing CBD into beverages. Recently, Left Hand Brewing announced a partnership with WAAYB Organic for their product Present, a CBD-infused sparkling water made with organic ingredients. It comes in three flavors: lemon-lime, orange and “natural,” and in now available in Northern Colorado and online.
“At Left Hand, we always strive to put the best beverages possible out in the market — we’re committed to what’s best for beer and what’s best for the community,” said Eric Wallace, co-founder and president of Left Hand Brewing, in a statement. “We look forward to offering an organic, zero-calorie option that’s free from artificial ingredients, additives or adaptogens and offers the same high standards and integrity of our beers.”
Present features 20 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD distillate from hemp grown at WAAYB’s organic farm in Northern Colorado.
“We oversee the entire process from putting seeds into soil, to cultivation, harvesting, extraction and distillation,” said Scott Cusack, CEO of WAAYB Organics, in a statement. “We firmly believe this is the only way to create CBD products our customers can trust.”
The future is now, folks. Cheers.