Are Marijuana Investors Eying Beverages as the Next Trend?

Long gone are the days of simply smoking marijuana. Today, connoisseurs and dabblers alike want to see options when deciding how to consume their green. Edibles are a classic favorite, but marijuana investors today also offer marijuana pills, patches, tinctures, beverages, and more to meet the needs of even the most discerning nonsmoking consumer.

A Growing Market Share: Cannabis Beverages

Marijuana-infused beverages are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the marijuana industry. In 2020, the cannabis beverages market was worth $575 million and responsible for just over 1% of total marijuana sales. Due to steady growth and a rising proportion of market shares, projections have the sector at almost $20 billion by 2028.

Helped along by the legalization of marijuana in many states and a broadening consumer base, marijuana-infused drinks offer a way to socialize with measurable doses and predictable onset times. More and more marijuana investors are getting in on the trend by developing their own fizzy or tea-based drinks to quench consumers’ thirst, including multinational companies like Coors and Anheuser-Busch

Why Now? Problems in the Past

Before now, the development of marijuana beverages has been hindered by the difficulty of making THC soluble in water-based liquids. Cannabinoids, like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), are fat-soluble and do not mix easily with water-based liquid. Cooking marijuana into butter or oil to activate the cannabinoids is relatively simple, which is one of the reasons baked edible products are so readily available and popular in the existing market. Many previous attempts to create a marijuana-infused beverage resulted in an unpleasant product: often a lumpy liquid with uneven distribution, poor taste, and unpredictable potency.

Marijuana investors have teamed up with chemists to use a new technology known as nano-emulsification to circumvent this problem. During nano-emulsification processes, cannabinoids are broken down into microscopic particles and attached to an emulsifier that can evenly mix with water-based beverages. Once the marijuana is soluble, drink makers can get as creative as they want. For consumers, drinking presents a social and inconspicuous way to consume marijuana among friends or even in public.

Some products, like Cann, use seltzer and natural flavors that blend with the marijuana taste to create a light drink with just 2 milligrams of THC and 4 milligrams of CBD. Other products, like Major, pack 100mg into a small bottle full of fruity flavor that can be taken as a shot or mixed with other drinks. Many producers are also experimenting with ways to create new beverage flavor profiles by complementing terpenes, the part of marijuana that determines its unique flavor and aroma. 

And one of the best perks? The onset of beverage effects is just 15 minutes. 

The Future of Cannabis Beverages

With more states legalizing marijuana use every year and more consumers being open to trying marijuana in other forms, the potential for profit in the marijuana beverage industry is high. Experts also point out that recent developments in emulsification technology will make it much easier for more companies to enter the beverage sector and produce products en masse. With so much potential yet still underdeveloped, the beverage sector may be one of the best areas for marijuana investors now.

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