Beverage Companies Infusing Beverages with Cannabis

Cannabis’ Future in Beverage Companies

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev Bud) the company who own Budweiser along with many other beers announced a partnership [research partnership] on the 19th of December. The company they have partnered up with are Tilray (TLRY) – a Canadian company who produce medical marijuana products. They have partnered up to research cannabis-infused drinks.

AB InBev and Tilray plan to invest 50 Million USD each into cannabis research and non-alcoholic drinks. Yes, non-alcoholic drinks due to the risks and dangers of people being under the influence of multiple substances seeing as cannabis contains psychoactive effects due to its main chemical compound, -trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). With Anheuser-Busch InBev experience in drinks and Tilray’s experience in cannabis, it’s safe to say that the public is looking forward to the new cocktail they produce. The president of AB InBev’s Canadian subsidiary Labatt Breweries, Kyle Norrington stated

“Labatt is committed to staying ahead of emerging consumer trends. As consumers in Canada explore THC and CBD-infused products, our innovative drive is matched only by our commitment to the highest standards of product quality and responsible marketing. We intend to develop a deeper understanding… that will guide future decisions about potential commercial opportunities. We look forward to learning more about these beverages and this category in the months ahead.”

AB InBev’s partnership with Tilray will be directed through Labatt Breweries of Canada which is Canada’s leading brewery. While Tilray’s partnership with AB InBev’s will be directed through High Park Company which produces and sells cannabis-based products.

The CEO of Tilray Brendan Kennedy’s announced

“We are delighted to be joining forces with a world-leading beverage company, AB InBev, to research how to create enjoyable cannabis beverage products. Tilray and AB InBev share a commitment to responsible product development and marketing, and we look forward to beginning our work on this important partnership as Tilray continues to pioneer the development of a professional, transparent, and well-regulated cannabis industry”.

Coca-Cola and Cannabis

Ironically enough, when Coca-Cola was first released it contained traces of cocaine. While it was a “smart move” at the time due to the fact that cocaine is extremely addictive, making people rely on the product, they are now turning to another substance that still holds stigma, despite its therapeutic effects.

Since the legalization of cannabis in Canada and certain states in America for recreational purpose, Coca-Cola has now seen the potential in the cannabis market for cannabis-infused beverages. Tony Chapman, a branding expert says that this is a very smart move for a big company like Coca-Cola seeing as cannabis is a 22 billion dollar market. Tony explains that

“This is CBD, this isn’t the THC that gets you high. This is the ‘medical ingredients in cannabis’. It does things like, relax you, less stress, less nausea, so matched up with Powerade sports drinks and after recovery drinks for athletes, it could be a brilliant move on their part. [Coca-Cola] have been diversifying”.

While Coca-Cola’s intentions are good, their approach to making more money is “first in will win”. So the thought of them rushing their product out the door might have an adverse effect on product quality and sales.

Tony states that with the infused drink, the company won’t be marketing their cannabis-infused drink as Coca-Cola due to the fact that the drink being marketed as a family drink. As a beverage company, it’s nice to see that coke is further branching itself out into wellness and healthy lifestyle markets.

Coca-Cola as a beverage company understands that sugary drinks are decreasing in popularity and are therefore forced to diversify. Now they want to promote drinks that are actually good for you, Tony explains that Coke wants to produce products “that will help you live better, be better, feel better”.

The future for cannabis in the food and drink industry seems to be promising. The only worry is that companies are rushing out to release their products too quickly just to make a profit. I would advise that you do your own research on these products before buying and consuming.

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any cannabis-based company, of any sort. My opinions and my experiences are my own and genuine.