Since the legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis use in some states, the market has been predominantly covered by edible solid products containing THC or CBD, however, there is an increasing number of brands starting to approach the beverage field.
Some of the stigma that this industry faces is related to the form of consumption of cannabis products, since not all consumers are fond of its inhaled formats, brands are seeing an opportunity in beverages. A socially accepted format, that is more familiar to consumers, and can easily tap into different preferences, thanks to the wide range of flavors that can be adapted to it.
Among the advantages of this presentation, is the ready-to-consume aspect of its compounds. The effects of smoking or vaping take a while to register in the body, whereas in liquid form the compounds have been already activated.
However, brands are struggling to find the right balance to guarantee consistency in every liquid product due to the nature of the extracts. It is illegal to combine alcohol and cannabinoids in the US, therefore, products must be water-based. Manufacturers are faced with a complex process to obtain a desirable product, continually innovating methods, and experimenting with new technologies.
Other challenges include the marketing of said products, since labeling is not thoroughly regulated yet, also percentages of THC or CBD legally allowed in each beverage continue to be a grey area.
Nonetheless, sales have seen a spike in cannabis-infused beverages, and the industry is pushing for more regulations to establish the places where consumers can get these products to make them more accessible. States like New York are working on regulations around adult-use markets already, and countries like Canada recently adjusted some of its laws regarding this expanding industry.
Many industry giants are cautiously stepping into this field, which can be a good indicator of the soon-to-be mainstream presentation of cannabis. On another hand, one of the most underrated benefits of this growing segment, might be the unification of the industry to advocate for a responsible consumption.