Cannabis-infused drinks are an exciting option for people who want to consume marijuana without inhaling any smoke. These beverages can be potent, delicious, and extraordinarily trendy. Experts estimate the market worth for infused drinks will surpass $1.4 billion by 2023. THC and CBD drinks are beginning to show up in stores, but this market is far from being fully realized.
The Infused Drink Market
The floodgates opened for CBD products after the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp from the federal Schedule 1 classification. Richard Hall, chairman of Zenith Global, said, “Key growth drivers for CBD drinks include loosening regulatory implementation . . . This has led to far greater awareness and availability.”
Now, huge companies like Coca-Cola are showing interest in dipping into the infused drink market. Experts say Coke has a ton to gain from joining this industry. According to Forbes, the massive soda company’s profits are down nearly 16% from the same time last year. Introducing new CBD-infused beverage could be the boost they need to get those profits back up.
Coke’s potential partner in the CBD drink effort will most likely be Aurora Cannabis. According to Bloomberg, the two businesses are in “serious talks” about a future collaboration. This is not official however, and other cannabis companies like Leamington and Aphria have also reportedly discussed potential business. Coca-Cola has remained tight-lipped about their future plans despite the speculation.
“We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis. Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.” Coca-Cola said in a statement addressing the rumors.
CBD Business Is Booming
There are THC beverages on the market that will get you high, but the real revenue may actually be found in CBD drinks. In fact, the CBD industry as a whole is expected to be worth almost $22 billion by 2022.
While soft drink giants like Coca-Cola have been contemplating getting into this cannabinoid market, other smaller companies have been working tirelessly to establish a foothold in the space. One of those companies is Sprig, a CBD-infused soda brand that markets itself on wellness benefits and controlled 20 mg dosages.
According to their website, Sprig’s sodas are all-natural, give you all the health benefits of a CBD dosage, and come in delicious flavors like citrus, lemon tea, and melon. As of March 2019, Sprig is on shelves of stores in 17 states, making it the top-selling CBD beverage in the United States.
Vice president of marketing Lisi Willner credits Sprig’s recent success to the loosening of federal restrictions. “Now that the Farm Bill has passed, there are a lot of brands that are entering the space, trying to cash in on a red-hot trend,” Willner said. “Sprig has been around for almost five years now. While many of these new companies were busy standing up brands, we’ve been quietly strengthening our supply chain, infrastructure, and distribution network. As a result, many of the country’s top retailers have come to us for their first foray into CBD beverages.”
So What Does The Future Hold?
The future is bright for the infused drink market. Recreational and medical marijuana legalization is sweeping the globe, lessening restrictions and allowing for innovation. Whether it’s an up-and-coming company like Sprig, or an industry juggernaut like Coca-Cola, the corporate world would be smart take notice and invest.
The legal marijuana industry is estimated to be worth $146.4 billion by 2025. As more and more states look to legalize cannabis and advocates push for nationwide reform, there’s no better time than now to get involved.