California-based cannabis company Caliva has acquired beverage brand Zola as it looks to expand into the cannabis- and hemp-based drinks category.
Caliva, which has more than 500 dispensaries in California, said the deal positions it to capitalise on a nationwide rollout of infused beverages.
The firm is exploring entering the infused beverage market in several categories, including sparkling water, functional shots, functional powders, teas, cold brew coffee and sports drinks.
Zola’s portfolio of plant-based beverages is currently available in more than 7,000 retail locations across the US. Caliva drew attention to the brand’s “strong, established distribution channel”.
After the deal is completed, Zola CEO Chris Cuvelier will oversee and execute beverage initiatives at Caliva.
“We believe hemp-based CBD is the ultimate plant-based ingredient and that beverages offer a unique way to deliver the many health and wellness benefits of CBD,” said Cuvelier.
“I am excited to leverage Caliva’s expertise, consumer insights and technology to create a portfolio of delicious and functional hemp-based CBD beverages.”
Dennis O’Malley, CEO of Caliva, added: “Consumers are looking for trusted CBD solutions in their beverages. We couldn’t be more excited to team up with Zola and Chris to bring Caliva CBD beverages to a supermarket near you.”
The deal comes after the US farm bill was passed in December, opening new doors for innovation in the food and beverage sector as hemp became legal on a federal level in the country.
According to cannabis and CBD industry market research firm Brightfield Group, the hemp CBD market is growing at a “breathtaking pace” and could be worth $22 billion by 2022.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019