Heineken is on track to become the first international brewer to introduce a THC-infused cannabis beverage as its Lagunitas brand launches a new sparkling water line in California.
Lagunitas joined forces with California cannabis manufacturer CannaCraft to create the Hi-Fi Hops line, which is infused with THC and/or CBD (cannabidiol).
CannaCraft, through its AbsoluteXtracts brand, applied methods to ensure that THC is evenly dispersed throughout the beverage, while Lagunitas supplied the IPA-inspired water.
The announcement comes a week after Canada voted to legalise recreational use of cannabis. The C-45 Bill gives the country’s regional provinces and territories the power to sell and distribute cannabis.
Last year Constellation Brands paid CAD 245 million ($191 million) for a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, a Canadian supplier of medicinal marijuana, signalling the growth potential of cannabis used in food and beverages.
Meanwhile, US beverage company Tarukino launched a line of six cannabis-infused drinks for consumers looking for alternative ways to consume cannabis.
Hi-Fi Hops, which is due to go on sale California in July, will be available in two dosages: one with 10 mg of THC and one with 5 mg of THC and 5mg of CBD. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.
Lagunitas Brewing Company CEO Maria Stipp said: “Hi-Fi Hops is not the first chapter in the love affair between cannabis and Lagunitas, but it is one of the most exciting.
“The idea of being a part of a no-calorie beverage infused with cannabis seemed like a perfect next step in our product innovation and a natural way to marry our past with our future.”
Lagunitas brewmaster Jeremy Marshall added: “We have come to realise that our passion for hops is a big part of our passion for beer.
“We often dream of hops and their cannabis cousin partying together at their family reunion and wanted to bring this party to life in a drink.
“We believe it’s high time that good beer inspired a provocative yet refreshing-tasting non-alcoholic alternative – bubbly, aromatic, bitter, fruity and herbaceous with no gluten, no carbohydrates and a smidge of California sun-grown cannabis in every sip.”
Heineken acquired the remaining stake in Lagunitas last year, two years after acquiring 50% of the firm.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018