New Age Beverages Corporation has signed a deal to develop and distribute a range of cannabis-infused drinks in the US under its Marley brand.
The Colorado-headquartered company has partnered with cannabis firm Docklight Brands to release Marley+CBD Mellow Mood, sold in 15.5oz cans with 25mg of pharmaceutical grade CBD per serving.
Initial market rollout to customers will be in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Michigan, where cannabis is legal.
New Age said the introduction gives it a first-mover advantage in the CBD space with a “globally recognised brand platform”.
Since beginning conversations with retailers and distributors in October 2018, New Age claims to have received commitments and confirmation from major national accounts and distributors encompassing more than 125,000 outlets.
The company expects to expand distribution of the Marley+CBD brand to additional markets as the regulatory landscape allows and has developed a supply chain structure to meet what it forecasts to be significant demand in 2019.
To boost brand awareness, New Age will implement an in-store marketing campaign as of the second quarter.
Michael Cunningham, senior vice president of sales for New Age, said: “It makes my job a lot easier when I have retailers and distributors reaching out to me asking for specific products. From the moment the CBD movement began, I’ve been receiving calls nonstop asking when we’d be going to market with a Marley+CBD product.
“Retailers and distributors realise that it will be a long road for smaller CBD brands to gain traction and brand equity. Under the Marley brand platform, we are able to leverage a massive global brand with ties to healthy cannabis use, to ultimately grow a beverage brand beyond anything we have seen to date.”
The announcement follows a surge in activity in the cannabis beverage space in recent months.
AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, and Canadian cannabis firm last month said they will invest $100 million to research marijuana-infused beverages.
Meanwhile, Molson Coors has formed Truss, a joint venture with Canadian cannabis producer The Hydropothecary Corporation (Hexo) which will sell cannabis-infused drinks.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019