Even though there are cannabis-infused seltzers, beers, wines, sodas and teas galore crowding up the cannabis market, not to mention the billions that heavy-hitters like Constellation Brands and Pabst have invested in the space, cannabis drinks only make up 2% of America’s $20 billion legal cannabis market, reports Politico.
With no hangover and plenty of low-cal options, Brightfield Group estimates that drinks will hit $421 million in sales this year, which is double of what sold in 2019. By 2025, their projection balloons to $1 billion.
But so far, cannabis drinks have been too potent, too expensive to bottle and scale and are too-often overlooked by retailers, complain drink makers. Cann co-founder Luke Anderson says that “secret shopper” tests have shown budtenders too-often refer customers to higher potency products when drinks could be a more appropriate option.
Edge over the illicit market
Drinks are also one of the few places where there’s a clear difference of quality between what’s available on the illicit market. Cannabinoids aren’t water soluble, so some serious R&D has had to go into their development — giving the regulated market a much-needed leg up, said New Frontier’s chief knowledge officer John Kagia.
“The illicit market doesn’t have the resources or the skills to innovate the way the legal market can.”