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Are Weed-Infused Drinks The Future?

Cannabis beer and wine are hitting happy hour.

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This story appears in the October 2019 issue of Green Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sitting around getting high has a way of inspiring the most mind-blowing business ideas -- not that they always see the light of day. But Lagunitas Brewing Company, a subsidiary of Heineken International, actually took one and ran with it. Lagunitas brewmaster Jeremy Marshall was chilling a couple of years ago with the team over at CannaCraft, a Sonoma County, Calif., cannabis grower and distributor. “It was like friends hanging out in a room smoking weed, just jibber-jabbering,” Marshall says. “There weren’t any suits. No forecasts. We weren’t thinking about market share. It was very organic.” The idea? A cannabis beer, now sold in California and Colorado dispensaries, called Hi-Fi Hops

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When most folks think marijuana, they picture a joint or a vape. But it’s time to start imagining a glass of amber beer or sparkling white. The drinks are not booze, but they do go down like it, and you definitely get a buzz. Because federal regulations nix alcohol and THC in the same drink, established beer and wine brands have started partnering with marijuana companies, banking on the idea that booze-free cannabis beverages will make a big splash in the market, especially with legalization. Smaller entrepreneurs are jumping in right along with them. 

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