Weed-infused Wine Has Entrepreneurs Seeing Red, White, and Rose
A look inside the bourgeoning 'cannawine' industry.
The diversity of cannabis products continues to multiply as more entrepreneurs enter the industry, bringing their own unique products. One area that has exploded in popularity is cannabis beverages, which experts project will reach $8 billion by 2027.
Among the beverages you can expect to fill up your cup? Wine—especially since California is home to some of the best wine-growing and cannabis-growing climates in the world. Put the two together and you have a recipe for success.
Welcome to the World of “Cannawine”
Marijuana-infused wine - called “cannawine” by some manufacturers - involves infusing a wine-flavored beverage with hemp or cannabis. Some include no alcohol but offer a new way to enjoy THC. Others combine alcohol and CBD.
That last bit is an important one. Because the federal government still considers cannabis illegal, dispensaries can’t sell both alcohol and marijuana products under the same roof. They also can’t mix them together in the same product. That means you’ll find cannabis-infused wine in two general categories.
- THC wine, which is alcohol-free wine infused with THC (and sometimes also CBD)
- Alcoholic wines infused with CBD but not THC
The difference can be confusing for consumers, even if they're reading the label. “Several products on consumer shelves today bearing the tell-tale green marijuana leaf are handily misleading uninformed customers by implying the product in their bottles will get them high, but in fact, contains no THC,” writes Wallace Levy McKeel in the cooking website Spruce Eats.
The benefits of THC Wine
New brands are popping up all over in the THC wine space. Some of the more popular include Rebel Coast (“here’s to now, here’s to no hangovers”) and House of Saka, which features luxury cannabis-infused wine made for women, by women.
THC wine offers significant benefits to sippers, according to cannwine entrepreneurs. People can enjoy it without a hangover the next morning, and it has the wellness benefits of CBD. In fact, it's the CBD-infused drinks that drive many of the optimistic revenue projections for the cannabis beverages industry, especially low-sugar drinks, like wine, that give users an alternative way to use CBD.
Cynthia Salarizadeh, founder and president of House of Saka out of Napa Valley, predicts that cannawines could change the way people think about and consume alcohol.
"Cannabis-infused beverages are a viable option for a healthier way to wind down. As soon as cannabis lounges are legal in every state, you will see a significant shift away from bars and alcohol over to lounges and THC."