In the near future, you may be able to get a little extra something in your daily iced tea. Arizona Iced Tea, one of the most popular beverage brands in the country, is preparing to partner with a cannabis company to develop cannabis-infused beverages and other products.
They aren’t likely to start with tea, though, as the company is looking at vape pens and gummies as the possible first products, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Eventually, the company would like to expand into teas, lemonade, soda, coffee and seltzer. The partner company is Dixie Brands, which already makes cannabis-infused topicals, drinks and gummies. They look to become the latest giant company to partner with the cannabis industry in making cannabis-infused beverages.
“Arizona has always led the way in product innovation,” Don Vultaggio , the chairman of Arizona Beverages, said in a press release. “The cannabis category is an ideal space to bring the flavor and fun of Arizona into new and exciting products.”
Joining a Movement
The decision by Arizona Beverages is not the first, nor is it likely to be the last, move by a beverage company into the cannabis-infused beverage market.
For example, Constellation Brands, makers of brands such as Corona and Modelo Especial, took a stake in the Canopy Growth Corporation last year. Lagunitas Brewing, owned by Heineken, also is developing cannabis-infused water that will be sold in California at select locations. And Labatt is teaming with a Canadian company to develop non-alcoholic beverages.
As part of the deal, Arizona Beverages can take a stake of up to $10 million in Dixie Brands. In turn, Dixie will create products and market them with the Arizona brand.
More Choices For Consumers
While large companies have entered the cannabis market, Arizona Beverages is one of the biggest consumer brands to do so. But they are not alone.
Earlier this year, Ben & Jerry’s announced plans to make CBD-infused ice cream. CBD, the chemical in marijuana that does not cause the “high” but is associated with many wellness and health advantages, has become increasingly popular in recent years.
In a statement, Ben & Jerry’s CEO Matthew McCarthy said the company is “doing this for our fans.” That is a running theme from many companies, who have said cannabis and CBD products are in demand from their consumers.
The website Eater predicted late in 2018 that cannabis-infused beverages would become all the rage in 2019 and beyond. They said the trend hinges on companies “betting big on people wanting to sip, rather than smoke, their weed.”
Other companies are dipping their toes into the marijuana products water. On April 20 this year – the 420 holiday many marijuana advocates celebrate – Carl’s Jr. offered a CheeseBurger Delight that was infused with CBD. However, they offered it at only one location in Denver.