The number of B.C. cannabis companies that have declared an intention to develop beverages infused with cannabinoids increased May 29 with the addition of Maple Ridge-based licensed producer Tantalus Labs.
Tantalus announced that its executives have signed a letter of intent with the founders of breweries Postmark Brewing and Craft Collective Beerworks. The companies plan to design, develop, and produce cannabis-infused beverages once they become legal in Canada later this year.
They are not alone.
On April 30, Vancouver-based licensed cannabis producer Sproutly Canada Inc. said it has partnered with New Brunswick brewer Moosehead Breweries Ltd. to create a joint venture that will produce cannabis- infused drinks.
Four days earlier, Vancouver-based licensed cannabis producer Invictus MD Strategies Corp. said it has signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with rock star and Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, Simmons’ MoneyBag Sodas and Rock Steady Sodas, to make non-alcoholic, CBD-infused beverages to be distributed across the U.S. and Canada.
B.C.-based companies such as Tilray Inc., Emerald Health Therapeutics and Chemesis International Inc. have also jumped on the research bandwagon to improve technology for infusing drinks with active cannabis ingredients.
The eagerness to get into the sector is fueled by reports such as one last year by Canaccord Genuity, which estimated that the cannabis-laced drinks sector could be worth US$600 million by 2022.
The government has committed to legalize edibles, extracts, topicals and drinks by Oct. 17, although the rollout of those products is not expected to be until early 2020.
Tantalus said in a release that it intends to launch beverages before 2020. The companies intend to sign a definitive agreement on their partnership in the coming months.