Most Cannabis-Infused Beverages Suck, Says One Famed Critic

A conversation with Warren Bobrow, Author of “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzzworthy Libations.”

Ask anyone in cannabis what the future of the industry is and they’ll tell you it lies in the wide world of products beyond buds and joints: from the potential of CBD to revolutionize the beauty and healthcare industry to the gummies and chocolates expanding the popularity of marijuana, cannabis consumption is poised to explode.

One way to consume cannabis remains controversial even within the industry, even if it is also seen as loaded with potential: Beverages.

The beverage industry, fueled by large alcohol-producing corporations like Molson Coors (NYSE: TAP) and Anheuser Busch Inbev NV (NYSE: BUD), is dumping billions of dollars into joint ventures with cannabis producers, hedging their bets in case legal marijuana cuts too deep into their market share. As The Verge reports, cannabis-infused beverages “make up a mere 2 to 3 percent of total sales” in legal adult-use markets, but that hasn’t stopped Anheuser-Busch InBev from putting down $50 million on Tilray Inc (NASDAQ: TLRY), and Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) from dropping $4 billion into Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC).

You’ll find today’s crop of cannabis-infused beverages labeled as wines, beers, teas, and sodas infused with THC, CDB and other terpenes. Despite the names, most of these drinks don’t actually contain alcohol. They’re being positioned as the “health and wellness” versions of some of our nation’s favorite vices.

Mixing alcohol and marijuana—commonly known as a “crossfade”—produces a unique sensation that science has yet to definitively say is safe or dangerous. While big corporations aren’t willing to bottle beer and buds together, the two are not uncommon to consume together, albeit separately. Mixing the two in a single concoction takes a deft palate.

There’s a select few who have committed to perfecting the cannabis-infused cocktail. One of them is Warren Bobrow, author of Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzzworthy Libations, among other books. Shaker in hand, Bobrow is looking to mix up the way we think about cannabis-infused beverages.

For Bobrow, that comes down to reprogramming American palates. “Consumers are frightened by change,” he said. “They are served sweet cocktails, sweet soda, sweet food, well- sweet everything. I don’t make sweet drinks, nor do I ask others to create cannabis infused beverages that are one dimensional, out of balance… and sweet! Drinkables are not like edibles. They hit …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

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