While legal cannabis sales continue to rise, the race is on for corporate giants to get in the cannabis industry through cannabis drinks. While huge players like Pepsi Co. and Coca-Cola have speculated about bringing in new product lines to recuperate lost sales of sugary drinks, according to Bloomberg. Sales growth has been a point of concern for manufacturers of ultra-sugary beverages. Consumers are becoming more health conscious as wellness trends gain traction. Many speculate these companies will dip their toes into the infused-beverage market sooner rather than later to make their brands appeal younger consumers. Coca-Cola mentioned doing light research and development into “functional and wellness beverages around the world.”
With major beverage players thinking about the cannabis space, the popularity of CBD based drinks on the rise around the country, and Canada on the verge of federal legalization, the cannabis drink market is poised to explode, according to a report by Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. They’re predicting cannabis-infused beverages will make up 19 percent of total recreational cannabis sales in the US by 2022; a sales total they’re estimating at $600 million. Right now cannabis drinks make up about one percent of recreational cannabis sales in the US. These estimates are partially based from Colorado’s legal cannabis drink sales, which nearly doubled from 2014 to 2017 and continue to increase into 2018.
Another factor in Washington could push the edibles sales towards cannabis drinks, the WSLCB’s new restriction on edible candy. The WSLCB recently announced harsh new edible candy restrictions in an effort to reduce their appeal to children. These new restrictions take place on Jan. 1, 2019. Edibles currently make up nine percent of Washington’s legal cannabis sales, per WSLCB. It will be interesting to see if these changes push current edible users to try other products like cannabis drinks or abandon edibles altogether.
Cannabis Drinks Are A Hot Commodity