Analysts project cannabis-infused drinks to become a $600M market in the United States in four years, Bloomberg News reported. As such, beverages infused with cannabis compounds could outpace the growth of other retail cannabis product categories.
According to analysts at Canacoord Genuity, beverages with cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ingredients could swell by 2022 and capture about 20 percent of the American market for edible cannabis products. This is more than double the 6 percent of cannabis edibles sold now.
Many mainstream beer and beverage makers have already jumped in on the cannabis bandwagon and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Constellation Brands Inc., for instance, has joined forces with Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp. The maker of Corona craft beer in fact became Canopy’s largest stakeholder earlier this year.
There’s also Molson Coors Canada, which entered into a joint venture with Hexo Corp. Even soft drinks maker Coca-Cola said that it is considering the idea of entering the cannabis industry and developing CBD-infused drinks.
Canaccord’s Bobby Burleson wrote that the beer industry’s interest in cannabis spiked on growing evidence of a substitution relationship between cannabis products and alcohol. Meanwhile, large soda companies look at CBD as a natural fit in their wellness offerings.
Canaccord estimated that the demand for CBD-containing beverages will reach $260 million by 2022. This is up from what it called the “negligible revenue” that the limited number of CBD drinks contributes now. THC-infused drinks, on the other hand, is estimated to reach $340 million, which is more than a hundred percent increase from the $106 million that is expected this year.
However, while some alcohol and beverage companies are eager to cash in on the cannabis market, others are taking a more cautious approach.
Bloomberg cited data from Oregon and Colorado showing that legal recreational cannabis use has not cut into beer consumption.