Success in both the alcohol and cannabis businesses only happens once in a blue moon, so who wants to make a bad joke about it? Keith Villa, the brewer who created the popular Belgian beer Blue Moon, is making a cannabis-infused beer.
Villa’s new venture Ceria Brewing Co. had a good omen for business recently when its first batch sold out in just four hours.
“It turns out a lot of cannabis products are popular for Christmas gifts,” Villa told Yahoo Finance.
“You don’t taste cannabis, you taste great tasting beer with the effects of cannabis and that’s really critical because we found that the taste of cannabis is really polarizing. Some people love it, but most people don’t really care for it.”
A good way to mask that taste is to put it in particularly strong-flavored beer, like IPA, which is exactly what Villa is planning to do with one of his batches in the near future. He’s also planning on offering beers with various doses of THC and CBD to suit the needs of all kinds of cannabis users, including a light beer with only 2.5 mg of THC.
But one thing his beers won’t have in them is alcohol. That’s to keep them compliant with the law (no one wants to regulate getting cross-faded just yet).
While you could say that Villa’s product is hampered by the law in one way, it could get a big boost by the law in another. Right now Villa is based in Colorado, but he plans to expand distribution ot other major cannabis markets soon, including Canada.
Funny thing about Canadian cannabis law: when it starts regulating cannabis-infused beverages this fall, it will actually block any established alcohol manufacturers from making it. That has the potential to give relatively small craft brewers like Ceria a leg up at the ground floor of the market.
“A lot of people don’t realize that cannabis is legal federally in Canada right now, but only the smokable forms,” Villa said. “Drinkables become legal this October … [but] part of the ruling in Canada is you cannot use any existing logos or names of beverage companies that are associated with alcohol.”
Photo via Flickr user Johnny Silvercloud