just legalize it already
Entrepreneur plans to market medical-marijuana soft drinks.
How strange is the emerging world of medical-marijuana entrepreneurship? Consider Clay Butler, who may soon be marketing a food product that he’s never tasted, and that he would never buy. The product is called Canna Cola, and it’s a soft drink that contains THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, aimed at medical marijuana dispensaries.
Yet, Butler is a partner in a company that is poised to move aggressively in a market that could one day be enormously popular by combining pot with soda pop, two products widely seen as scourges by many Americans — though those upset by one tend to be approving or indifferent to the other.
What really intoxicates Butler is branding, the art of differentiating a product in the marketplace through words and images. And he’s designed a line of soda pop that he says will be branded to take advantage of an entirely new market. The line includes the flagship cola drink Canna Cola, the Dr Pepper-like Doc Weed, the lemon-lime Sour Diesel, the grape-flavored Grape Ape and the orange-flavored Orange Kush.
The beverage line’s dosage of THC will be “somewhere between 35 to 65 milligrams,” said Scott Riddell, the founder of Diavolo Brands, which is marketing Canna Cola. He said the levels of THC in his line of soft drinks will be substantially below the levels of many drinks now on the market. He likened his product to a “light beer” alongside high-proof liquors.
The new sodas will retail for between $10 and $15 per 12-ounce bottle.
The company plans to launch its product in medical marijuana-friendly Colorado in February. California, however, remains a wild card. Plans are tentatively to have it in California dispensaries in the spring.
Working in the medical marijuana field presents entrepreneurs with unique challenges. The use of marijuana for any purpose is still illegal in federal law, despite various state laws regarding its medicinal use. As a result, the soda cannot be transported across state lines. Canna Cola sold in California would have to be manufactured in California. The company also has to conform to a wide range of county and municipal laws regarding medical marijuana.
Assuming the Canna Cola line becomes profitable selling to dispensaries, its business profile will change dramatically if marijuana should ever become decriminalized on a federal level.
MMM, sounds tasty.
I would buy it. Would you?