As marijuana legalization sweeps the nation — cannabis has been approved for medical use in 27 states and recreational use in eight states — the weed business is booming, and enthusiasts are finding new ways to sell the drug in the now official marketplace.
At the forefront of that market are edibles, according to Marijuana Business Magazine: Food and drink items infused with marijuana make up a formidable part of the business with nearly $850 million in sales. And producers have become increasingly creative in the goodies they mix with cannabis. Fruit chews, brownies, cookies, lollipops, butter, salad dressing and teriyaki sauce are all commercially available. Homebrew recipes for “weed beer” are commonplace on online forums. And now, a California-based company is combining marijuana with one of the most popular beverages in the world: coffee.
BrewBudz is planning to release it cannabis-infused coffee, along with teas and hot cocoa, in six states between now and March 2017, which would make it the first widely available product of its kind. Other smaller dispensaries in Washington have been selling similar coffees since 2015.
“It's an opportunity to bring together two different rituals in life," BrewBudz Vice President Jeffry Paul told WestWord. "Drinking coffee or tea is something that's part of your every day.... There’s also a ritual for marijuana, whether it's medicinal or recreational.”
The product will be a 100 percent decomposable pod that is compatible with Keurig brewing machines, which are in millions of kitchens across the country, so that many will simply have to insert a cup and press a button for their specialty coffee.
Rather than using cannabis seeds or oil mixed with coffee beans, BrewBudz’s recipe incorporates the plant’s flower so that “you will enjoy your favorite delicious drink that fulfills your medicinal needs and personal tastes,” the company’s website says.
Mixing the caffeine from coffee with cannabis, which is considered a depressant, might not make sense at first glance, but a Washington dispensary owner who sells weed-laced coffee says the effect is similar to a popular mixed drink: Red Bull and vodka.
“I had more energy, but I still had the relaxation you get from cannabis,” Jennifer Lanzador told Yahoo.
According to its website, BrewBudz is also combating the mixed effect of the two plants by using a specific strain of cannabis that the company believes will pair well with caffeine.