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Why The Future Of Cannabis Is In Beverages

Beverages are said to be one of the most consumed products across the globe. So here is why the future of cannabis is in beverages as explained by Terence Donnelly.

The cannabis industry has proven to be an enlarged and growing one. Brands and investors are all in and are constantly coming out with new cannabis infused products that keep on amazing consumers each time - thanks to the evolving science supporting cannabis.

With so many products emerging from the cannabis sector, beverages is one thing that the industry deems to be one of the most important branches. 

The first edition of the Cannabis Drinks Expo took place on July 25, 2019, in San Francisco. The cannabis conference the expo offered was where cannabis beverages were put in complete spotlight by Terence Donnelly. Donnelly is the Chairman & CEO of Hill Street Beverage Co. At the conference, he took the stage and delved into the ins and outs of why the future of the cannabis industry is in fact in beverages. 

Donnelly started his talk by sharing a little bit about the social acceptability of intoxicating products such as alcohol and cannabis. Even in the advanced world that we live in, social comfort and acceptability is something that consumers still look for - and beverages are one of the most socially accepted ways of intoxication.

Consuming beverages in general is so much more socially accepted, and more luxurious and enjoyable as compared to smoking or vaping. This is mainly because a beverage can be enjoyed anywhere, even at the dinner table, surrounded by others. However, smoking and vaping is still said to be an under the alley thing. 

“Beverages are the most socially accepted format for any intoxication” says Terence Donnelly in his talk at the first Cannabis Drinks Expo.  With this in place, the first thing that might come to one's mind is, why would cannabis beverages be the future then, and why not the expansion of the alcohol industry?


If we take a look at the statistics, you can see that alcohol, being a beverage is up there as being the highest socially acceptable form of intoxication. Also according to research, consumers have started lowering their alcohol intake and are searching for a healthier option in terms of beverages. That’s where cannabis infused beverages step in. 

So think of it this way, if you were to combine a healthy alternative to alcohol, which would be cannabis, and turn it into a beverage - then you would be hitting a much wider market with your product. A market which would include both cannabis consumers, and others who are also looking to delve into the cannabis sector but aren’t open to smoking or vaping as much.

On the other hand, the alcohol industry has also proven to be a great opportunity for cannabis beverages to slide in. A lot of wineries and breweries are seeing the opportunity to find a spot in the cannabis beverage sector, for the sole reason that consumers would gravitate towards cannabis infused beverages due to them being a healthier alternative than alcohol. 


Another reason cannabis beverages are taking off is because of the rapid growth of alcohol-free beverages. Once again delving on the health factor, consumers are looking into substituting their alcohol with other drinks. Intoxicants such as cannabis and alcohol are what consumers look for when they’re looking into the recreational purposes of drinks. So, cannabis being a healthy intoxicant, the canna-bev category has a wide platform for growth within consumers - and of course, if consumers are asking for it, investors, businesses, distributors, and retailers are also going to jump on the bandwagon and stock those cannabis beverages.

To sum things up, according to Donnelly, these are the main reasons as to why the future of cannabis is mainly in beverages:

  • Proven consumer products with over 1.5MM bottles of wine and 100K cases of beer already sold into the market.

  • Market proven infusion technology which mimics onset and duration of alcohol

  • Significant product benefits when compared to alcohol, with sophisticated tastes aligned with consumer preferences

  • Marketing partnerships with leading medical research organizations that can reach over 23MM Canadians annually and eventually the US as well.

  • Cause related  brand strategy has potential to generate higher consumer loyalty and brand preference

  • Multiple media partnerships aligned with shareholder interests.

  • World class cannabis cultivation and processing facility, when coupled with current bottling and canning lines, has output capacity in excess of $100MM.

Concludingly, it’s quite evident that cannabis beverages are the mark that you need to hit if you’re looking to dive into the canna-world, or expand in it.