Courtesy of Mark Johnson, President CCA Ottawa Chapter
According to numerous sources, scientists in Canada are working on marijuana beer. Canadian company Province Brands, out of Toronto, has filed a provisional patent for “the world’s first beers brewed from the cannabis plant”. And they will be gluten-free!
While there are already beers and wine out there that are laced with cannabis, this will be a first in that it will be entirely brewed from cannabis. The company says its product will be “alcohol-free, yet highly intoxicating”, and low in sugar and calories. And no gluten – instead of barley, the beer is brewed from the stalks, stem, and roots of the cannabis plant – which offers the added benefit of using what is essentially a waste product for the industry.
According to company spokesperson Dooma Wendschuh, “The flavor is dry, savory, less sweet than a typical beer flavor. The beer hits you very quickly, which is not common for a marijuana edible.” After various “horrible … rotten broccoli” taste-test rounds, the flavor was perfected with the help of a chemist. They eventually hit on the right combination of hops, water, yeast – and cannabis. The aim is to create a product that, when consumed, will be roughly equivalent to a single dose of alcohol.
In the early 2000s, Canada became the first country to legalize medical marijuana and, as you likely know, the government is very close to legalizing cannabis, including edibles and beverages. By sometime in 2019, all the above should be legal. While pot is already legal in several US states, the situation is tenuous, with the federal government strongly opposed, whereas in Canada, the consensus seems to be that this is the right way forward.
And it won’t just be beer! The company wants to also spin-off, according to a wine business report, “to make alcohol-free cannabis drinks like sodas, coffees and fruit-based drinks.” At Canopy Growth, North America’s first publicly traded cannabis company, researchers are already developing a line of cannabis-infused cocktails.
The cannabis industry in the US alone was worth almost $7 billion in 2016, with industry experts projecting it to rise to $50 billion by 2026.