Cannabis-infused beverage industry is taking on a new life

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2019 is going to be the start of a whole new era for global beverages

There has been a lot of talk over the past several months about how the cannabis beverage market is one of the next big markets to watch. This was even before the 2018 Farm Bill was passed by Congress and President Trump, allowing a substantial increase in the amount of hemp cultivated across the country. While there are some cannabis-infused beverages on the market now, 2019 is going to see an explosion and the rush has already begun.

Hemp is used to extract several cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), the main ingredient to be added to cannabis-infused beverages. If last year saw a CBD-infused beverage market of less than $500 million, this year will see an increase to over $845 million. That number will increase to $1.2 billion next year and to more than $2 billion by 2022.

There has already been movement in the industry by some of the leading names in beverages. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch and many others are already working on a new line of products or are seriously getting in on the action. Lagunitas, owners of Heineken beer, launched a line of beer infused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) last summer.

Coca-Cola’s Kent Landers said last year that the company was “watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world – the space is evolving quickly.” Given the global reach these companies have, they’re in excellent positions to be able to jump straight in and start worldwide deliveries without having to go through extensive ramp-up periods.

This is only the beginning. There will be a lot of innovation this year, as well as beyond, as marijuana continues to gain favor across the globe and cannabis-infused beverages are just the tip of the iceberg.