Medicated Beverage Boom
CBD Infused, THC-Medicated Beverages on the Rise in Maine
During the past two years, the popularity and availability of Cannabidiol (CBD) has increased exponentially in Maine with CBD-infused products appearing everywhere from farmers markets to convenience stores. Similarily, cannabis medicine has maintained a strong foothold in mainstream communties, with Maine laws continuing to evolve on the recreational cannabis front as well.
You use to have to smoke it or eat it to get its effects: now you can drink it. Among the myriad ways that both marijuana patients and those who utilize CBD consume these products are in beverages.
According to Chaz Doherty who owns Highbrow, a growing craft cannabis retailer with three locations around the state and a fourth slated to open soon, CBD and THC beverages (the latter offered only to those with a prescription) have been well-received by their customers. Ingesting cannabis products in beverage form provides a familiar format and ease of consumption. Doherty said these are among the factors that make beverages an appealing choice for Highbrow’s clients.
“Our medicated beverages have sold extremely well during our time offering them; it’s hard to keep them in stock,” said Doherty.
Highbrow offers a lineup of their own private-label canned beverages in various flavors, including pink lemonade and pineapple mango. These products are infused with 100 mg of THC per 16-ounce can, and Doherty said they are working on expanding their lineup.
Highbrow is among multiple shops offering CBD-infused coffee, both ground and whole bean, in a variety of flavors, through a partnership with Rockland’s Rock City Coffee Roasters.
At Highbrow, Doherty said CBD is an attractive wellness option for many people and the fact that it is federally legal makes it an option for a customer who does not hold a prescription for medical marijuana.
“CBD can provide relief from a myriad of symptoms that our customers experience, without the psychoactive effects of THC,” he said. Doherty pointed out that THC-infused beverages can be a welcome option for cannabis patients under the guidance of their caregivers.
“Route of administration for medical cannabis is certainly up to the discretion of the patient, however, medicated beverages can be the best option for a patient looking for an easy-to-consume edible with the ability to medicate at a higher level than traditional edible products,” said Doherty.
Because CBD is federally legal and THC and marijuana are currently only legal in Maine (among a handful of other states), Doherty explained that medicinal products have limitations on the amount of THC per edible/ beverage and that the state will have to create similar guidelines for recreational products as retail moves forward.
In Oakland, The CBD Warehouse, a coffee shop and comprehensive retailer of Maine-made CBD products, opened in the fall of 2019. Dedicated to a lineup of fully Maine-produced products, The Warehouse is also committed to assisting others in sourcing local oils for their products. They have worked to cultivate a family-friendly atmosphere and offer coffee by the cup with an infusion of CBD for a markup of $1.00. Additionally, they offer Resveratol-infused coffee, a compound known to boost heart health.
“CBD and THC beverages will certainly grow in popularity.” said Doherty. “Infusing CBD and THC is becoming easier and beverages are a fantastic way to medicate because of its familiarity.”
— Text & Photos: Jenna Lookner. Jenna lives on her family farm in Camden. Always curious, she enjoys exploring her natural, cultural and epicurean surroundings with her husband and three rescued mutts.