These pot drinks are tasty, but is anyone buying them? Rachelle Abellar
Pot companies really want weed drinks to catch on. It’s not that surprising—the people investing millions (or even billions) into the legal weed industry aren’t cannabis enthusiasts, they’re capitalists looking to make money, and every good capitalist knows farmers don’t make a lot of money. The further you process a product into something other than its raw ingredients, the more you can charge for it. The barley farmer doesn’t make as much money as the baker, and both make less than a well-capitalized brewer.
Which brings us to the point of this post: Beer companies are pouring billions of dollars into the weed industry, with some executives claiming pot drinks will soon replace joints, or at least make a sizable dent in the overall pot market.
But that has yet to happen.
After five years of legal pot sales in Washington State, drinks are still a tiny fraction of the market. Only $13.8 million of drinks were sold in Washington in 2018, according to a recent Headset report. That might sound like a lot of weed sodas, until you consider that Washington’s weed industry sold nearly $2 billion of products in 2018. When Headset, a local data firm, averaged drink sales across Washington, Colorado, and Nevada, they found that drinks made up just 1.28 percent of all pot sales in June of this year.
Those mini-fridges that showed up in legal weed stores four years ago are still just that—mini-fridges with a couple dozen drinks in them that customers rarely reach for.
Why are the biggest pot businesses in the world still trying to turn weed drinks into a thing when customers don’t seem to be biting? Rolling Stone columnist Amanda Chicago Lewis explored this in a