Canadian startup creates first beer brewed with cannabis

A team of scientists in Canada are developing a beer brewed from cannabis, as drinks makers across the country compete to capitalise on the country’s burgeoning legal weed industry.

Creating a unique product within the fledgling market, Province Brand’s beer is brewed with the “stalks, stem and roots of the cannabis plant,” chief executive Dooma Wendschuh told the Guardian.

Typically, cannabis beers found in the USA and Canna are brewed with hops and barley before having their alcoholic content removed and infused with cannabis oil which contains THC, the psychoactive component of the plant.

But Province, an emerging brewer in the alcohol-free beer sector, filed a patent to brew with cannabis plants directly instead of traditional grain in July last year. Now, the Toronto-based startup is in a race against established drinks giants and to launch its new weed-inspired product when Canada officially legalises regulated use of the drug later this year.

Constellation Brands— a multi-billion-dollar drinks firm known for brands such as Corona — announced it is partnering with Canopy Growth last year, one of only 84 licensed cannabis producers in Canada, to research the possibilities in the market, a move which has already secured around $300 million for the company in its most recent financial report.

Wendsuch said that the fact that Constellation was the first Fortune 500 company to invest in the cannabis space, rather than a tobacco firm, is proof of the market for cannabis beverages not only exists, but will be one to watch.

“We started our company in 2016 when it was not known whether alcohol free beverages which intoxicate using cannabis or its phytocannabinoids would ever be legalised in Canada.

“The government, just a few months ago, made it clear they’d allow [these types of products], and I’d suspect that’s what made Constellation Brands step up.”

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