Legal highs: The drinks companies taking on cannabis

As Canada marks the legalisation of recreational cannabis today, we round up the drinks companies that have been linked to or have confirmed investment in the industry.

Canada has legalised recreational cannabis today (17 October) making it the second country after Uruguay, which passed legislation in 2013, to impose such a measure.

Potential customers must be 18 or over in order to purchase the drug. Cannabis possession was first criminalised in Canada in 1923, but medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001.

It is hoped legalising the drug will raise C$400m a year in tax revenue.

The legislation, which was passed in the Canadian Senate in June, was part of a 2015 campaign promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

However, only cannabis purchased from officially recognised stores will be legal, while laws will differ across the country’s 10 provinces and 3 territories.

Adults can now legally buy cannabis oil, seeds, plants and dried cannabis from licensed producers and retailers and possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public.

Across the border, 9 US states and Washington DC have legalised recreational cannabis to those aged over 21. Medical marijuana is legal in another 30 states.

What Canada’s decision means for US border states that have not legalised the drug remains to be seen. Last month, Michigan has voted to ban all cannabis-infused drinks in a pre-emptive move should the state legalise marijuana for recreational use this month.

A recent report on the sales of cannabis-infused food and drink products, jointly published by two of the sector’s research firms Arcview and BDS Analytics, found that the industry has great potential for growth.

It revealed that ‘edibles’ sales are on track to reach more than $4.1 billion by 2022, with spending on the category reaching $1 billion in 2017 in the United States and Canada.

Scroll through to see the drinks companies that have already expressed an interest in the sector. 

Read more:

IN FOCUS: THE RISE OF CANNABIS DRINKS

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