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BrewDog co-founder James Watt backs CBD drinks brand

James Watt, the co-founder of BrewDog, has invested in mushroom and CBD functional drinks range Common following a decision to step down as CEO of the multinational brewer in May.

BrewDog co-founder James Watt backs CBD drinks brand

The UK-based drinks company has announced a six-figure seed investment round, naming Watt among its new investors alongside Rubicon Drinks MD Neel Nagrecha and Funkin’ Cocktails and Strykk Drinks founder Alex Carlton.

The latest funding will drive the launch of Common‘s newest range, the company has said, which includes  two Lion’s Mane mushroom-based nootropic drinks, designed for enhanced mental performance and two CBD drinks made with cold-pressed hemp. The new drinks range launched a few weeks ago.

Hemp, which is a cannabis sativa strain that belongs to the genus cannabis and has a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of less than 0.3%, is typically made from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Common has been launched as a functional drinks brand, a growing category in today’s market.

Each can is 330ml with a RRP of £2.49.

BrewDog announced in May that Watt would move into a non-executive role at the company from now on, following 17 years at the helm of the business.

Watt has been embroiled in a number of controversies over the last few years. In April, Watt confirmed that almost 100,000 saplings planted by BrewDog in Scotland to sequester carbon have withered and died. Watt also came under fire for paying employees below the real living wage, despite having previously been a vocal supporter of the Living Wage Foundation’s push. Defending the decision, Watt said that the company had to “balance [its] books” and admitted that staff wages had been raised by “20.4% since March 2022 and not the 26% that would have been required to retain a Real Living Wage status.”

Read more on Watt’s decision to step down from his CEO role here.

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