Today, 101 years after the beginning of U.S. alcohol prohibition in 1920 and fresh off the heels of a national election that changed the political composition of the U.S. Senate and Executive Branch, the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) announced the formation of ATACH’s Cannabis Beverage Council.
The Council will bring together the most established cannabis and beverage leaders focused on expanding the cannabis beverage market. It comes at a time when the canna-drink market doubled over the past two years according to Headset’s 2019 cannabis beverage report. BDSA Analytics cites the canna-beverage market as making up 5 percent of overall cannabis sales in the United States and 23 percent in Canada, suggesting further U.S. growth.
“The Council is where cannabis industry leaders and beverage companies convene and forge a new beverage market by harmonizing canna-beverage policies across the country,” said ATACH President Michael Bronstein.
Following are quotes from Council members:
David Klein, Canopy Growth CEO and ATACH’s “Beverage Executive of the Year”
“Traditional players in wine, beer, and spirits are seeing the trajectory of cannabis and its potential as a beverage category today through the introduction of cannabis-infused drinks. Regulatory guidance and standardization of pro-business policy across states will be essential for the industry as we grow this category. The Council will provide leadership to help advance the industry as our companies seek to meet growing consumer demand.”
Adolphus Busch V, founder of ABV Cannabis Co.
“I know what the end of prohibition looks like for cannabis, my family helped shape it in the alcohol industry. I am convinced that ATACH’s work on professionalizing outreach and creating advocacy for the cannabis beverage category is how it will get done.”
Scott Coors, business entrepreneur and Board of Directors, SeroVita Holding Corp.
“At the repeal of alcohol prohibition in the 1930s, the industry came together to create an industry effort and agree on responsible consumption, policies, and best practices. ATACH’s new Council for cannabis beverages is modeled after this concept, which is why I am a part of this historic moment.”
Christy Zhou, Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs at Organigram
“The maturing cannabis consumer and even traditional alcohol consumers may explore cannabis-infused drinks and drink mixes as an alternative consumption option. These beverage products can differ from traditional solid edibles in their format and effects, and as such, should be approached thoughtfully from a regulatory perspective. As early adopters, it is our duty to help shape regulations such that they encourage the development of responsible and innovative beverage products.”
Bill Silver, President of New Markets, Cannacraft
“More U.S. consumers are consuming cannabis or becoming canna-curious. They are also looking for alternative consumption methods like canna-drinks. The timing for the formation of the Council comes at a time where we have the opportunity to impact meaningful cannabis reform and advance the industry as a whole.”
Chuck Smith, CEO of BellRock Brands
“Our company has been in the cannabis beverage category since 2010. Today our portfolio includes a wide variety of cannabis-infused beverages including alcohol-free wines, fun and flavorful ‘elixirs,’ and sparkling seltzers. The target audience for this category is swiftly growing – both evolving cannabis consumers and traditional alcohol consumers are seeking alcohol alternatives and giving cannabis-infused beverages a try. I’m honored to join this Council because it is our duty to educate both consumers and industry players on responsible, safe consumption.”
In a video compilation, founding members speak to the goals and vision of the Council which can be viewed here. Other founding members: Erik Knutson, CEO and Co-founder of Keef Brands, Koji Pupo, Vice President of Business Development, Columbia Distributing, Gary Kaminsky, Director of Legal Compliance, Acreage Holdings, Jake Bullock, Co-founder CANN, and Josh Lizotte, CEO of Rebel Coast, with more to be announced.
ATACH: The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) is the leading United States 501(c)(6) cannabis industry trade organization promoting the expansion and protection of legal sales of cannabis and hemp for industrial, medical, and adult use.