The first 'marijuana-powered' beer is on the way

Jelisa Castrodale

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There are so many reasons to love Canada. It’s the country that serves fries topped with gravy, the country that gave us Alex Trebek, and it’s poised to become the first country to brew cannabis beer.

Province Brands, a Toronto-based brewer, has filed a patent to make “the world’s first beers brewed from the cannabis plant,” which means that you might want to book a flight to Ontario...sometime in 2019.

The brew that could be (literally) on-tap for this company, would be “marijuana powered,” not marijuana infused, like some existing pot-adjacent beers are. The difference is the part of the marijuana plant that is used during the brewing process; some existing breweries, like Colorado’s Dads and Dudes Breweria, already have cannabis-infused beer, but those only contain cannabinoids (CBDs), which don’t make you high. (THC is the chemical that makes you inhale Taco Bell’s entire Dollar Cravings Menu in one sitting).

According to The Drinks Business, Province’s proposed beer is alcohol-free, but still maintains a “dose-response curve” that will be similar to the effect of drinking a weed-free beer. “We would never make a product that would contain both alcohol and marijuana,” Michael “Dooma” Wendschuh, the CEO of Province Brands, told VICE. “Alcohol is poison! The real intention here is to create a safer and healthier alternative to alcohol – a low calorie product that is gluten-free but can compete in terms of its appeal to an alcoholic beverage.”

In 2001, Canada became the first country in the world to legalize medical marijuana, and recreational legalization will go into effect on July 1 of this year. Unfortunately, edibles and weed-enhanced beverages aren’t included on the list of legal products – at least not yet. Last October, the Commons health committee agreed to give edibles the OK by July 2019 – a delay that was questioned by some members of Parliament. “It’s ironic that we’re going to be legalizing the form of cannabis that is more heavily ingested by smoking, and not legalizing forms of cannabis that present less of a health impact,” Don Davies of the New Democratic Party said.

When that July day finally comes, it’s expected to be big business for companies who can produce THC drinks and treats; one survey company extrapolated its data and estimated that 8.7 million people indicated that they would be willing to try marijuana edibles. So yeah, you should probably try to get a seat at the bar now.

Jelisa Castrodale

About Jelisa Castrodale

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