A Toronto-based startup called Province Brands claims to have created the world’s first cannabis beer, which substitutes barley for cannabis.
As The Guardian reports, the Ontarian company behind the innovation uses the byproduct of the cannabis plant to create their low-calorie, gluten-free cannabis beer, which holds a dry, less sweet, and more savory flavor profile compared to regular beer. It also contains 6.5 mg of THC in each serving and is entirely free of alcohol.
According to the company, what separates this cannabis beverage from others is its use of the roots, stalks, and stems of the plant, commonly known as the plant’s useless components. Cannabis beer traditionally uses a mixture of cannabis oil and barley.
Though legalization in Canada goes into effect this October, it could be a year before edibles and drinkables are allowed on the market. However, the time gap isn’t slowing down cannabis entrepreneurs like Dooma Wendschuh, the founder and CEO of Province Brands.
Wendschuh’s confidence in the Canadian cannabis landscape influenced his move from Miami to Toronto to start Province Brands ahead of legalization. His business, he said, would only be possible in Canada due to the country’s progressive views of medicinal and recreational cannabis.
The driving force behind Wendschuh’s passion isn’t cannabis as much as it’s creating an alternative to alcohol. The corporation aims to build a $50M facility geared toward becoming the first cannabis brewery in the world, under the assumption that cannabis beer and other drinkables will become legal. If all goes as planned, Province Brands will offer more cannabis-brewed products, such as lagers, ales, and stouts.
Province Brands might be the first to brew a beer made from cannabis but other reputable companies are making strides in the same direction. Lagunitas recently announced a line of cannabis beers which will be available in California. Constellation Brands of Corona has invested in the Canadian cannabis industry and also hinted at plans to make their own cannabis brew.
The Canadian cannabis industry is predicted to generate around $12 to $22 billion in revenue a year.