- The evolving cannabis market is welcoming cannabis-infused beverages as an alternative way to ingest THC
- Xebra Brands has its Vicious Citrus THC-and-CBN-infused lemonade hitting the shelves in dispensaries from Ontario to BC over the next two months
- The company also has a first mover advantage in Mexico, with the ability to grow, process and manufacture hemp-based CBD products in the country
The growth of the cannabis industry is being fueled by leaps in product innovation. Dominating the next frontier is alternative consumption in the form of beverages – one of the fastest-growing segments in the overall market. The global market for cannabis beverages is predicted by a study published by ReportLinker to reach US$2 billion by the year 2026. That’s up a staggering US$799.8 million in 2020.
The rapid growth in the cannabis beverage market is driven by several factors, including the changing legal status for marijuana globally, escalating societal acceptance, growing awareness of CBD benefits and availability in popular formats.
In addition, consumers may prefer cannabis infused drinks to direct cannabis smoking and edibles, as beverages are seen as a function product that quenches thirst, energizes, and promotes social interaction. The health-conscious consumers are also looking for alternatives for their lifestyle choices – allowing for cannabis drinks to reach a larger consumer base than traditional cannabis products.
Xebra brands looks to capitalize on current trends
In this healthy environment for cannabis beverages, Canada’s Xebra Brands ltd. (CSE: XBRA | OTCQB: XBRAF | FSE: 9YC) is seeking to carve out a major role. Not just as a cannabis cultivation company, but also as a product company with global brands and intellectual property.
“We wanted Vicious Citrus lemonade to be a very authentic product, with a taste profile that easily recognizable to consumers.” — Jay Garnett, CEO of Xebra Brands Ltd.
The company currently has two major areas of focus: building up its product base of THC-infused beverages in Canada and acting on its first mover advantage with CBD and non-THC cannabinoid products in Mexico.
According to Xebra Brands’ CEO Jay Garnett, the two efforts are connected. Launching the company’s beverages in a legalized national market like Canada “will provide certainty for Mexican regulators and partners.”
By establishing a supply chain and a market for its cannabis-infused beverages in Canada, Xebra Brands can establish a template that it can then use in Mexico and other markets upon legalization.
Right now, Xebra Brands is the only company in Mexico legally authorized to commercialize non-THC cannaboniods. This includes the legal importation of seeds through cultivation, processing, manufacturing, and selling.
By entering the CBD space in Mexico, Xebra can use its first mover advantage and supply chain structure to pivot to into THC market upon Mexican legalization, which is expected to happen in the near term.
Bringing real drinks to a high market
In making the transition from CBD products to THC products in Mexico, Xebra Brands will have the benefit of experience getting its cannabis-infused beverage line on shelves in Canada.
The company has a number of cannabis-infused beverages in its R&D pipeline for rollout, including seltzers, soft drinks, iced teas, lemonades and waters.
The first phase of its product rollout involves the Vicious Citrus brand. The “OG” version of Vicious Citrus has launched this summer, in Ontario dispensaries, and is available for purchase today with more provinces to follow in the coming weeks.
Xebra started with Vicious Citrus because lemonade has an easily recognizable flavour and straightforward taste profile. Garnett adds: “We wanted Vicious Citrus to be a very authentic product, easily recognizable to our consumer base.”
A pipeline filled with exciting products
Vicious Citrus’ “OG” SKU is a combination THC and CBN beverage in a 5:1 THC to CBN ratio. CBN is short for “cannabidiol,” and it’s a marijuana derivative that has proved popular with U.S. consumers.
Says Garnett: “We chose CBN to combine with THC as there is huge amounts of consumer interest around the data showing very positive results coming from the mature legal markets in the USA.”
With the rollout of the “OG” SKU in Ontario underway, the next provinces up are Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta. in the next 30-45 days, Xebra hopes to be delivering Vicious Citrus “OG” to dispensaries from BC to Ontario.
In Ontario alone, there are more than 1,000 cannabis stores that could potentially retail Vicious Citrus.
Once the Vicious Citrus “OG” version (10 mg THC/2 mg CBN) is launched, Xebra plans to follow up quickly with the Vicious Citrus “Neo” SKU, which is 10 mg THC/10 mg CBN). Garnett describes Neo, which includes honey, as “more of a relaxing or calming fall drink as compared to a summer energetic drink like Vicious Citrus OG.”
Next in the pipeline for Xebra will be the launch of the “Kahuna” Vicious Citrus SKU, which will have a cherry lemonade flavor and include 10 mg THC and 10 mg Delta-8. Xebra plans to have those products on shelves from BC to Ontario early in the new year.
A compelling investment opportunity
With its Vicious Citrus product launching as we speak, Xebra Brands is developing a cannabis-infused beverage pipeline that will allow the company to establish a strong track record in Canada, while simultaneously advancing its footprint in Mexico and other global legal markets.
Granted, Mexico is still a CBD-only market, but Xebra’s first mover advantage into Mexico’s CBD market gives it the ability to quickly pivot to THC and marijuana distribution when the country eventually legalizes it.
Garnett comments: “I really see it as setting the entire supply chain, so that upon legalization of THC, we’ll have the ability to pivot all of our operations from farm, cultivation, processing and manufacturing around CBD to immediately include THC products.”
Between that distinct advantage and a growing line of cannabis-infused beverages hitting the shelves in the months and years ahead, Xebra is positioned to perform well in the global cannabis market that’s evolving right now.
See Xebra Brands Ltd.’s full product line up by visiting its website here.
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