Minneapolis' Indeed Brewing has announced its latest product: a THC seltzer.
The new drink comes after a bill passed the Minnesota Legislature allowing hemp-derived THC food and drink products to be sold in the state. The bill passed as state DFL members kept quiet on what the provision actually meant, while some GOP members reportedly overlooked the language.
The non-alcoholic THC seltzer Indeed has in the works is called Two Good. The flavor profile will be lavender and lemon and it's expected to be available Aug. 1.
CEO of Indeed Brewing, Tom Whisenand, told Bring Me The News the company was excited to hear what could change when it comes to CBD products.
In 2018, Indeed released a drink called "Lull," which had 10 milligrams of hemp-derived CBD in it. During that time, laws involving CBD had been "a bit of a grey area," according to Whisenand, and, the product was taken off their menu due to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture sending them a letter stating it was illegal to sell the product.
"This last [legislative] session we were feeling pretty confident there was going to be some movement [in the state legislature] on CBD, making it a permissible ingredient to use in food and drinks," Whisenand said.
"We were excited for that potential, mostly because Lull was a great product we sold."
But the Legislature went further, legalizing the sale of gummies and tinctures that use THC derived from hemp. THC is a more psychoactive ingredient than CBD, producing a high more commonly associated with cannabis.
The new law allows up to five milligrams of THC in each product. Indeed's first release will have two milligrams of THC and CBD each. Whisenand said it's a step to see how the first release will fare amongst consumers, and that a five milligram product will likely debut at some point.
"We're seeing pretty strong trends these days of seeing more people drinking less alcohol, but at the same time being interested in other types of beverages that may not have alcohol but has other things like THC or CBD — things some people would perceive to be more healthy," Whisenand told Bring Me The News, saying this now opens the door further for them beyond just CBD regulation.
Indeed isn't the only Minnesota brewery coming out with such a product. The Star Tribune reports that Bent Paddle Brewing Company in Duluth will also be debuting their own version "in the next couple of weeks."
“We are currently navigating the behind-the-scenes work that goes into developing this first-of-its-kind product in Minnesota,” says Whisenand “We are taking the responsibility seriously, so we’re taking our time to make sure it’s the right product for us and for our customers.”
But wait — why not mix beer or alcoholic seltzer with THC?
"We don't see that potential currently," Whisenand said. "It's because THC is a controlled substance at the federal level, and breweries are licensed federally for producing alcohol. If we were to do that, we would be running into a lot of legal issues."
As with edibles, the effects of THC typically come on slower when consumed in a beverage in comparison to being smoked or vaped, according to High Times Magazine.
The unexpected legalization of hemp-derived THC gummies and drinks has prompted concerns because the bill didn't come with clear regulatory guidelines, with lawmakers now considering revisiting the issue to implement clearer guidance for businesses and municipalities.
Whisenand noted how he and his staff are doing what they can so they can navigate this process accordingly.
"There's really very little regulation when it comes to this. Usually with anything THC-related you get a whole set of regulations that follow, so we're obviously following everything that goes within the law already and also just being proactive by looking at other state trends and how they have approached this," he said, adding "most of the yellow caution lights have turned to green so we're pressing ahead."
The high demand for the THC-related products has already been seen since the passing of the bill last month. Bring Me The News spoke with some CBD shop owners that said they sold out of their THC edibles the day they were first available, setting sales records throughout the first weekend.