Marijuana

Hard Seltzers Want to Take Over Legal Weed, Too

Sparkling water is now invading the marijuana industry.
Sparkling water is now invading the marijuana industry. Courtesy of Phyx
Hard seltzers and sparkling waters are all the rage right now, and breweries have noticed, with both major and craft breweries making their own versions of spiked bubbles to soothe declining beer sales.

Marijuana companies are now jumping on the trend, too.

Previously comprising sodas, teas and concentrated shots, the marijuana drink market has expanded, with companies like Phyx and Oh Hi selling carbonated drinks with low THC and CBD — and low calories — in Colorado dispensaries.

"For us, it really came from La Croix and really enjoying that beverage, personally, and seeing it as a nice, fun summer beverage," says Phyx founder Niccolo Aieta. "There is still kind of this stigma around [marijuana], so people are taking edibles, because they're easy to use and you don't have to smoke. But sometimes that can be a crazy experience if you eat too much, so we target low or microdose experiences."


With THC-infused beers already a thing for over a year, it was only a matter of time before pot companies tried to mirror the success of White Claw, Truly and other sweetened, boozy seltzers with fewer calories than their hoppy counterparts. Both Phyx and Oh Hi — a cannabinoid-infused seltzer brand started by the co-owner of Ska Brewing and the owners of Durango Organics dispensary — sell drinks infused with fruit flavor and 5 to 10 milligrams of THC, with low doses of CBD, as well.

Unlike hard seltzers, which can prove problematic for new drinkers who don't realize their alcohol level, the current marijuana options may be easier to handle for consumers who know their tolerances. However, 10 milligrams of THC can be a lot for inconsistent users, just as three White Claws can be a lot for your lightweight friend who rarely drinks.

"There's a lot of canna-curious customers out there who have read a lot about marijuana but don't know how they should use it," Aieta adds. "So how do they dip their toes in that water? When you have a highly dosed beverage and try to meter it out in a shot glass, that doesn't really work. We wanted something bright, poppy, cool and refreshing."

You can find Oh Hi drinks in Colorado dispensaries right now, and Phyx expects to be in 120 stores statewide by July. 
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell