UK-based Diageo and Canada-based Aurora Cannabis (among others) have signaled that they intend to develop and market cannabis-infused beverages, perhaps as their own new flavors…perhaps as product extensions of popular liquors. We can debate the merits of marijuana all we like, but the reality is that weed is making its way onto grocery store shelves. Maybe not today, but soon.
From a marketers perspective, this raised dozens of questions. Here are a few just for starters: Are there safety issues mixing cannabis and alcohol in the same drink? How about long-term health issues? The obvious legal issues? (Cannabis remains a controlled substance in the United States even though some states loosened their own laws and enforcement.) If we get past those, how about FTC regulations – most specifically, marketing to children? You could keep going…
I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with the merits of marijuana, but as a marketer, it doesn’t matter. We absolutely must begin to answer those questions.