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Lifestyle Global Brands founder: Infused cannabis beverages could compete with alcohol

The beverage company is about to launch its first THC-infused beverage in North America
raj beri
Managing director Raj Beri (pictured) founded the company with his brother Sahil

Lifestyle Global Brands is betting big on cannabis-infused beverage products as it gets ready to launch a line of refreshments in the US this year.

Many investors anticipate CBD-infused beverages to be the next wave of products in the cannabis sector. Look no further than Constellation Brands’ (NYSE:STZ) $4 billion investment into Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE:CGC) for proof.

The Los Angeles-based company already has experience in launching alcoholic beverages in Australia and North America and it is about to start selling a range of CBD- and THC-infused products into North America.

The company already has a growing revenue stream from its alcohol line, which is underpinned by global distribution relationships such as Loblaws, Krogers, Total Wine, The Ritz-Carlton and MGM Resorts, to name a few.

In this exclusive interview with Proactive, mangaging director Raj Beri tells us how the comany is leveraging its success launching alcohol brands as it prepares to bring new infused products to the North American marketplace. 

Can you give us an insight into the company’s origin?

I founded an Australian distillery and beverage alcohol company around 10 years ago. On the back of that company's success and innovation pipeline, we created some “world-first” beverage products that ended up getting scaled to multiple markets for distribution and became successful in their own right. Due to that success, I started a cannabis division, which is now CannHealth Group or Lifestyle Global Brands. The cannabis division is focused on lifestyle-oriented beverages and infused THC and CBD products.

What are some of the key products in your beverage lineup?

We'll be launching our first THC-infused beer product very soon. Technically we can't call it a beer because the definition of beer means that it must have alcohol. Our product will be a malt beverage infused with THC and function just like an alcoholic beer product. The difference with our product is that it has some amazing technology where the onset time is 10 to 12 minutes, so it will function just like an alcoholic beverage. And then the metabolism time is a couple of hours, so you can have a “safe” high.

What market are you gearing these products towards?

We are trying to take some of the market share away from consumers who consume alcohol on a recreational basis and giving them options that are healthier. Our THC malt beverage product will have no added sugar, very low calories and a low, safe dose of THC.

When it comes to taste, many companies have stumbled because consumers are saying that they don’t like the flavor of cannabis. How do you approach that challenge?

With every beverage, flavor is the most important point. Unless you unless you enjoy the flavor and taste and feel in mouth, you're not going to enjoy that beverage. We’ve overcome that challenge by making a beverage that’s tasteless and odorless from a THC or cannabis perspective. There is no cannabis taste or aftertaste. It essentially tastes like a non-alcoholic malt beverage or beer.

You’ve developed a huge amount of expertise on the alcoholic beverage side. How do you leverage that on the cannabis beverage side?

At the end of the day the consumer set is almost identical. We're targeting adult consumers from the age of 21 to 49, predominantly beer drinkers. We want to give them an opportunity to taste and trial a new type of innovative beverage that has low calories, no added sugar and a recreational option to alcohol.

Where are you planning to sell your products?

I think the US will be our largest market in the next few years, starting off with California and then expanding into other West Coast markets, followed by expansion into Canada and the East Coast of the US. Once we tackle those markets, we'll look at global expansion. We obviously require legislative changes to occur simultaneously, so our expansion plans would be in line with legislation changes around the world.

What other milestones are you hoping to achieve in the near term?

We’re hoping to raise up to C$20 million dollars to expand our manufacturing capabilities, market our brands and scale revenues both in our alcohol division and in the in the cannabis division. We're looking to expand into multiple markets and we currently have deals in progress in Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Massachusetts and Canada. We also want to expand our alcohol division with new innovations and new products. We’re looking at acquisition opportunities but also growing organically. Our core competencies are launching new innovative brands and we really want to pioneer brands of the future. At the same time, we will look at acquisition opportunities that can fit into our model where we can scale, such as companies that have good products but don't necessarily have the sales, marketing and distribution strength.

What do you want investors to know about Lifestyle Global Brands?

We are a company with a proven track record. We've made multiple exits in the beverage alcohol industry. The team and the innovation pipeline are very strong. We're launching brand-new, first-of-its-type products in new fast-moving consumer good space in large recreational and lifestyle-focused markets. There are great opportunities for the company to grow and we have become a market leader in the space.

Contact Angela at [email protected]

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May 09 2019
The global specialty beverages company is betting big on cannabis-infused drinks as it gets ready to launch a line of refreshments in the US this year

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