Two California businesses — one a beloved national brand and the other an upstart in the state’s hottest sector — have teamed up for new product releases in two of the North Coast’s top industries: beer and cannabis.
Lagunitas Brewing Co. last week released its SuperCritical Ale, a hoppy beer that is brewed with terpenes, aromatic compounds of essential oils that are extracted from some plants, including cannabis and hops. The brew, available only in select California locations for a limited time, contains no THC, the chemical that triggers psychoactive effects.
Lagunitas, based in Chicago and Petaluma, Calif., received the terpenes from Santa Rosa-based CannaCraft Inc., a cannabis-extract manufacturing facility that has made a name for itself in the newly legalized industry despite being raided by police last year.
In exchange, Lagunitas assisted CannaCraft in developing new vaping products for its AbsoluteXtracts line, which do contain THC. CannaCraft included terpenes that were derived from hops in the new products, with Lagunitas brewers providing guidance on obtaining a beer-like aroma for the high-inducing weed.
It should be available for sale in about five weeks, said Dennis Hunter, CannaCraft founder.
The collaboration is the latest example of businesses outside the cannabis sector exploring ways to take advantage of interest in marijuana, which becomes legal for recreational use Jan. 1.
According to estimates, California’s annual cannabis crop is worth $7 billion, making it the state’s most valuable agricultural crop.
A Santa Rosa symposium was held this month to explore opportunities for the wine industry to partner with cannabis producers. There, one brand — Legion of Bloom — introduced a sparkling wine infused with terpenes from a cannabis strain cultivated in the Russian River Valley. That product also did not contain THC.
Breweries and wineries have to walk a fine line, as cannabis