Pot-infused coffee could be coming to a barista near you.
Somatik, a San Francisco-based cannabis startup, recently partnered with popular local coffee company Ritual Roasters to create a cannabis chocolate-covered coffee bean. The company already sells a cannabis-infused cold brew, the latest entry to a thriving legalized pot-economy that includes a growing number of edible products.
Still, that jolt of pot-infused brew doesn’t come cheap: An eight ounce bottle of Somatik — only available for now at local dispensaries the Bay Area — sells for at least $11, depending on where a customer places its order.
In the midst of the U.S.’s slow embrace of legalized marijuana, Somatik founder Chris Schroeder explained to CNBC that the stars have aligned for weed-flavored coffee in other ways as well.
“Infusion technology has really improved in the last few years, that’s part of what made it the right time for this product,” Schroeder said in a recent interview, making it easier to combine flavors in ways that are more appetizing.
“Two [or] three years ago if you picked up a beverage, there was an oil floating on top, you would shake it kind of like salad dressing. There was oil on top, it would separate,” he said. “The infusions we use are water soluble so you don’t get it separating.”
While edibles and cannabis innovations have been around for a while, a cannabis company partnering with a more mainstream and established business like Ritual is unique, and may signify a new phase in established brands jumping on the pot trend.
It also helps when the product in question is coffee, a staple in the diets of millions of Americans, and with San Francisco being fertile ground for coffee upstarts. In particular, data from the National Coffee Association shows that Millenials consume the gourmet variety in vast quantities.
“Coffee to me is something we always drink when we’re catching up with a friend, you can drink it by yourself when you’re reading a book. It’s something you do as a part of your routine,” said Schroeder.
You can read the other half of this article on CNBC here: http://cnb.cx/2pbr4AW