While other beverage companies are slowly dipping their toes into the cannabis game, or cautiously testing the waters, Arizona Iced Tea is diving right in. According to the Wall Street Journal, the parent company behind Arizona has struck a licensing deal with the Denver-based cannabis company Dixie Brands Inc. The agreement means that Arizona Beverage Co. could soon release a range of cannabis products, from vape pens to infused drinks.
Development for the Arizona Iced Tea line of cannabis products is still in the early planning stages. But reports indicate that the company will probably start out with Arizona Iced Tea-branded vape pens and gummies before moving on to infused beverages like lemonade, soda and of course, tea.
Arizona Iced Tea Surges Ahead of Major Beverage Companies with Cannabis Deal
Arizona Iced Tea, a fixture in the American beverage industry, has made some interesting headlines over the past few months. In July, the company launched a pop-up location selling Arizona Iced Tea-branded Adidas for as much as that famous price tag on its cans: $0.99. The viral marketing ploy generated such a fervor among fans that police had to shut down the pop-up store when violence broke out among the crowd of sneakerheads. And in May, Arizona hooked up with award-winning chef Danny Bowien to create a menu inspired by Arizona Iced Tea at Bowien’s Brooklyn restaurant, Mission Chinese.
“You’ve got to be willing to try things,” said Arizona CEO Don Vultaggio. The company’s sudden move into the cannabis space is definitely making good on that. And it puts Arizona at the front of the pack of major beverage companies vying for a share of the legal cannabis market. “The upside is we’re one of the first ones in an emerging space,” Vultaggio told the Wall Street Journal.
Strategic Partnership Will Bring THC to America’s Best-Selling Iced Tea
The idea of bringing beverage mega-brands into the legal cannabis market seems like an obvious one. But the largest companies have mostly been slow to put THC-infused products out there. Alcoholic beverage companies, like the massive Constellation Brands and Molson Coors, have already signed deals with cannabis companies. But they’ve yet to release any cannabis-infused products in the U.S.
Rumors have also circulated that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo were eyeing an entry into the cannabis industry. Earlier this year, PespiCo specified that Gatorade, which it owns, was at work on a CBD-infused hydration beverage. Coca-Cola, however, has rebuffed rumors about CBD- or THC-infused sodas. In fact, Warren Buffet, Coca-Cola’s largest investor, said in May that cannabis would ruin the beverage giant’s “wholesome image.”
Arizona Iced Tea, by contrast, isn’t holding back. On August 2, the company signed a binding letter of intent with Dixie Brands Inc. The agreement enters the two companies into a renewable three-year partnership to produce, distribute and sell cannabis-infused products containing THC. Dixie Brands affiliate Herbal Enterprises, LLC will handle the branding and conceptual design of the products, and Dixie will develop, formulate, manufacture and distribute the new line of Arizona Iced Tea-branded THC products.
Dixie Brands has been operating in the legal cannabis space for almost a decade. In fact, it’s first flagship product was the Dixie Elixir, a THC-infused soda. Today, the company’s brand portfolio includes over 100 products across 15 categories from tinctures to topicals and everything in between.
Now, Dixie will be able to bring the iconic Arizona brand to that product lineup. The company plans to start with a line of Arizona Iced Tea THC vape cartridges and edibles. After that, expect to see Arizona-branded THC-infused drinks, including tea, soda, coffee and seltzer.