As consumers become more educated on the benefits of marijuana — both recreational and medicinal, it continues to be decriminalized at an increasing pace.
So far, 29 states (and DC) in the United States have legalized cannabis for medicinal use and eight for recreational.
With the freedom to cultivate the herb and utilize it in numerous ways, entrepreneurs have started experimenting with cannabis and infusing it into a variety of edibles — such as baked goods, candies, soda and now… wine.
That’s right, cannabis-infused wine (otherwise known as Canna Vine) is finally available for sale in California.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the beverage is made from organically grown marijuana and bio-dynamically farmed grapes.
Because the product is low in THC — the primary psychoactive compound found within cannabis — it delivers a mellow “body high” without large effects.
The innovative wine was developed by cancer survivor Lisa Molyneux, who owns the dispensary Greenway in Santa Cruz, and Louisa Sawyer Lindquist, who owns Verdad Wines in Santa Maria. Molyneux, particularly, was inspired to invent the wine to aid fellow cancer survivors.
There’s a reason Canna Vine costs anywhere from $120 to $400 for half a bottle. The process to make the product begins with one pound of marijuana. After the weed is wrapped in cheese cloth, it is added to a barrel of wine where it sits for approximately one year to ferment and repose.
Though the concept of cannabis-infused wine is nothing new (in ancient China, it was prescribed for pain relief), the fact that it can be legally procured in the modern age is.
The founders of Canna Vine are presently experimenting with the green wine (literally) to find the best balance of Sativa and Indica. Their ultimate aim is to sell a wine that creates “uplifting and relaxing sensations.”
“What’s nice about it is how subtle it is. There’s a little flush after the first sip, but then the effect is really cheery, and at the end of the night you sleep really well. It really is the best of both worlds; you get delicious wines with medicinal benefits.”
Melissa Etheridge, — a prominent advocate of Canna Vine — credits the beverage with helping her through chemotherapy. She said,
“When I was in my deepest, darkest, last throes of chemo,” says Etheridge, “I couldn’t smoke or use a vaporizer — and I was never really an edibles eater; I didn’t want to be ‘out of it.’”
“It lands in a really beautiful place,” she added.
What’s the catch?
First of all, the infused wine is only legal to purchase in California. Second, one needs a medical marijuana license to purchase the product.
California is presently the only place one can procure alcohol infused with weed. Even states like Washington, Oregon, and Colorado don’t allow the combination to be produced or sold.
Presently, both Molyneux and Lindquist seek to refine the wine to position themselves in the market of high-quality cannabis-infused products. Said Lindquist,
“Cannabis wine has been so effective as a stress reliever, as a mood elevator, and as a medicine I have no idea what the market will be like for it, but whatever I make I want to be safe, made from pure ingredients and, hopefully, delicious.”