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Cannabis Soda Joins New Ways to Imbibe Legally

Jones Soda's Mary Jones lineup will be available starting April 1.
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As cannabis becomes more of a mainstream drug and recreational marijuana becomes more popular, the delivery methods are diversifying. 

Rolling a joint is for Gen Xers — the new generation of smokers likes to get their THC from edibles and vaporizer pens. 

“A lot of the cannabis category is leaf, but that’s the legacy part of the category, the mature part," Jones Soda Marketing Chief Bob Blair told CNBC. "If you look at the new consumer to cannabis, the people who want to bring it to a party or have it in a meal, a lot of them are turning to beverages and edibles."

From a business perspective, one of the biggest draws of cannabis is that the plant is dynamic. Its psychotropic properties can be distilled down and infused into nearly anything.

This allows for a wide range of potential products that competitors like alcohol could only dream of (imagine if you could buy vodka cough drops or whiskey chips).

Cannabis-infused beverages are the next frontier. 

There are currently CBD and cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages on the market and now Jones Soda is looking to bring cannabis-infused sodas and other goods into the mainstream. 

Jones Soda Brings Cannabis to the Fore 

Jones Soda  (JSDA) , which is known for its craft soda, is introducing Mary Jones, a new line of cannabis-infused sodas, gummies and syrups. 

“We’re a small player in soda, but we’re going to be the biggest national player when it comes to a recognizable [consumer-packaged goods] name in cannabis,” Blair said.  

Mary Jones is set to launch April 1 in California with its products being available in dispensaries. 

Mary Jones will initially launch four different product lines: a 12-ounce bottle of soda infused with 10 milligrams of cannabis; 16-ounce cans of soda infused with 100 milligrams of cannabis; syrup designed to mix with other drinks or on food with 1,000 milligrams of cannabis per bottle; and gummies infused with five milligrams of cannabis that are shaped like mini Jones Soda bottles. 

California will be the first test market, as the state with the most mature cannabis economy in the country. However, other states are also starting to mature across the country. 

Cannabis Markets Are Maturing 

New York state is expecting cannabis tax revenues of $1.26 billion between fiscal 2023 and 2028, according to the 2023 budget published by the office of Governor Kathy Hochul.

The revenue is expected to come from a 9% excise tax and an additional tax of mg of THC sold. New York is projecting $56 million in cannabis revenue in fiscal 2023, of which $40 million is expected to be from licensing. 

Once the market matures, that number is expected to jump to $95 million in fiscal 2024, $158 million in 2025, $245 million in 2026, $339 million in 2027 and $363 million in 2028. 

New York has the potential to be the biggest cannabis market outside of California. 

While it will take some time for the state to have the infrastructure and reach the maturity of California's market, Jones Soda and its new line of cannabis products have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.