Toronto startup, Province Brands, has developed an innovative cannabis beer — the world’s first to be brewed from cannabis plants.
Until now, cannabis beers have been manufactured by adding marijuana oil to barley-brewed beer. “That’s not what we do,” CEO and Co-Founder Dooma Wendschuh told The Guardian. “Our beer is brewed from the stocks, stems, and roots of the cannabis plant.”
Miami-native Wendschuh moved to Canada in 2016, to capitalize on the nation’s upcoming legalization of recreational marijuana. With the help of a chemist, he’s developed a beer that not only includes parts of the cannabis plant in the brewing process, but also utilizes something normally considered a waste product for the industry.
“We take [the stocks, stems, and roots] off the grower’s hands,” Wendschuh says “saving them the cost of hiring a licensed disposal company to dispose of them.”
As well as cannabis, the recipe includes a combination of hops, water, and yeast. All alcohol produced during brewing is removed. Instead, the beverage contains around 6.5mg THC and offers a high which is roughly equivalent to a single dose of alcohol.
Brewers have traditionally avoided cannabis plants as they produce a less-than-palatable beer. Initially, the results were no different for Wendschuh and co. “The things that we would come up with just tasted horrible,” he says. “They tasted like rotten broccoli.”
Eventually, however, they developed a winning formula. “The flavor is dry, savory, less sweet than a typical beer flavor,” Wendschuh says. “The beer hits you very quickly, which is not common for a marijuana edible.”
On October 17, Canada will become the second country in the world to legalize marijuana for recreational use. If Province Brands’ brew is a hit with drinkers, the Toronto startup aims to build a C$50 million cannabis brewery, and introduce a variety of different beers using different flavors and strains of cannabis.