Ichitan Group, Thailand’s largest producer of “ready-to-drink” teas, has released two cannabis scented drinks, Nikkei Asia reports. Available through convenience stores and vending machines around the country, the drinks do not contain cannabinoids like CBD or THC.
The bottled teas come in two flavors: an unsweetened chamomile terpene blend and a sweetened lemon and terpene flavor. According to the report, the teas are available for about 30 baht ($0.96) in Bangkok 7/11s and Ichitan has set a goal of selling 500 million baht ($16 million) worth of the teas during the offerings’ first year.
“Being the first mover in the new market will be an important factor to gain an advantage [with] the product launch, while studying the behavior target customers — [the] urban new generation.”— Ichitan CEO and President Tan Passakornnatee, via Nikkei Asia
Thailand legalized medical cannabis in 2019 and recently relaxed its rules governing hemp, allowing Thai companies to sell food and cosmetic products infused with hemp extracts. However, according to Tan, the rules do not cover hemp-infused beverages.
Still, Ichitan is poised to enter the market when hemp extracts are allowed in Thai beverages, he said in the report. “We have a strong alliance with production sources, [and are] expecting to receive a license for [hemp] planting and extraction, covering upstream and midstream,” Tan remarked.
According to a 2020 Grandview Research report, the global CBD/hemp-infused beverage market is expected to reach $2.8 billion by 2025.
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