There’s a different kind of buzz with these bubbles.
LEVIA is ready to launch its line of cannabis-infused seltzers, which founders of the Georgetown-based company say is the first of its kind available in Massachusetts.
“When we looked at what the landscape was for cannabis beverages about four years ago, there were only really sugary, high-calorie drinks. There were lemonades and juices and teas and things that had as much sugar in them as soda,” said Eric Rogers, co-founder and CCO at LEVIA. “Here, the ethos in Massachusetts really is trying to lead a healthy, active lifestyle so we wanted to create a product that had no sugar and as close to zero calories, and we were able to achieve that zero-calorie certification.”
The seltzers come in 12-ounce cans and have 5mg of THC, zero calories and zero sugar. LEVIA suggests a price of $7 per can. The brand is starting out by selling single cans and hopes to move on to six-packs and cases, said Troy Brosnan, LEVIA co-founder and COO.
LEVIA is waiting on a notice to commence operations from the state Cannabis Control Commission, Brosnan said. Once the commission gives that notice, LEVIA will be able to start operating in three calendar days.
Once able to launch, LEVIA plans to be in more than 40 dispensaries, and in more than 50 by March, Brosnan said. Some of those dispensaries include Fine Fettle and Mission on the north shore, Canna Provisions, The Pass and Rise in Western Massachusetts, Campfire Cannabis, Caroline’s Cannabis and the Botanist in Central Massachusetts and bwell in Provincetown.
LEVIA is launching with three flavors: Achieve, a raspberry-lime sparkling water with sativa blend; Celebrate, a lemon-lime hybrid blend; and Dream, a jamberry flavored indica blend.
“Achieve is your get stuff done, work or play. Maybe you’ve got a chore list at home that you’re trying to hammer through, or going for a hike or taking a yoga class,” Rogers said. “Then we’ve got Celebrate, which is more brighten everyone’s day. That backyard barbeque, that alcohol replacement, where you can socialize and have a drink in your hand but not necessarily experience the detrimental effects of alcohol. And then for those that are looking for more of a relaxing experience, we’ve got our jamberry Dream, which is much more ease your mind and spirit.”
With other consumable THC products, like gummies or chocolates, it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours for effects to set in. With the LEVIA seltzers, the onset is much faster, Rogers said. For some consumers, it could be as little as 10 or 20 minutes. The carbonation in LEVIA is light, Brosnan said.
“We’re really focused on sort of mimicking the familiar consumer experience adults are used to in terms of having a drink and feeling that effect, whether that’s coffee in the morning or alcohol in the evening, so there’s a familiar timeline they could have that effect versus the ambiguity of waiting 45 minutes, two hours,” Rogers said.
The team hopes the seltzers will have broad appeal, Rogers said.
“We’re looking at consumers who might be looking for a replacement to alcohol, new parents especially. You know, you have a new one at home and you go to have a few drinks and then you wake up in the middle of the night and you do not feel great and that is not an experience many new parents want to really relive,” Rogers said. “And then, at the other end of the spectrum, looking toward the audience that’s nearing retirement, we’ve got baby boomers, which are some of the most educated and affluent consumers out there, and realize that there are alternatives to treating what ails them.”
LEVIA also wants to appeal to new cannabis users and thought that a seltzer could help spark that curiosity, said co-founder Kaitlyn Brosnan, who spearheads the nonprofit part of LEVIA’s business.
“I know for myself, I wasn’t a seasoned cannabis user heading into this and I felt like having a seltzer, knowing the onset and how quickly that was going to happen and not going for a gummy bear or a brownie or a cookie felt more available to me and to, hopefully, the new consumer,” she said.
There’s been a big demand for different variations of seltzers recently. Worcester-based Polar Beverages has a cult following for its seltzers, including seasonal selections each summer and winter. And in the last few summers, alcoholic spiked seltzers have exploded in popularity.
“It’s hard not to look to Polar, that’s right in our backyard, and the massive success that they’ve had,” Rogers said. “And then also looking at the likes of LaCroix.”
Rogers said LEVIA hopes to hear from consumers about what flavors they like as the team looks toward creating seasonal flavors.
LEVIA is also working on a water-soluble tincture so cannabis can be added to any consumer’s beverage, Troy Brosnan said.