New Age Beverages Corp. (NBEV) is banking on one of the world’s most revered musicians to help it take the U.S. Cannabidiol-infused drinks market by storm. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that is not psychoactive.
In a press release, the healthy drinks manufacturer announced that it has signed an agreement to develop and distribute Bob Marley-branded cannabis beverages. New Age said its deal with the late reggae musician’s estate and Docklight Brands, a firm owned by Peter Thiel-backed Privateer Holdings that owns the licensing for Marley-branded cannabis products, offers the potential to combine its own global retail distribution footprint with one of the world’s most recognizable marijuana symbols.
"Retailers and distributors realize that it will be a long road for smaller CBD brands to gain traction and brand equity. Under the Marley brand platform, we are able to leverage a massive global brand with ties to healthy cannabis use, to ultimately grow a beverage brand beyond anything we have seen to date," said Michael Cunningham, senior vice president of sales for New Age.
The company added that Marley+CBD Mellow Mood will be the first product it launches from its Marley+CBD drinks portfolio. The beverage was described as a health and relaxation drink that is sold in 15.5 oz cans with 25 mg of pharmaceutical grade CBD per serving.
Marley+CBD Mellow Mood is initially being sold to customers in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Michigan, states where recreational cannabis is currently legal. New Age, which already sells Marley-branded drinks, including cold-brew coffee, tea and yerba mate, plans to expand its distribution throughout the year, citing strong demand for its new product.
New Age’s latest Marley partnership builds on the portfolio of CBD-infused drinks it unveiled last October. The company has since claimed that conversations with retailers and distributors about selling its cannabis beverages have gone well.
In the press release, New Age said it has now received commitments and confirmations from national accounts and distributors covering more than 125,000 outlets, including two of the largest convenience and grocery retailers in the U.S.