Canadian startup creates world's first beer brewed from CANNABIS plant in bid to provide an alternative to alcohol

Jul 23, 2018

A Canadian startup has developed the first ever cannabis beer in a bid to provide an alternative to alcohol

Province Brands, based in Toronto, created the drink using the plant's stem, stalks and roots.

There are already beers on the market brewed with barley and infused with cannabis oil, but none has previously used the plant itself in the brewing process. 

Canada's Senate has voted to legalize recreational marijuana nationally in June. Pictured: Smoke rising during the annual 4/20 marijuana rally in Ottawa on April 20, 2018

Dooma Wendschuh, the CEO and co-founder of Province Brands, told The Guardianhis startup's creation tastes 'dry, savory' and 'less sweet than a typical beer'.  

He added: 'The beer hits you very quickly, which is not common for a marijuana edible.' 

In June, Canada passed a federal bill to legalize recreational marijuana on a national level.

The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 52-29 in June to end the 90-year prohibition, but it will not come into effect until October 17.  

The law makes Canada only the second country to have a nationwide, legal marijuana market, after Uruguay.

Wendschuh, an American who moved to Canada to take advantage of the impending legalization, said he hopes to change drinking culture. 

'The idea came from thinking, "Can we create something that can serve the role that alcohol serves in our society, and can we do that using this monumental sea change that is happening in our world right now?".' 

The law makes Canada only the second country to have a nationwide, legal marijuana market, after Uruguay. Pictured: A woman smoking cannabis outside Canada's parliament in April

But he admitted that it wasn't easy to create a palatable product, with the first batches of cannabis beer tasting 'horrible' and 'like rotten broccoli'. 

Eventually, however, a chemist assisted the team in finding the right mix of hops, yeast, cannabis and water. 

The end product is alcohol-free and contains no gluten. 

But it still creates a high for the drinker since it contains the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis - tetrahydrocannabinol.

Wendschuh, though, made sure to emphasize that the drink is still 'not good for you' and should only be consumed in moderation.