Weed Drinks

Cheers to 2024: The Year of the Weed Drink

Episode 223

Show Notes

A Toast to Cannabis Beverages

Celebrate the new year with our most popular episode of 2023: WEED DRINKS! If your curiosity about cannabis-infused beverages was piqued in 2023, this episode might just convince you to try one in 2024. Join us for this special episode filled with insights, stories, and celebrations as we kick off the new year with a toast to cannabis beverages, which are legally available in more than 40 states!

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Ellen Scanlon (00:00):

This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.


Support for How To Do The Pot comes from Cann. Cann is a social tonic: drinkable, delicious cannabis that’s as bubbly, refreshing, and sociable as your favorite cocktail, but hold the booze. Use promo code, DOTHEPOT for 20% off when you visit drinkcann.com. That’s drink, C-A-N-N.

Xander Shepherd (00:42):

It is an introduction to those who are skeptical. It is a way for people who are more habitual consumers to bring their love and appreciation for how cannabis makes them feel into places and spaces more discreetly, that allows them to participate in those social settings with their preferred feeling, and that doesn’t have to always be alcohol.

Ellen Scanlon (01:07):

Welcome to How To Do The Pot, a podcast helping you feel confident about cannabis. I’m your host, Ellen Scanlon.


You just heard from Xander Shepherd, the California-based founder of the non-alcoholic aperitif and cannabis cocktail company, Artet. Happy New Year. I hope you’ll indulge me with a little reflection. How To Do The Pot had a big 2023. We hit over 400,000 downloads. Thank you for listening. And we released some of our most popular series ever about weed drinks, sex and cannabis, and menopause 101. In 2023, how to Do The Pot also won two Signal Awards. The Signal Awards honor and celebrate the people and content that raise the bar for podcasting. The show won two gold awards, the highest honor, in the best advice and how-to category, and in the best conversation starter category. Signal Gold Award winners this year include podcasts like The Light with Michelle Obama and Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I am very honored to be in their company. Whether you told a friend about the show, reposted a new episode on social media, signed up for our newsletter, or just listened consistently, thank you.


When I started the podcast, it was because I was learning so much about cannabis that I knew would help other women. I wanted to make the show a discreet, easy, and fun way to learn about this amazing plant. Today, where three out of four women live in a state with legal cannabis, there is still stigma and a complicated history around people who consume it. Cannabis has transformed my life, from bringing relief to symptoms of endometriosis, to lowering stress, to helping me sleep better. I hope that all our episodes help you feel more confident whenever you’re ready to bring cannabis into your life, for health, for wellbeing, or for fun. Thank you so much for your support of How To Do The Pot. And today, to celebrate the new year, here is our most popular episode of 2023.


Today’s episode is all about why weed drinks are catching on so fast. It’s a big deal that you don’t have to buy them at a dispensary, which can be a barrier for a lot of people who are just looking to dabble in weed. Low-dose cannabis is also becoming more popular with parents, and we’ll dive into what that means for weed drinks too. Since the pandemic, the idea of choosing not to drink alcohol for physical or mental health reasons has really been catching on. Polls show that 35% of Americans say they want to drink less this year, and choosing not to drink at all is gaining momentum, especially with younger generations. Xander Shepherd shares how feeling left out of a family gathering inspired him to think beyond alcohol.

Xander Shepherd (04:47):

One of the primary things I love about cannabis beverages is how seamlessly and elegantly it can fit into the social settings that we all hold near and dear to our hearts. My cousins, who are my business partners, and I set out to create Artet specifically with the goal in mind of creating a cannabis product that we could bring to our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. We were freezing, smoking a joint in Vermont, while our whole family was inside drinking wine, getting drunk, having fun, being merry. And we felt like there was, due to cultural perceptions, format challenges, and smoke, barriers to allowing our family to understand the benefits of cannabis, and then also allowing us to enjoy cannabis and be present in those moments that we all love.

Ellen Scanlon (05:30):

Weed drinks are popping up that not only look like a bottle of nice wine, a local craft beer, or a cute can of sparkling water. They are meant to be consumed like them too. One intention behind weed drinks is simple. Like a bottle of wine, you can bring it to a party or as a gift for your host. Since my friends all know I work in weed, that is usually a gift I bring when I’m invited to someone’s house. Often I’ll bring low-dose edibles, which are always a big hit. I make sure to tell people to start by cutting the edible in half, wait an hour or more to feel the effects, and do not take another one. Recently, I’ve started gifting weed drinks instead.


Since I usually drink them at home, lounge around, and then go to bed, I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t give very good instructions to a friend. I dropped off a four pack of Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops, a weed drink with five milligrams of THC and five milligrams of CBD. It’s one of my favorite California beverage brands, but the cans look just like beers, and my friend drank the whole can. She and her husband went out right afterwards with their kids to a local theater production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She was very gracious and told me that they had fun, everything was fine, but that the drink was stronger than she expected.


Parenting and weed is a big topic. We have a sex episode that talks about parenting, episode 190, and it’s literally our most popular episode ever. Drinking weed is a new way to consume cannabis for most people. It will help to practice in a low-stakes place, so you can feel prepared for whatever situation you decide to step into. Do you set limits for drinking around your children? Are you comfortable having a glass of wine or a drink around your kids? If you’re considering a weed drink, maybe experiment when kids are not around while you figure out the dose that feels comfortable for you. Start with a half a can of whatever weed drink you try and work up to what feels best. Lisa Hurwitz, the co-founder of cannabis beverage brand Happi, explains how she used her own experience as a busy mom and executive, and someone who doesn’t want to drink a lot of alcohol, to create a new kind of transition from work to play.

Lisa Hurwitz (08:24):

I have two teenage boys. In the afternoons, sometimes transitioning between work and evening is really tough for me. It always has been in my whole career, but that transition time was really what we thought about in designing Happi Glow. How do I end my workday? How do I transition into my evening routine in a way that calms me down but doesn’t make me groggy or sleepy? So I want to go take a nap on the couch. I can still focus on my kids and their homework and their activities and whatnot, but I don’t feel like I’m going to get angry or snap at any moment. I’m just more mellowed out, but focused.

Ellen Scanlon (09:01):

These take the edge off. Microdosed products do not create a heavy high. I’m hearing from more and more moms who really feel supported by weed drinks at the end of a long day, a little lighter during bath time, or a bit more patient if your child refuses to go to bed. California-based Jamie Evans, the founder of Herbacée, a non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused rosé, shares why she thinks weed beverages are catching on so quickly.

Jamie Evans (09:35):

Cannabis beverages are more discreet and socially acceptable compared to smoking. And with the new low-dose options that are now available, we can really have this sessionable experience, which is comparable to alcohol, but with none of the negative side effects.

Ellen Scanlon (09:52):

I want to emphasize Jamie’s point. No negative side effects means no hangover. Not getting hungover is one of the reasons a lot of people have switched from alcohol to weed, and many people choose edibles. But it only takes about one second to pop an edible in your mouth, which is fun, but doesn’t help replace the social dynamics of having a drink in your hand. Lisa Hurwitz talks about the evolution of consuming cannabis socially.

Lisa Hurwitz (10:27):

Cigarettes are a thing of the past, so pot smoke and cannabis smoke in those same environments are not particularly well received. The challenge with edibles is it’s not social. There’s nothing for you to sip while your friends are having a glass of wine or a beverage. It takes an hour to kick in so you don’t know what your tolerance might be, and cannabis beverages solve for all of that, which is really exciting.

Ellen Scanlon (10:50):

Until recently, a very small percentage of people even knew that drinking weed was a thing. And now, cannabis beverages are a fast-growing part of the industry with a big advantage in the market. So, what happened? It all started when the Minnesota state legislature passed a law allowing the sale of products containing low-dose THC. Lisa explains more.

Lisa Hurwitz (11:21):

Minnesota really turned the cannabis beverage category on its head a bit. What they did was pass some legislation over the summer, which allowed cannabis beverages under five milligrams of THC derived from hemp to be sold at bars and restaurants and in establishments that you would expect out of a beverage. And I think one of the challenges in the adult use space right now is dispensaries are not where people go to buy beverages. They go to grocery stores, they go to convenience stores, they go to liquor stores, they go to bars and restaurants, and it’s a social experience.

Ellen Scanlon (11:55):

Until now, there has been no interstate commerce of cannabis allowed. The weed grown in a legal state had to be sold only in that state. The Minnesota loophole has opened a national market. This change makes cannabis drinks easier to sell and to distribute compared to any other type of weed. If you’re over 21, you’re not doing anything wrong if you order a four-pack of weed drinks to your house. It is legal to buy and ship these low dose cannabis beverages to nearly 40 states. If you’re confused, I understand. And as they say, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.


Ken Burns’ documentary about alcohol prohibition blew my mind, and I recommend it if you haven’t seen it. Alcohol was prohibited in the US for 13 years. When prohibition was repealed in 1933, each state got to decide the rules of sales and distribution. As you know, alcohol is legal in all 50 states, and yet still, today, in some states, you can’t buy alcohol on Sundays in others. You can’t buy alcohol at a grocery store. It’s only available at a liquor store. And this patchwork of quirky laws in different states is probably what we can look forward to with cannabis. Weed drinks offer people not just a new way to consume cannabis. They are also creating an alternative in our alcohol-heavy culture. Lisa shares more.

Lisa Hurwitz (13:52):

If you think about how our culture has been built around this socialization of the alcohol moment, there’s sporting events, there’s concerts, there’s festivals. All of those are places where a beverage would be so much more natural as part of what you would want to do than any of the other formats of cannabis.

Ellen Scanlon (14:12):

If you’ve listened to our Women, Money, and Power episode, episode 183, you’ll remember Wendy Berger. She is the Illinois based CEO of WBS Equities, and a board director of Green Thumb Industries, a publicly traded cannabis company. Wendy is an early and successful investor in cannabis and she sees a lot of opportunity in the beverage category.

Wendy Berger (14:38):

We are all used to having something in our hand at all times a day. A tea or coffee mug in the morning, some kind of juice or energy drink throughout the day, something in the afternoon, socially a cup of anything out at night. And so this notion of being in the same place with the people you are with, but not having to have alcohols. If I’m at a dinner party and I want to have a cannabis-infused beverage, I don’t how often if I was smoking have one hit, go outside, have one hit, and come back to the dinner table again.

Ellen Scanlon (15:10):

Cannabis beverages are meant to enhance your experience. They feel modern, and there is something timeless about sitting down with a nice glass of something.

Wendy Berger (15:23):

Beverages are my favorite way to consume, hands down, because it satisfies so many different things. It’s a visual, it’s taste, it’s the longevity. It’s not just one bite. There are some edibles that I absolutely love and I sometimes jokingly say, “I want the one bite of infused and nine bites of non-infused.” Cannabis-infused beverages, out of the park home run on a fun factor. The packaging, labeling, everything is fun.

Ellen Scanlon (15:58):

Okay, so there’s the fun factor and the timeless idea of drinking. Will weed drinks really replace alcohol for some people? Xander thinks so.

Xander Shepherd (16:09):

For me, that is one of the things that I love most, that cannabis frees people up from the perspective that all social settings have to inherently be alcoholic, that there can be a future state where to socialize, to party, to be with friends, to be with family over dinner, can be alcohol, can be non-alcohol, and can be non-alcohol, cannabis infused. And that is where I get really excited when I think about this format and what it means for the future of socializing and being present in places with friends and family and all the things that we hold near and dear to our hearts.

Ellen Scanlon (16:43):

Weed drinks can allow you to stay social while consuming cannabis in an easy and fun way, and Xander believes this is only the beginning.

Xander Shepherd (16:53):

As regulations continue to evolve and people become a little bit more aware of cannabis beverages, you will see people starting to figure this out for themselves in the same way that we have all collectively, over many, many years, figured out how to pair alcohol with social experiences that tend to center around conversation, friendship, and food.

Ellen Scanlon (17:15):

The future of weed is exciting to think about, and the present is a little confusing. The patchwork of state and local laws. The criminal justice issues. Don’t forget, 40,000 people are still in prison for cannabis crimes in the US. And right now, in Texas, for example, cannabis is illegal, and you can buy a low-dose weed drink in a bar. The idea that two things can be true at once can be hard to wrap your head around when it comes to the legalization of cannabis.


Alcohol prohibition lasted for 13 years and it ended in 1933. I think we can agree that since that time, alcohol has been seamlessly woven into the fabric of families, holidays, and celebrations. Let’s consider cannabis. It has been illegal for over 80 years, so it has made a lot of sense to keep your consumption private. But modern, legal weed is here, and drinking weeded is a sign of how far we’ve come. Cannabis may have been consumed for thousands of years, but the small daily rituals around it are still new to lots of people, and that is why our show exists: to help teach you how to do it.


I have a request. I would love to hear from you. Have you tried weed drinks? And what do you think? Tell me if you’ve opened and shared a can, made a mocktail, or had a weed beverage with friends. What other questions do you have about them? Please send a voice note to hi@dothepot.com or DM @DoThePot.


Thank you for listening to How To Do The Pot. For lots more information and past episodes, visit dothepot.com. Are you one of the thousands of people who love How To Do The Pot’s newsletter? If you’re not getting it, please sign up at dothepot.com. And if you like How To Do The Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It really helps people find the show. Thank you to writer Joanna Sokolowski and producers Maddie Fair and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and stay tuned for more of How To Do The Pot.




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