‘It Hits You Very Quickly’: Canada Brews First Cannabis Beer

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'It hits you very quickly': Canada brews first cannabis beer Entrepreneurs across the country are racing to capitalise on drug’s legalisation The logo of Province Brands, the startup behind the new beer. Photograph: Province Brands Ashifa Kassam in Belleville

Scientists in a small Ontario laboratory are testing enzymes and experimenting with fermentation. Their techniques are not new, but their focus is a first. They are developing what is being described as the world’s first beer brewed from cannabis.

Most cannabis beers on the market are brewed from barley and infused with marijuana oil, according to Dooma Wendschuh of Province Brands, the Toronto startup behind the product. “That’s not what we do. Our beer is brewed from the stalks, stem and roots of the cannabis plant.”

It is a story playing out across Canada as entrepreneurs race to secure a foothold in what is expected to be a multibillion-dollar market. The country will become the second in the world to legalise marijuana for recreational use on 17 October.

Edibles are expected to become legal a year later, paving the way for cannabis-infused products ranging from brownies to honey. At Canopy Growth, North America’s first publicly traded cannabis company, researchers are developing a line of cannabis-infused cocktails.

Pointing to Colorado, where the legalisation of marijuana has led to a boom in edibles, analysts estimate that marijuana-related products and services could eventually be worth between C$12bn and C$22bn (£7bn and £13bn) in Canada.

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