Weller Launching THC Seltzer Line With Help of Oskar Blues Founder
SOPHIE WELLS MARCH 30, 2022 10:12AMWeller's THC seltzers are made with cannabis-derived terpenes, according to the company. Terry Kishiyama
A popular line of CBD and immunity drinks is expanding into the THC seltzer trade, just in time for 4/20.
Weller, a Boulder-based beverage company, has been selling flavored seltzers and drink mixes at Colorado markets since 2018, specializing in immunity-boosting and hemp-derived CBD beverages. The company's products are currently sold in over 2,500 retail stores across 27 states, but now Weller wants in dispensaries, too.
Three new Weller seltzers, each infused with 5 milligrams of THC and CBD, are scheduled for their Colorado debut in April. According to the company, each flavor will be infused with terpenes extracted from a specific cannabis strain, with the tropical peach seltzer infused with Maui Waui, the blackberry hibiscus infused with Northern Lights and the starfruit lime infused with Blue Dream.
To help get the word out about the new drinks, Weller co-founders Matt Oscamou and John Simmons have partnered with Oskar Blues Brewery founder Dale Katechis.
“It's something that we’ve been building this brand for, to be able to partner with the best of the best,” Oscamou says. “When Dale was interested and willing to join up with us, we obviously jumped at that opportunity, because we want to build something great, just like he built with Oskar Blues.”
Dale Katechis pours an Oskar Blues beer at a festival last summer. Oskar BluesKnown as pioneer of craft beer, Katechis is considered responsible for pushing the craft beer industry toward aluminum cans in the early 2000s, among other trendsetting moves. Katechis recently sold his stake in Canarchy, the multi-brewing operation that grew from Oskar Blues to Monster Energy, although he still owns the restaurant side.
Now in another chapter of his career, Katechis sees similarities between Weller and Oskar Blues.
“What I see in Weller is a similar opportunity, in that Matt and John got out in front of the CBD game and built an exceptional brand that's been well-received across the country. My belief is that we will probably continue to see parallels to the early days of craft beer and its trajectory," he says, adding that" THC drinks could see with a similar growth pattern.”
This isn't the first cannabis partnership for Katechis, who regularly printed pot-friendly puns on his Oscar Blues canning labels. Last year he partnered with Veritas Fine Cannabis, a Colorado cannabis cultivator. In his most recent venture, however, Katechis and Weller want to open the door to new customers. Whether it's people trying to replace alcohol or don't want to smoke, Katechis and Oscamou believe the opportunity for a lifestyle change is possible through the new beverage line.
“It's all based around ensuring potency and stability, and that consumers are going to get the same quality product every single time they buy a Weller THC beverage,” Oscamou notes. “We’re trying to create something that’s a similar replacement for a beer, glass of wine or cocktail in every can.”
To achieve a mild high, Oscamou says one beverage should do the trick for novice and occasional users, whereas the more experienced might need three or four.
Weller's THC drinks will be sold in Colorado dispensary some time before April 20, the unofficial cannabis holiday, with hopes to launch in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York later this year.