Arizona tea partnering with marijuana company

Lawsuit Filed Against Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Law Regarding Traffic Stops

The company behind the U.S.'s leading iced tea brand is getting into the cannabis business. Companies such as Corona brewer Constellation Brands Inc. and Coors Light brewer Molson Coors Brewing Co. are developing marijuana-laced drinks in Canada but waiting for cannabis to be federally legal before bringing them to the U.S.

Under the deal, Arizona will also have the right to buy a $10 million stake in Dixie.

Details will be finalized within forty-five days, but under a binding letter of intent signed August 2 and announced this morning, Dixie will be granted a license to employ AriZona's trademarks, branding, and other intellectual property. This could have the effect of giving them a first-mover advantage should the USA federal government ever legalize marijuana nationwide.

According to Don Vultaggio, chairman of privately owned AriZona Beverages, "The cannabis market is an important emerging category, and we've maintained our independence as a private business to be positioned to lead and seize generation-defining opportunities exactly like this one". Although there are many risks, the beverage company is willing to take the risk, being one of the first big American brands to leap into the marijuana market.

The three-year partnership will produce a variety of THC-infused products under the AriZona name, starting with vape pens and gummies, Dixie CEO Chuck Smith said in a news release.

"In the beverage space, if you drink alcohol you know what happens when you have a couple of glasses of wine ... and we want to be able to mimic that experience as close as possible", Smith told INN.

He goes on to say that the Cannabis category is an ideal place for AriZona to expand its fun and flavor profiles by expanding into exciting new products.

As part of the agreement, Dixie Brands will develop, formulate, manufacture and distribute a portfolio of AriZona-branded THC products, the companies said. Last year, Heineken's Lagunitas debuted a marijuana-infused sparkling-water beverage in California.

In the US, 11 states legalized recreational marijuana, with medical marijuana legal in over 30.

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