A top local wine executive said Thursday said that the lines between the wine industry and the cannabis are increasingly blurring with more companies poised to enter the market as legalization at the federal level appears inevitable.
Terry Wheatley, president of Vintage Wine Estates of Santa Rosa, said that wine companies are increasingly noting the market, especially in the cannabis drink sector where there was $421 million in sales last year and is projected to reach $1 billion by 2025.
“There are so many similarities between wine and weed. The similarities are real,” Wheatley said at the annual Wine and Weed Symposium held at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa.
Besides her role at Vintage Wine Estates, which recently became a publicly traded company, Wheatley is also on the board of directors of CannaCraft, the Santa Rosa-based firm that processes cannabis into oils, drinks and food products and distributes them to licensed dispensaries.
Vintage Wine Estates is working an beverage that would be infused with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which provides psychoactive effects of the plant, but that is contingent upon federal legalization. “We also have said we have a very high interest in the CBD market,” Wheatley added.
That was a reference to the component of cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound in the plant that provides pain relief but does not get a user high, and those ingredients can be found in products in retail shelves in supermarkets.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.