Arizona Beverage Co. tries to get a head start on the American weed market

Arizona Beverage Co. stakes a claim in the budding recreational marijuana industry.

The company behind Arizona Iced Tea is the latest in a long list of beverage companies to get into the weed biz, and it’s not just a new iced green tea aimed at the likes of Willy Nelson (talk about a slam dunk publicity play).

Arizona Beverage Co. has reached a licensing deal with Dixie Brands, a Denver-based cannabis company that makes and sells weed vaporizers, candies, drinks, tinctures and topicals in 5 US states.

Why the jump to Jane?

It’s all about the upper hand. Beverage giants, like Constellation Brands and Molson Coors Brewing, have inked deals with marijuana companies in Canada, but, as public companies, they have to wait for cannabis to become federally legal in the US.

As Arizona loses its strong hold on ice tea sales, the privately held company is hoping to get a head start in the US cannabis market while the public big dawgs are still on a relatively short leash.

Soon, weed heads could vape Arizona Iced Tea-HC

AZ-Bev-Co’s change to the cheeba will reportedly start with vape pens and gummies with plans to expand further if all goes well.

Speaking of “goes well”: According to the deal, if the new blaze phase proves successful, Arizona is allowed to buy a stake of up to $10m in the company.

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