This is especially important in Minnesota, where hemp-derived beverages are available in traditional retail channels alongside alcoholic options. With the state’s recent adoption of adult-use cannabis, the state’s consumers will soon have even more options available.
Cannabis Products Insider recently spoke to Jake Bullock, CEO of Cann, about how the brand balances offering products with cannabis and hemp, the unique legal landscape in Minnesota and Cann’s performance in the North Star State.
CPI: What was Cann’s interest in the Minnesota market? When did Cann products launch in the state?
JB: We launched in Minnesota in October 2022. Minnesota is the most progressive market in the country and is leading the way by showing what a future could look like where consumers have the option to buy better-for-you, non-alcoholic drinks that don't have the same negative consequences the next day.
CPI: How would you describe the unique legal landscape in Minnesota? What is it like to operate as a brand there?
JB: Minnesota is a unique market that has done everything necessary to change the way people socialize and make sure brands like Cann are able to be integrated into consumers’ daily lives. Cann is a product that speaks to many different people, both cannabis experts and novices who are simply looking to drink less alcohol. With Minnesota’s landscape, we’re able to reach more of these audiences through different retail opportunities and educate the population on our product and mission.
CPI: How would you describe the available retail opportunities in Minnesota?
JB: The opportunity for Minnesota is really vast, and continues to grow. Unlike other states, consumers can buy THC seltzers in liquor stores, restaurants, grocery stores and other mainstream retailers, which only helps normalize THC and expand the mindsets of consumers and retailers.
CPI: How would you describe Cann’s performance in Minnesota over the last year? To what do you think it can be attributed?
JB: Cann has performed incredibly well in Minnesota since our launch last year. Sales velocity of Cann into retailers has grown more than five times (over 400%) from October 2022 to August 2023. I think the success can be attributed to the model Minnesota has in place — the accessibility the state has created has normalized cannabis consumption and opened up the spaces products like ours can be bought in.
CPI: What are some of the most popular Cann products in Minnesota?
JB: Our core Cann will always be popular in our markets, but we’re excited to continue innovating and meeting our consumers where they are. We just recently expanded our Roadies across half of the U.S., including Minnesota, and expect those to perform well as they’re ultra-pocketable liquid packets that can be brought anywhere. We’re also launching Thunder, the first cannabis-infused energy drink with all-natural caffeine from yerba mate, in Minnesota this month. We’re anticipating this will become the No. 1 drink in Minnesota as it is the only market in the U.S. where you can get this product from a dispensary.
CPI: How does Cann balance using hemp in some channels and markets and cannabis in others?
JB: How we source our active ingredients either from marijuana or hemp determines how and where we can sell our products. Similar to state level restrictions on alcohol, for example, some states allow liquor to be sold in grocery stores whereas others do not, we are able to adapt to each market.
CPI: How does Cann balance the manufacturing of both hemp and cannabis products?
JB: Our marijuana-derived products are manufactured in the specific state where they are sold. Our hemp-derived products are manufactured in a few locations across the U.S., including in Minneapolis, and can be sold across state lines.
CPI: With Minnesota’s recent adoption of adult-use cannabis, does Cann anticipate offering both cannabis and hemp products in the state?
JB: Yes! We are excited to sell in Minnesota dispensaries when legal and also include some of our higher dose products which can only be sold in dispensaries.
CPI: What would you like to see happen going forward?
JB: We’d love to see other states follow Minnesota’s model they have in place regarding products with THC. Minnesota’s landscape allows consumers access to the safest, lowest risk cannabis products in the market in the places where they might otherwise be forced to buy booze. Being able to offer products like Cann in regular retail environments such as corner stores, restaurants and grocery stores only expands consumer’s access to better for you alcohol alternatives — and clearly it’s beneficial for the individual cannabis markets at a state level.
CPI: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
JB: We’re really excited to have Cann in the hands of consumers in places they are already socializing. We’re also very excited about the expansion of our Roadies across half of the U.S. Roadies are a quick and easy way to bring the social buzz and delicious flavor of Cann anywhere you go. Whether you’re headed to a musical festival, a bar, on a hike, hitting the beach or en route to visit family for the holidays, Roadies pack the full Cann experience in a pocket-sized packet.