How A Cannabis Beverage Migrated From The UK To Mass

“We call it the get out and do stuff edible because that CBD really balances it out.” 

Ed. Note: As we noted in a post about the hot new trends spotted at the New England Cannabis Convention this past weekend, there are a lot of awesome drinks coming on the market in 2023. With that said, some excellent beverages were already available, like Green Monké. We’ll get posts up about all of them soon enough, but with some of the new sips not even hitting refrigerated shelves until April 1, we figured it made sense to start with one that you can pour this weekend …

Green Monké started in the UK, swiftly making its way to Canada and then to the United States soon after. These days, they’re a global beverage partner for the marquee cannabis brand Cookies, with plenty going on in Mass as well.

We spoke with the company’s Northeast Region Director of Sales David Monte at the New England Cannabis Convention to learn more about their cannabis-infused soda that packs 5mg of THC and up to 10mg of CBD in each can.

“We call it the get out and do stuff edible because that CBD really balances it out,” Monte said. “Low sugar, low-calorie, vegan, gluten-free—it’s made to be approachable for everybody, replace alcohol, and [help you] go have a fun time.”

Educate us about the three flavors you have with you today—Tropical Citrus, Orange Passionfruit, and Mango Guava … 

Tropical Citrus was the original flavor, the hemp drink in the UK. They are all 5mg of THC to 10mg CBD. We also have Orange Passionfruit which is just fantastic, I think it’s like a mimosa on Easter morning, that’s pretty much what that one is all about. My favorite is the Mango Guava. It’s just fire. It’s the best; I know I’m obviously biased, but without a doubt it’s the best-tasting cannabis beverage on the East Coast.

Tell me about how Green Monké started in the UK?

Yes it did but it’s CBD only because THC is still very taboo out there. We started out there, then our North American partners and founders were tried it and loved it. It then came to the beverage industry in Canada, Toronto first. Since then, we produce in Maine, California, Massachusetts, and more states to come.

What’s it like dealing with so many different markets?

It’s night and day. The UK is a different world, it’s all very heavily federally regulated. Even on the CBD side, you have to work with their version of the FDA, and they actually just shut down any new applicants into the market. Canada is a little bit easier, it is federally legal up there so you don’t have to be so fragmented as a business. You can have one production partner and ship it all across the country, there is no state-line issue. Whereas in the US, we have to work with individual partners in each state and it makes things different, you have to be a whole lot more careful because every state has different rules.

Personally, what’s a great complement for one of these on a nice beach day?

To be honest with you, it goes great with a joint, but one of our brand ambassadors prefers a spliff, and one of the girls drinks it with blunts, they cross off all ranges of smokers. But they also go great with fruit or on the beach having a BBQ, they make a great pair with that. I brought them to a Super Bowl party. Everyone left the beers behind and just drank Green Monké because they were having just as much fun but not going to have a hangover tomorrow.