This Cannabis Seltzer Is Ready to Elevate the Way We Talk About Weed

Luke Anderson and Jake Bullock are recognized in this year's "Food & Wine" Drinks Innovators of the Year.

Luke Anderson and Jake Bullock

Maxwell Poth

The market for marijuana-infused edible goods was teeming with garishly packaged, high-dose plays on childhood staples like Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, and Kit-Kat bars in 2019. While nostalgia certainly sells (just ask any bartender how many Cosmopolitans or Appletinis they’ve whipped up in the past year), Jake Bullock and Luke Anderson, two friends who met while working as management consultants in San Francisco, sought a slightly less callow approach to cannabis. As legalization reached a turning point in states like Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts, the duo realized that there was nothing on the market that would appeal to the cautiously curious, epicurean cannabis consumer—the person who would rather drink a single-vineyard Pinot than a jug of Carlo Rossi Sweet Red. They felt these people would respond to products that actually tasted good and that also wouldn’t make them feel like sheepish teenage stoners.

To get cannabis invited to the grown-up table, first they decided to rein in the dosage. Anderson and Bullock made test runs with five, four, three, and two milligrams of THC (along with CBD, which interacts with the THC in the mix to make for a more calming and relaxing high). They soon realized that the lowest amount was the best, offering a pleasant buzz much like what you’d experience from enjoying a glass of wine or a single beer. “We knew a lower dosage would unlock the social potential,” Bullock says, adding that the effects of Cann, which they call a “social tonic,” are noticeable just 10 to 15 minutes after drinking; most other edibles on the market take effect after one or two hours, depending on your metabolism. “That kind of incremental approach is part of drinking alcohol, so that was the idea we used,” Bullock says. They wanted, essentially, to make a cannabis beverage that people would drink over time, like wine or beer. “We drink in rounds; we drink socially,” he adds.

See all of Food & Wine Drinks Innovators of the Year 2023

In the summer of 2019, Anderson and Bullock launched Cann, the first microdose THC beverage that “wouldn’t feel out of place in a Whole Foods,” as they put it, thanks to flavors such as Blood Orange Cardamom, Grapefruit Rosemary, and Lemon Lavender, which uses lemons sourced from Sicily and organic agave nectar.

“Even people who turned their nose up at the thought of a cannabis seltzer, like wine critics, have since told us things like, ‘Actually, this is the one cannabis product that I feel is legitimate enough to belong in my drink arsenal for a cocktail party.’” The surprisingly widespread appeal begs the question: Who can’t get into Cann?

Cans to Buy

Blood Orange Cardamom ($24 for six 8-oz. cans)

Blood orange juice suffuses every sip of this seltzer, and there’s no bitter, grassy taste of cannabis; this is smooth sailing with every sip.

Lemon Lavender ($24 for six 8-oz. cans)

Culinary lavender skeptics, this one’s for you. Subtle floral notes tempered by lemon zest make for a smooth, slightly herbaceous seltzer that seems destined to serve as an excellent nightcap.

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