Melissa Etheridge is famous for many things: Her grammy award-winning singing career, her gravely-voiced alt-rock with a message, her status as a gay icon, and now, pot wine. Or as it is called for legal purposes, wine tincture (we'll spare you the legalese, but there are strict rules regulating how pot products are labeled). Right now Etheridge has about 90 cases of the stuff, which she’s helping to make in partnership with a medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Cruz, California. She hopes it will reduce the stigma around pot in a state where it remains illegal for recreational purposes (although there are groups working to bring it up for a vote in 2016).
With the growing interest in legal marijuana there are many new products hitting the market, but Etheridge's stands out. Instead of using the normal THC extraction method—heating with butter, oil or some other liquid—pot wine relies on cold extraction. In an article about the rise of pot wine in California, James Beard Foundation Award winner Michael Steinberger explains that the process basically involves dropping a pound of pot into wine as it’s fermenting. We would like to note that edibles and drinkables have definitely hit the mainstream if JBF award winners are writing about them.
Etheridge’s wine (tincture) is available for purchase legally in California for those with a prescription. Right now, as she told CBS, the venture is a passion project, but she hopes to up production as pot laws get looser.
So what's it like to drink the stuff? “You feel a little buzzed from the alcohol, then get a delicious full body buzz,” she says. Maybe just enough to get you belting "Come to My Window" at the top of your lungs.