Yerba Mate & Cannabis: A Mixture Blooming from Uruguay to the World
Uruguay’s signature Mate drink is getting an unusual makeover, manufacturers are combining the herb-infused tea with Cannabis. For the record, the Latin American nation was the first country in the world to legalize Cannabis completely since December 2013.
Mate producer and CEO of BCBD Rodrigo Puentes, claimed this beverage “will merge Cannabis into the local culture”. Identified with the country and its culture, this new invention is being built thanks to that first step that Uruguay took towards legalization, opening new possibilities for countless business projects.
With no psychoactive effects (like coffee for instance), does not have THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) but it has a high concentration of CBD or Cannabidiol as well, which is the medicinal component of Marijuana. This stimulates the central nervous system, therefore it helps with diseases or ailments such as headaches, pain, fatigue and depression, even in Parkinson and Cancer patients.
Last July it was launched publicly for sale, the Public Health Ministry authorized its distribution. Consentina and La Abuelita are the most recognizable brand names in the market, it will cost approximately 200 ($U) Uruguayan Pesos (about six US dollars) at 1 kilo (2,20 pounds). The bag will have an identifiable leaf as a badge.
The Marijuana-mixed tea contains only two percent of Cannabis, creators claim that it will provide a feeling of calmness for regular Mate drinkers. They also said that it doesn’t have the secondary reactions that can cause discomfort or gastric issues in non-frequent consumers, in fact CBD (Cannabidiol) gets rid of all these symptoms.
Following their steps, brands like French giant Pernod Ricard expressed their interest in this type of market, while Constellation Brands (owners of the famous beer Corona) confirmed the investment of $4 billion dollars into Canopy Growth, for Cannabis-infused drinks and other products. Competition is about to get fierce.