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These are the pot stocks to watch when it comes to the cannabis-infused beverage industry

With the infused market set to finally open in Canada in October, and Americans waiting with bated breath on the fate of the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, pot stocks are getting more bullish when it comes to their stake in the beverage industry. Even Pepsi’s CFO, Hugh Johnston, told CNBC that the company would be taking a more critical look at the cannabis industry.

[Arizona Supreme Court ruling ends a five-year argument over medical marijuana extracts]

In a market slated to be worth over $20 billion in the next few years, big beverage will not want to miss out on their opportunity to seize a piece of that paycheck. Cannabis companies now have their choice when it comes to partnerships and acquisitions, and some cannabis stocks are playing this opportunity to their advantage. Exclusive rights, experienced board members, and uniquely marketed products are all key components to what could turn out to be a very successful strategy for one or more of these cannabis stocks.

These are the cannabis stocks to watch when it comes to cannabis-infused beverages:

SOL Global boosts their stake in Jones Soda Co.

On Tuesday SOL Global (CSE:SOL) (OTCQB:SOLCF) announced that the company would be increasing its stake in Jones Soda (OTCQB:JSDA). The cannabis stock acquired over four million shares in the soda company, now giving SOL a 9.8 percent stake. There are no talks yet about whether or not this increase is related to the development of cannabis-infused beverages, but Jones Soda is already recognized in North America for their high-quality ingredients and clever branding. This would make them a great potential partner for a future collaboration and enough of a reason for cannabis investors to keep SOL Global in their back pocket.

Caliva acquires “trendy” plant-based beverage company Zola

California cannabis company Caliva announced their acquisition of Zola, a plant-based beverage company, last Friday as part of their accelerated CBD-beverage plan. Zola has retail relationships with distributors on a national level, giving Caliva the chance to roll out their new beverage line fairly quickly.

[Football legend Joe Montana has made his second big investment in a marijuana company]

“I am excited to leverage Caliva’s expertise, consumer insights, and technology to create a portfolio of delicious and functional hemp-based CBD beverages,” said Caliva CEO Chris Cuvelier in a statement to MSN.

Since the company procured an over-subscribed Series A funding of $75 million earlier this year, Caliva has been moving quickly to grow their portfolio and get products onto shelves. The company already has some of California’s top 2018 brands in pre-rolls, vapes, and flower, and they are looking at entering the beverage market with products like sparkling water, teas, cold brew coffee, and a line of sports drinks, which will give them a competitive edge that cannabis investors should take note of.

Vertical Wellness looking to list on Nasdaq by the third quarter

Vertical Wellness, a hemp spinoff of integrated cannabis producer Vertical Companies, is anticipated to list on the Nasdaq later this year after Vertical raised $58 million in their Series A funding. Bloomberg reported in April that the company intended to raise an additional $50 million for Vertical Wellness’ uplisting.

“The consumer market is thirsty for this,” Vertical CEO Smoke Wallin told Bloomberg, noting that uplisting Vertical Wellness, a hemp-only company, will give investors a chance to get into this space without worrying about the federal prohibition on cannabis.

 

Although no official statement has been made regarding a line of hemp-based beverages, it is not out of the realm of possibility. Smoke Wallin is a former chairman of Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, and he helped grow National Wine & Spirits into a billion dollar company during his career. Investors should note that Wallin’s intimate experience with the beverage industry makes it very likely that CBD-infused beverages are on his radar. Uplisting on the Nasdaq will only further legitimize Vertical Wellness’ spot in the CBD industry as a serious contender, and investors will want to be ready if and when a new line of products is announced.

PURA holds the sole license for Kali-Extracts’ Cannabis Extraction Process

In Thursday’s management update, PURA (OTC:PURA) discussed the company’s latest merger and acquisition strategy. PURA expects the CBD beverages to “lead the way” when it comes to the exponential growth of the CBD industry over the next two years, and they have been working with Kali-Extracts (OTC:KALY) to research and develop different infusion processes.

PURA holds the sole license for Kali’s extraction process and will be using it to develop its upcoming lines of beverages. PURA knows the competition is tight. They note in their update that any big beverage company could learn how to infuse beverages and take over their share of the market, and their merger and acquisition strategy is their best bet at remaining competitive. The company is already fulfilling a $1.5 million beverage order for EVERx CBD Sports Water, and they are looking for distributors for their new THC-infused beverage, THC Savor.

[Will CBD be even bigger than marijuana?]

With the FDA’s public hearing on CBD, including the CBD-infused industry, starting tomorrow, Friday, May 31, all eyes will be on the cannabis industry. Investors should be smart but act quickly, looking only at the cannabis stocks with a long-term strategy in place when it comes to building a brand of infused beverages. These four cannabis companies represent all the different ways investors can make their mark, and they should make it before the market is flooded.

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