When Michigan set its standards for adult-use cannabis beverages in January 2021, requiring manufacturers to be GMP certified and products to have shelf stability of at least three months, it cleared the way for Happi to be the first THC-infused beverage in the adult-use market.
“The reception from dispensaries has been fantastic,” Happi president Lisa Hurwitz says. “In fact, we haven’t had a single retailer say, ‘No, we just don’t want to carry it,’ because they all want to see how beverages will sell with their consumers.”
Happi is a low-dose cannabis-infused sparkling water with 2.5 milligrams of THC that has been able to court new users who want to inch their way into cannabis instead of diving headfirst into the high-potency products that are common in recreational markets.
To launch Happi, Hurwitz drew on her prior experience as the chief marketing officer for multi-state operator Grassroots Cannabis, as well as the lessons she learned while doing marketing for consumer-packaged-goods giants Proctor & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark.
“The overlap is tremendous in terms of how you think about the innovation pipeline, how you think about manufacturing, go-to-market strategy, and distribution,” Hurwitz says. “I think what I learned the most is CPG companies are really good at focusing on the consumer — who is the target consumer and who are you really going after?”