Eric Schnell says he doesn’t believe that “cannabis is a gateway to doing coke.” But he hopes that “one day Coke will be a gateway to cannabis.”

Schnell, co-founder of ready-to-drink tea brand Steaz, is looking to bring consumers one step closer to that potential future with his newest venture: Mood33, a cannabis-infused sparkling tonic. Developed under BeyondBrands, a beverage incubator and accelerator Schnell co-founded in 2016, Mood33 launched earlier this year with a party on April 20 and began selling in California dispensaries on June 1.

The project is led by 33 Brands Mgmt principal owner Michael Christopher. Speaking with BevNET this week, Christopher said the goal for the brand is to build a “next generation” cannabis-infused beverage line that can become a pioneering brand in the category.

Along with Schnell, Christopher is working with a team of industry veterans which includes includes former Whole Foods VP of grocery Errol Schweizer, former MillerCoors digital director Mark Edwards, and former GT’s Living Foods head of marketing Jeremy Adams.

Each Mood33 SKU contains 10mg of THC per 12 oz. bottle, which gives the consumer a 1-2 hour long “high,” which Schnell said was formulated to be mild enough that an individual can steadily drink two or three in a night. Flavors include Joy (Yerba Mate, Peppermint, and Lemon Peel), Passion (Green Tea, Passionfruit, Lime, and 2.5mg of CBD), and Calm (Chamomille, Hibiscus, Raspberry, and 5mg of CBD). Each single-serving bottle contains retails between $7.99-$8.99.

Christopher first began developing a non-psychoactive hemp-based beverage in 2015 with CBD-infused tonic brand Loft. However, federal regulatory issues and a lack of investors halted development, so when California and several other states voted to legalize recreational cannabis use in the 2016 U.S. elections, Christopher pivoted to developing a THC-based product.

“California passing their adult

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