Keef Brands Continues Expansion of Cannabis Beverage Segment: Q&A With CEO Travis Tharp

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<![CDATA[Cannabis beverages are becoming a more visible product category, particularly as dispensaries begin adding adequate cooler space for brands entering the space. For Keef Brands, which has been around for years, the evolution has been steady—moving through medical markets, allowing patients to become acquainted with the product, and then getting familiar with the burgeoning adult-use landscape in the U.S. Keef Cola originated in Boulder, Colo., in 2010, with a keen eye to the many adaptive shifts that were coming in the cannabis market. Eventually, just based on how humans interact with one another, the market would embrace cannabinoid-infused beverages. With $2.9 million in U.S. sales in Q1, according to Headset, Keef Brands makes up a large part of what remains a small (but growing) market segment.Travis Tharp was named CEO after serving as president and COO. Here, we spoke with Tharp about the state of the cannabis beverage segment and what we can expect next. Eric Sandy: What’s the current scope of Keef Brands in the U.S.? Travis Tharp: We’re currently in seven states, plus Puerto Rico, and those are Colorado, California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, Maine and Ohio. We launched our three latest markets of Ohio, Maine and Missouri in the first quarter of 2021, and we’ve been very pleased with the acceptance that those people have welcomed us to in all of these states. We’ve had really great partners in all of these, because we have to work with a manufacturer in each area. You have to set up your entire ecosystem in each state, and we’ve been very fortunate to have some wonderful partners over the years. This latest group is no exception. ES: How does Keef Brands navigates the differences between medical and adult-use markets?TT: It’s a really good question because I think it speaks to the evolution…

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