A growing number of companies that service the wine industry are now pursuing opportunities in the cannabis sector, hoping to generate new revenue streams.
For marijuana businesses, that means a host of potential new ancillary companies to choose from, as well as added legitimacy from an industry that once appeared to be a potential enemy.
According to George Christie, CEO of the Wine Industry Network, wine-centric businesses and professionals that have expressed interest in the cannabis sector include:
—Farm equipment suppliers
—Labeling and packaging companies
“I was always aware that when recreational cannabis became legal, there would be a lot of opportunities for companies that already serve the wine industry,” Christie said.
“Certainly, it’s an easy segue into that industry.”
Interest pouring in
Christie tried to assist in melding the wine and cannabis sectors last year when his Healdsburg, California-based trade organization held a symposium and expo designed for businesses from both industries.
He got the idea for the one-day conference during a Wine Industry Network expo in December 2016 that featured a 60-minute session, “What Impact Will Marijuana Legalization Have On Wine Sales.”
“In the seven years of doing the conference, it was by far the most-packed session we ever had,” Christie said.
“Every seat was taken, people were standing along the walls.
“When it was done, it was very clear that we had barely scratched the surface. That prompted us to do a full-day dive into the topic.”
Wine-focused companies’ growing interest in cannabis is aided by the fact the threat of federal interference has yet to materialize.
These businesses — like Clearwater Tech of San Luis Obispo, California, for example — are increasingly at ease with cannabis.
Clearwater, whose ozone generators are used for disinfection in the wine, food, pharma