Thirsty Reporter: Cannabis Cocktails

MONK 5Bottles V Formation on Botanicals Print-H 2017
Courtesy of Monk Provisions

Los Angeles-based brand Monk Provisions, known for their drinking botanicals, will be one of the first cannabis brands to expand into alcohol.

Get ready for cannabis cocktails.

With California's new adult-use cannabis law officially in effect Jan. 1, there is sure to be an influx of people looking to dabble in the green stuff in new and different ways. Founders Aaron Burke and Melanie McGraw started Monk Provisions in 2014 after consulting for cannabis brands for several years and realizing there was a gap in the market for "infused, healthy products — especially consistently dosed products and beautiful brands,” explains McGraw. 

They launched their infused "Drinking Botanicals” in 2016, inspired by the California-healthy lifestyle. Burke says that people were craving something different when it came to edibles: “I like a cookie sometimes, but it’s not something we eat everyday and it certainly doesn't offer the communal aspects that sharing a drink with someone does.” Though Monk won't share the names of devotees, fans of the brand include Hollywood brass like the showrunner for a hit cable show and an award-winning film producer as well as actresses and actors that can be seen on primetime TV, he says.

The bottled drinks include a variety of low-dose THC- and CBD-infused elixirs, in flavors like No. 028 (a mix of turmeric, lemon and ginger) or No. 017 (made up of grapefruit, cinnamon bark and cayenne). They are made with organic and sustainably sourced super herbs, terpenes and fresh pressed juices and infused with low doses of ethically sourced California grown cannabis.

Monk’s Drinking Botanicals with THC (the psychoactive component) are available in three dosage levels:

1) 4oz bottle with 5mg THC + 5mg CBD
2) 16oz bottle with 10mg THC + 10mg CBD
3) 16oz bottle with 45mg THC only

McGraw stresses they didn’t want to create a product that only those used to the effects of THC would be interested in, saying, “We wanted a product that would be very comfortable for my mom or someone who would love to sleep a little bit better or would love to be able to switch out their wine for a healthier beverage.”  

Another plus when it comes to drinking your THC? A faster reaction time, which allows the user to be in a better position to control how much to ingest to reach their desired level of sensation. It takes many people around 90 minutes to feel the full effects of ingestible cannabis, but with Monk, you can feel the impact in about 15 minutes. Explains Burke, “Not having to wait that long does make the experience much more manageable.” (Don’t we all have a friend who talks about the one time he ate a whole pot cookie and freaked out?) The very consistent dosage makes the experience a gentle one — very similar to the feeling your body gets when drinking alcohol. “We make sure that every single bottle has the same dosage, because a lot of people are afraid of the inconsistency or the unpredictability,” says McGraw.

In 2018, the brand plans to expand its offerings to include craft cocktails infused with premium alcohol like vodka, whiskey and tequila. The team is even working on a tap version, to be enjoyed in bars and restaurants throughout California. Although the duo is still looking for the right spirits partner, their goal is clear: tasty cocktails that are approachable and gentle.

Monk THC and CBD products are available in dispensaries throughout California, including Cornerstone, Herb (delivery) and LAPCG, at $30 for a five-pack of 4 oz. bottles.