Every year, the National Restaurant Association surveys chefs across the country to report on the hottest trends of the year. This year, 77 percent of all those surveyed chimed in with the same answer for the top spot, and it wasn't even related to food.

According to the 2019 What's Hot Culinary Forecast, cannabis and CBD-infused drinks ranked as the number one foodservice trend for this year. And the chefs and operators surveyed for the annual report are just a small fraction of the important statistics.

In a recent article in Business Insider, they reference a Canaccord Genuity note that predicts marijuana-infused beverages could hit $600 million by 2022. Of that, CBD beverages could hit $260 million, with THC accounting for $340 million.

It's important to understand the differences.

While both substances are derived from the cannabis plant, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid that contributes to altered states, while CBD, or cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive compound that's often associated with therapeutic benefits. Depending on where someone lives or operates, either some or all of these substances may be available for medical purpose, for recreation, or both.

Essentially, our country's laws governing the use of cannabis are as varied as the people who live in our country. No matter your perspective, though, there's no doubting the significant impact the cannabis industry is having on food and beverage.

"While these trends represent a significant opportunity for US cannabis companies, they have not gone unnoticed by large mainstream beverage players looking to inject growth into their product portfolio," Canaccord's Bobby Burleson and Jonathan DeCourcey reported.

From Lagunitas' hoppy, THC water to Molson Coors investing in marijuana-infused beer to cocktail bars in Brooklyn that only serve CBD cocktails with names like the Stoney Negroni and the Rolled Fashioned, the marketplace is experiencing a massive influx of both money and creativity.

A New Type of Beverage Service Requires Innovative Beverage Equipment

From tap lines to refrigeration, Perlick has been at the forefront of beverage innovation for more than 100 years, and we're not going to stop now. Our full catalog of bar and beverage solutions can help make your service delivery easier and more profitable, whether you're serving up CBD-cider or a hand-crafted cocktail.

Check out everything we have to offer in the latest version of our BAR AND BEVERAGE GUIDE to learn more.

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