Curaleaf’s new Select Squeeze, a beverage-additive product. (from Curaleaf website)

Hoping to ride the nano-dosing trend and new access to a large number of dispensaries in a large state, last week Curaleaf introduced a beverage additive cannabis product in its ten Illinois dispensaries and in seventeen other states.

Designed for quick onset and for just five discrete milligrams into a beverage of choice, Wakefield, Mass.-based Curaleaf’s Select Squeeze is part of a series of cannabis consumption form factors designed in part to reach consumers who wouldn’t be caught dead at a head shop.

“The high itself is different,” explained Curaleaf senior vice president of manufacturing Jesse Kater, comparing fluid dripped out of the pocket-sized receptacle to alternate forms of edibles. “It’s more close to the high you would get from vaping.” 

The experience of a sample provided to Grown In was more akin to one might find in a tincture drop to the back of the tongue.

“For this product, we wanted it to be a good alternative to alcohol,” said Kater, noting that a couple drinks over time at five milligrams a pop could be akin to, “having two beers and deciding to have a third.” 

Other fast-acting edible cannabis products like 1906, developed by Henderson, Colo-based Nuka Enterprises and sold in Chicago dispensaries owned by New York-based Ascend Wellness Holdings and Columbia Care, are also marketed to consumers seeking more timeliness and predictability in their cannabis consumption. 

A patented lipid microencapsulation process developed by Nuka advertises a 20-minute onset after consuming 1906 pills and chocolates. Various strains are curated to produce alternate states of mind including Genius, Midnight, Chill, Love, Go and Bliss. 

Select Squeeze is limited to states where Curaleaf has the license to cultivate and process cannabis. In Illinois, Curaleaf took control of a Litchfield-based cultivation facility (Illinois cultivators are also licensed to process) in 2020 formerly owned by Grassroots Cannabis when it acquired the Chicago-based company’s multistate operations for $840 million. 

Select Squeeze is available now in 11 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Vermont. In the coming weeks, Select Squeeze will launch in 2 additional states including Florida and Oklahoma.

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.