I first met Matt McGinn in the sprawling, farming town of Woodland, California near the location of the cannabis beverage packaging company that he utilizes named Spacestation. Matt struck me immediately as a brilliant young man with a ready smile and firm handshake. He was not new to the beverage business, having sold his coffee company in the recent past in Minneapolis. He took his profits and moved to the West Coast to become a star in the cannabis beverage industry.
California is a far cry from the Midwest. This direction that he created in this nascent industry of cannabis beverages would certainly change the way people imbibe their cannabis. His cannabis infused products really got my attention with their bold packaging and high THC content-100mg, which is more than any other RTD (Ready To Drink) cannabis infused beverage.
I wanted to taste it and experience what his Instagram site shows as something different and delicious that really works.
Matt was not and is not satisfied with only getting his customers just a little bit stoned, far from! He is focusing on the legacy user of cannabis by not just “micro-dosing” the beverage with 2.5mg of THC for an entire can.
His invention, Uncle Arnie’s drink remix packs a full one hundred milligrams of high-quality, Vertosa cannabis emulsion engineering into each small bottle. Sure, you can divide these little bottles into ten servings at ten milligrams each, but where is the fun in that? This is a very adult beverage for the person who wants to feel something when they drink an Uncle Arnie.
They want to get lit up!
A bit of background into cannabis infused libations. I could never understand why some bartenders from my former life in the on and off premise liquor business would attempt to up-charge their guests with CBD. They would do this by dribbling a scant few drops of (unknown provenance) CBD into their craft cocktails. Of course, adding CBD to alcohol does nothing at all but lighten the drinker’s pocket, who probably doesn’t know any better to begin with.
Adding CBD to a craft cocktail doesn’t get you stoned, and it never will. And the strength of the alcohol negates any healing that the bartender is babbling on about, before charging you a minimum, ten dollar up-charge for the miniscule portion of what is really just snake oil.
Ask me what I think about snake oil!
Matt’s cannabis beverage on the other hand clearly gets you really blasted in a really fun way. They contain THC! Even if you were to drink just a quarter of the small bottle, you’ll have a clearly satisfying occasion. Think of his THC infused beverage as a journey to the center of the earth. The core of the earth being your mind and the very center of this core, is what little remains of your brain as it shatters into a billion pieces.
Take it slow when drinking Uncle Arnie’s. You don’t have to be a hero and drink the entire bottle the first time out, especially if you are new to cannabis edibles and drinkables.
Think of Uncle Arnie as you would a healing elixir from the early apothecary shop. It’s meant to take the edge off and fix what ails ye.
Matt has created something marvelous that tastes best drizzled over a few cubes of hand-cut ice with a splash or two of both freshly squeezed lime and orange juices. A mocktail that behaves exactly as you would surmise. With a massive kick.
I haven’t been writing about THC beverages, or any beverages at all. Matt’s story is really different than many of the forces at work in the cannabis RTD space. His beverage was not created by some Madison Avenue advertising agency. Far from. He’s a young guy with deep talent and the guts to do something that no one has done prior. That is put a spin on a classic, home-spun beverage in a way that would make Arnold Palmer blush.
Warren Bobrow/Skunk Magazine: Do you play golf? Why the Arnold Palmer?
Matt McGinn=MMG: I played as a teenager – I could hit the ball really far, but that’s about it. I had some shoulder injuries that limited my ability to play, but I’m ready to start up again. Uncle Arnie’s Iced Tea Lemonade is not related in any way to golf or Arnold Palmer – it’s a classic drink that most people like. Uncle Arnie is a distant relative and a bit of a 60s party guy!
WB/Skunk Magazine: Why a cannabis beverage with 100mg?
MMG: The majority of the California cannabis market is currently for the legacy users and they need a higher dosed product to feel even lightly medicated. For the consumer that doesn’t want that strong of an impact, there is a handy dosing gauge on the bottle, so you can make your drink exactly as strong as you like.
WB/Skunk Magazine: What are your six and twelve month goals?
MMG: New flavors are coming, and we are working hard to increase our regional and national footprint in legal markets.
WB/Skunk Magazine: Favorite food? Drink? Favorite food memory?
MMG: Chocolate Chip Pancakes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! YUM! My drink of choice is Seltzer Water with juice – the more bubbles the better. My favorite food memory is the mouthwatering food from Smoke in the Pit, a BBQ joint in Minneapolis.
WB/Skunk Magazine: What is your passion?
MMG: I am passionate about bringing affordable and legal cannabis to the masses and making it more accessible for every consumer.
– Matt McGinn