In Los Angeles, medical marijuana dispensaries outnumber Starbucks and McDonald’s restaurants combined. And now the city is embracing a new mood-altering beverage with a cannabis-oriented marketing campaign. (A big thanks to Eliot S from the windy city).
Southern California has become the bestselling market for Mary Jane’s Relaxing Soda, a sugary drink laced with kava, a South Pacific root purported to have sedative properties. Matt Moody, the nutritional supplement developer who created the beverage, said the name is an unabashed reference to weed, though the relaxant compounds in kava are chemically unrelated to those in marijuana.
Along with drinks like Slow Cow and Ex Chill, Mary Jane’s is part of a new group of so-called slow-down or anti-energy drinks. They rely on folk-medicine sedatives, including kava, camomile and valerian, to provide an alternative to caffeine-laced and jitter-inducing energy drinks such as Red Bull. These ‘relaxation’ drinks have become popular fodder for food bloggers, with some calling Mary Jane’s ‘weed in a bottle’.
Nathan Scholl, a waiter at a Santa Monica restaurant, said he’s ‘hooked’ on the cola-coloured liquid, which comes packed in a clear 12oz bottle with a blue label. “I drink it after a long day. It takes five or 10 minutes to sink in and then I feel relaxed and slightly euphoric,” he said.