Tinley Beverage Company, maker of a line of cannabis-infused spirit and cocktail-inspired drinks, has completed work on its West Coast production facility, where it will provide turnkey co-packing services for other cannabis beverage brands.
The 20,000 square foot facility, located in Long Beach, California, includes formulation, batching and co-packing services, as well as advisory services for branding and compliance issues. Founded in Toronto in 2015, the new facility will serve as Tinley’s U.S. headquarters.
Speaking with BevNET, Tinley founder and CEO Jeffrey Maser said the facility can produce up to 12 million bottles per year and can formulate products in numerous beverage categories including coffee, tea, CSDs, flavored water, nonalcoholic wine and beer, and cocktail-style drinks. The facility can also produce in glass and plastic bottling.
“When we launched the Tinley brand, we did a pretty exhaustive search for co-packers and found that the existing cannabis beverage companies weren’t offering their lines up,” Maser told BevNET. “We found there was a very limited number of large scale beverage manufacturing facilities in the state [of California] that had cannabis licenses on them…. There was an enormous opportunity to fill that void.”
Tinley launched its line of cannabis-infused beverages in April with Tinley ‘27, a line of multi-serve spirits-styled drinks including coconut rum, cinnamon whiskey, and amaretto varieties. Each 375 mL bottle contains eight-and-a-half servings and retails for $27.99 per bottle. The company also produces a line of single-serve cannabis cocktails, including Margarita and Moscow Mule varieties, which retail for $6 per 12 oz. bottle. The products are currently available in about 30 dispensaries across California.
According to Maser, several members of the Tinley executive team have previously worked for national co-packer and distributor Cott Corporation, including director Ted Zittell who previously served as the president and managing director of Cott’s international retail brands business. Maser noted Zittell has experience developing robust co-packing services in the CSD space, which he said will translate to Tinley’s plans to expand the market for cannabis-infused beverages.
Tinley has also brought on Rick Gillis as president. Gillis previously served as president of Young’s Market Company, a West Coast alcohol distributor.
“We see an opportunity to build the Cott of cannabis,” Maser said.
According to Maser, while Tinley plans to expand the footprint for its branded products, the company’s primary focus will be growing its production services. The company has already signed contracts to produce cannabis-infused drinks for several brands and is in negotiations with six more, he said.
Tinley has also partnered with several California-based cannabis distributors to provide DSD services for beverages, Maser said. The company owns several trucks which it loans to partners and also trains distributors on beverage merchandising, including tasks such as fridge positioning, stickers, shelf layout, promotions, shopkeeper awareness, and incentives.
“Non-beverage distribution doesn’t require as high touch an approach as beverage DSD services do, so we’re helping existing cannabis distributors fill in the gaps of those extra services required for beverage so they don’t have to overhaul their fleet,” Maser said.