New Age Beverages Is In Talks With Retailers for CBD Pre-Orders

(Bloomberg) -- New Age Beverages Corp. says it’s ready to launch cannabis-based drinks this year, but a large-scale roll out won’t happen until March or April.

The company will debut its cannabidiol, or CBD, portfolio next week at the North American Convenience Store Show in Las Vegas. The company is having talks this week about pre-orders and is lining up retailers who want to be first to sell the products in states where they are legal, Chief Executive Officer Brent Willis told investors Thursday at the B. Riley FBR Consumer & Media Conference in New York.

“It’s all preparation,” Willis said. When laws are approved to legalize CBD beverages across the U.S., he believes New Age will be “the first to execute it in real scale and in a professional, responsible way and on a national basis.”

Willis sees “thousands of little players” in the CBD beverage market, but he said they don’t have the infrastructure and retail relationships that New Age does. From a technology standpoint, Willis said “it’s too early to say whether we have a competitive advantage.” And the company is working on securing the first patents on its manufacturing process.

Shares of the Torrance, California-based company rose 5.4 percent on Thursday, paring intraday gains of as much as 17 percent. The stock has surged more than five-fold over the past month.

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