Canadian-based Province Brands has announced the appointment of Niall Phelan, co-founder of Ireland’s Rye River Brewing, as its chief operating officer, potentially paving the way for the company’s cannabis beer to be sold in Ireland.
Speaking to the Irish Times, Phelan said that the company is considering Ireland as a base for its European headquarters, which would include a production facility. Province is in talks with the IDA about suitable locations for its Irish base.
Privince was launched in 2017 and claims to be the first ‘global company’ to brew beers entirely from cannabis plant – effectively replacing barley in the production process. It has several patents regarding the brewing of beers using cannabis stems and stalks left over after the buds are sold in Canada for recreational use.
“We brew directly from the cannabis plant with no grain in it,” said Phelan. “We’re the only company in the world who can do that. We’ve effectively reinvented the brewing process.”
Province describes its products as “alcohol-free, yet highly intoxicating, and with a dose-response curve similar to that of alcohol”. It is currently illegal in Canada to mix cannabis and alcohol in a product, so all of Province’s beers are 0% ABV.
Currently, it is illegal in Ireland to sell any product that contains THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. However, it is legal on an EU level to sell products made with hemp or that contain CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical derived from the cannabis plant.