USA – Caliva, an integrated cannabis company has announced that it has acquired plant-based beverage maker Zola to expand its cannabis- and hemp-based drinks category.

The acquisition gives Caliva distribution access to major retailers and positions the company to capitalize on a nationwide roll out of infused beverages.

Zola will keep its brand identity and Caliva gains Zola’s distribution network for their own product releases down the pike.

Headquartered in California, Caliva has more than 500 dispensaries and expects to capitalize on the deal by rolling out infused beverages in the market.

The firm is exploring entering the infused beverage market in several categories, including sparkling water, functional shots, functional powders, teas, cold brew coffee and sports drinks.

“We believe hemp-based CBD is the ultimate plant-based ingredient and that beverages offer a unique way to deliver the many health and wellness benefits of CBD,” said Zola CEO Chris Cuvelier.

“I am excited to leverage Caliva’s expertise, consumer insights and technology to create a portfolio of delicious and functional hemp-based CBD beverages.”

Zola’s portfolio of plant-based beverages is available in various retail locations nationwide, including conventional grocery stores, natural foods and specialty markets, and quick serve restaurants.

As part of the deal, Zola CEO Chris Cuvelier will oversee and execute beverage initiatives at Caliva.

With the deal, Calivia will leverage on Zola’s key relationships with distributors, ranging from regional to national, enabling the launch of hCBD beverages in target markets.

“Consumers are looking for trusted CBD solutions in their beverages,” said Dennis O’Malley, CEO of Caliva.

“We couldn’t be more excited to team up with Zola and Chris to bring Caliva CBD beverages to a supermarket near you.”

Manufacturers are betting on the rise of cannabis infused beverages, a trend that has seen the advent of products such as Keef Cola and newer products including Mood 33 and Lagunitas’ HiFi Hops.

Market research firm Brightfield Group predicts the hemp CBD market is growing at a “breath-taking pace” and could be worth US$22 billion by 2022.