New cannabis beverages hit the Canadian market to meet rising demand

 

Are you looking for something new in cannabis-infused beverages to sip while enjoying the warm summer months?

Canadian beverage companies Truss Beverage Co. and Entourage Health Corp.are both introducing new product lines to meet the growing demand for cannabis-infused drinks.

Truss is significantly expanding its portfolio with 15 new cannabis beverages for summer, based on consumer-driven insights for lower sugar and more high-dose beverages.

“When developing our offerings, we tapped into summer beverage trends and formats that are already familiar to consumers,” says Lori Hatcher, Head of Commercial at Truss Beverage Co. “The Little Victory Celtzer is a cannabis-infused (non-alcoholic) twist on the classic summer seltzer with zero sugar and zero calories, while the new additions to the Bedfellows portfolio were inspired by traditional radlers, pale-ales and sours, and are the first of their kind in Canada.”

Entourage Health has also announced the Canadian debut of a new line of cannabis-infused ice tea beverages: ‘TeaPot.’ The beverage is being crafted in partnership with The Boston Beer Company, maker of iconic, high-quality brands such as Samuel Adams, Truly Hard Seltzer and Twisted Tea.

“We congratulate our partners at The Boston Beer Company on the exciting launch of TeaPot – a unique iced tea crafted with natural flavours and infused with our most distinguished cultivars that we expect will land as the best cannabis-infused beverages in Canada,” says George Scorsis, CEO and Executive Chairman, Entourage.

According to recent report from Headset Retail Data, the Canadian cannabis-infused beverage market share has increased by nearly 850 percent since 2020, making it nearly twice the size of the size of the U.S. cannabis beverage market.

“Consumers are looking for other adult-beverage options to alcohol, particularly for social occasions, and are turning to cannabis beverages as a great alternative,” said Dave Schlosser, President and CEO of Truss Beverage Co. “With many eager to get out and socialize this summer, this is a critical time for the category and we’re excited to see where it takes the business.

Truss Beverage Co. will continue to release new products at authorized local cannabis stores and online retailers, with product availability differing per province.

Find the latest must-read stories from the cannabis world at canadianevergreen.com, your go-to source for news, trends, products and lifestyle inspiration from the cannabis community and beyond. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.

All hail Caesar! Kelowna’s first Caesar Week around the corner

 

Registration fees have been waived this year

Time to get your drink on! Caesar Week is coming to Kelowna July 3-10.

Co-founder Mik Parent is in Winnipeg where Caesar Week started after events like Burger Week and Taco Week found great success.

There is usually a $200 registration fee for restaurants. Though since this is the first year the event will be happening in Kelowna, it’s a free ride.

“Basically what they do, is [restaurants] pay us a registration fee, and with that we spend that, our entire budget is spent towards marketing,” Parent said. “That goes to promoted ads on Instagram, promoted all through Facebook, radio ads, time with local news, and newspapers as well just to try to get the word out there to drive the public.”

Parent says 11 bars and restaurants have registered in Kelowna.

Parent noted there are no requirements in making the caesar, you just have to have one on the menu. “They have the choice to either register a caesar that they have already on their existing menu or they have the option of also creating a feature caesar to feature during Caesar Week in hopes to be crowned as Kelowna’s Best Caesar.”

During Caesar Week, locals can go to the website to find the caesar map with all registered restaurants.

Voting will take place online with categories for best overall, best spice, best garnish, and best rimmer.

Registration is still open. Sign up or learn more at caesarweek.com.

Heat pump might help B.C. residents save utility costs, but do your research first

Unit can eliminate need for air conditioner, reduce your household’s environmental footprint

Susie Rieder, a spokeswoman for BC Hydro, who uses a heat pump to heat and cool her Burnaby, B.C. home, is shown in a handout photo.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Susie Rieder

As energy prices soar and consumers look for ways to save on their utility bills, experts say Canadians should consider whether installing a heat pump could be part of the solution.

A heat pump is an electrically driven device that looks a bit like an air conditioner and can be used for both heating and cooling.

In the winter, an air-source heat pump extracts heat from the outside (there is always some heat in the air, even on a cold day) and “pumps” it inside. In summer, the cycle is reversed and the heat pump takes heat out of the indoor air and moves it outside.

The technology, which has been around for a long time, can make for an energy-efficient alternative to other types of home heating systems, such as a natural gas furnace or electric baseboards.

It can also eliminate the need for a conventional air conditioner and reduce your household’s environmental footprint if you’re replacing a heating unit that uses natural gas, propane or furnace oil.

“Heat pumps are great because they provide that year-round, efficient cooling in the summer and heating in the winter,” said Susie Rieder, a spokeswoman for BC Hydro who uses a heat pump at her own Burnaby, B.C. townhouse.

Rieder, who relied on electric baseboards before getting a heat pump, says her heating bills have declined about 40 per cent since making the switch. In addition, her heat pump negates the need for a separate air conditioning system.

“The summers are getting hotter,” Rieder said. “Especially in places like the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, you see a lot of people using those portable air conditioners – which can be pretty inefficient and costly. So getting a heat pump installed can really be helpful there as well.”

Many public utilities, such as BC Hydro, are encouraging heat pump adoption as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and many homeowners who have made the switch say they’ll never go back.

But in general, Canadian adoption has been slow. According to Natural Resources Canada, there are only about 700,000 installed air-source heat pumps in this country. By contrast, 35 per cent of Canadian households, or 5.1 million homes, are currently heated with natural gas furnaces.

A recent survey by BC Hydro found a general lack of knowledge among homeowners about heat pumps, with almost a quarter of British Columbians saying they are unlikely to consider installing a heat pump and 30 per cent of those respondents saying the reason is because they do not know enough about the devices.

Part of the problem is that earlier iterations of heat pumps weren’t necessarily compatible with the Canadian climate. Because the ability of a heat pump to extract heat from the air declines as the temperature falls, having a backup heat source for harsh winters was often a necessity.

However, that’s changed in recent years as heat pump technology has advanced. Geoff Sharman, residential product manager, HVAC, for Mitsubishi Electric Canada, said certain types of heat pumps can now work in temperatures as low as -30 C. (Consumers can also choose ground-source heat pumps, which are more efficient in Canada because they take advantage of warmer and more stable ground temperatures, Natural Resources Canada says.)

“The heat pump market is growing,” Sharman said. “Really, (heat pumps) can provide heating for almost any-sized structure in Canada now. And as natural gas prices may rise in the future … a heat pump can be a good way to go.”

The upfront cost of a heat pump can be intimidating, with the average cost to buy and install a system being about $7,000 for small homes and about $16,000 for larger homes, according to BC Hydro. Experts say the exact type and size of heat pump you’ll need will depend on the size of your home, the climate where you live, how well your home is insulated and other factors.

In the same way, how much you might expect to save on your energy bills also varies depending on your local climate, what type of heating/cooling system you currently use, and what size and type of heat pump you buy. There are many online calculators, including one on the Natural Resources Canada website, that can help you estimate your potential cost savings.

Homeowners who make the switch to an electric heat pump from fossil fuel heating (natural gas, propane or oil) can also be eligible for rebates from the federal government, their local utility or province, or their municipality.

BC Hydro, for example, offers up to $3,000 in rebates for switching from a fossil fuel-based system, which can be combined with provincial and federal rebates for a total savings of up to $11,000 on heat pump cost and installation.

“You do need to get a professional involved,” Sharman said. “With all the rebates, you may end up paying only 15 to 20 per cent of what your system is worth. Who knows? But you do need that professional to go in there, size it all up, and tell you what programs are applicable to the product you’re looking at.”

Edmonton homeowner Shelly Robichaud, who replaced her gas furnace with an electric heat pump a couple of years ago, made the decision largely out of a desire to get her house off of natural gas.

She and her husband also have solar panels on their roof and produce their own electricity, with the result being that they’re marginally “net positive” on their yearly heating and electricity bills. (Last year, they actually made a $300 profit by selling the excess electricity they generate back onto the grid).

“I have been an environmentalist for as long as I can remember, so honestly that was the major factor in doing this,” Robichaud said. “You can come out ahead (financially), though.”

“I think with heat pumps, like everything else, people are afraid of new technology,” Robichaud added. “It takes the early adopters to go ahead with it first, and then others follow.”

Considering a ‘workation’ destination? Meet Victoria!

People from across the globe with a pent-up desire to travel – but still constrained by daily deadlines – should consider B.C.’s capital when looking for a working getaway, according to a new report.

Victoria has been ranked the sixth-best city in the world to take a “workation” in a report from Icelandair Wellness Travel.

Frequent travel can help people feel seven per cent happier as they get to switch up their surroundings, the report said.

And while the pandemic thrust the possibilities of the remote work into the open, it also highlighted the importance of personal well-being.

With borders reopening, combining work and travel is a great way to make the most of remote work, while also prioritizing mental and physical health, the travel company said.

That’s why Icelandair, Iceland’s flagship airline, analyzed more than 100 cities to find the best wellness workation spots.

Victoria was only outdone by Kansas City, U.S.; Vienna, Austria; Wellington, New Zealand; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Edinburgh, U.K.

Kelowna was ranked at 15th spot and was the only other Canadian city to make the list.

The report looked at several factors to compile its workcation list, including: overall quality of life, cost of living, safety, health care and noise and air pollution.

Since travellers would be working virtually, the report also had to look at the cities’ internet speed and capability.

Get Moving with Your Community this June

Download the ParticipACTION app, track your activity + help your community compete to win $100K!

Getting active is a great way to enjoy the early summer season and reconnect with others. To encourage Canadians to get moving with their communities, ParticipACTION – a non-profit charitable organization committed to supporting Canadians in getting active – is challenging every community in British Columbia to participate in the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge.

The Community Better Challenge is an annual physical activity initiative designed to create social connections by getting communities active together.

Increased physical activity offers many benefits, including improved mood, increased energy and reduced feelings of stress and worry, but you don’t need to run a marathon to experience these benefits. Just 15 minutes a day of physical activity can make a difference for your physical and mental health, and every minute tracked on the free ParticipACTION app counts toward your community’s total for the challenge.

“It’s important that we get active not only for our physical health, but also our mental health,” says ParticipACTION CEO, Elio Antunes. “The Community Better Challenge offers Canadians a great way to reconnect with their local community while also providing a chance to win the grand prize that will support physical activity and sport initiatives in the community.”

In Kamloops, B.C., the Kamloops Immigrant Services (KIS) Community Connections Program exemplifies the positive impact of physical activity, especially how it can bring us together. They’re a Saputo Signature Grant recipient, receiving additional funding from Saputo – a proud sponsor of the Community Better Challenge – to expand and strengthen its program.

KIS helps newcomers grow into full and equal members of Canadian society, supporting their integration into Canadian life and hosting weekly activities to foster social connection in the community. The funding will allow KIS to offer additional programming to help participants get active through inclusive community-based activities like yoga in the park, hikes featuring cultural activities, family soccer night and a canoe course.

The Community Better Challenge runs June 1 to 30, and all communities and individuals are welcome to participate for a chance to earn the title of Canada’s Most Active Community and win $100,000 to support local physical activity initiatives.

In addition to the national grand prize winner, there will also be prizes for the most active community in each province and territory. Plus, you can also win prizes for tracking your activity throughout June on the free ParticipACTION app or joining local Community Better Challenge activities!

The ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge is proudly supported by the Government of Canada and Saputo. Learn more about the challenge on ParticipACTION’s website.

 

Environment Canada warns of heavy rain for parts of northern B.C., flood watch posted

 

Rainfall warnings issued for North and South Peace River regions

 

A rainfall warning has been issued for the North and South Peace River regions as the weather office says rainfall of up to 50 millimetres is expected between Friday and late Saturday.

Forecasters say total rainfall could reach 60 to 80 mm near Hudson’s Hope and Chetwynd before downpours ease to showers as the storm moves on.

The warning says heavy rainfall on top of pre-existing saturated soils can make the situation worse and raise the risk of localized flooding.

The River Forecast Centre has upgraded a high streamflow advisory to a flood watch for the Peace Region, advising that waterways could reach levels only experienced once a decade as rain combines with ongoing snowmelt.

The centre says conditions are expected to peak by Sunday and it is maintaining a high streamflow advisory for the Bulkley River and its tributaries in northwestern B.C., as rain and snowmelt push those waterways to two- to five-year flows before their expected peak early Sunday.