The so-called green rush is in full swing and CBD-infused drinks seem to be the next Big Thing. With several companies recently announcing plans to create CBD beverages, the competition is already ramping up.
Enter Tempo, a beverage company that came on the scene in 2017 via a successful Kickstarter campaign. The company is headed up by founder Ryan Crane, and it originally got off the ground with a line of unsweetened sparkling energy drinks in matcha, black, and hibiscus tea varieties.
But the company has since expanded its reach into the world of cannabis-infused beverages. When it comes to their new CBD bevies, Tempo is keeping things simple. Their CBD-infused offerings include wellness shots (only available in stores) and a raspberry-and-lime flavored sparkling matcha which is now available for purchase online.
These products are targeted at busy, health-conscious individuals who expect high-quality ingredients that do more than quench thirst. To that end, Tempo isn’t interested in simply adding CBD to already existing sugary beverages:
“We’re all about the possibilities for innovation in the better-for-you beverage category,” said Crane in a statement. “While interest in cannabis-infused beverages has been surging for a while now, we saw an opportunity to take a more purposeful, clean, and functional approach and create a beverage packed with superfoods that is simultaneously convenient for the active, on-the-go professional,” he added.
Tempo’s infused sparkling teas feature a craft blend of brewed teas, fruits, and spices that provide additional benefits.
Tempo has designed its sparkling matcha beverage to provide a kick of energy together with a balanced sense of calm. To achieve this, it blends 25mg of water-soluble CBD and 25mg of natural caffeine with freshly brewed matcha from Japan.
But Crane understands that, in the CBD industry, promises of high-quality ingredients aren’t enough. So to cultivate the trust of customers, and to keep them coming back, Tempo has put company transparency front and center, making third party testing readily available to customers. Explains Crane:
“With this line, we wanted to make sure that our customers can trust the quality of our products, which is why each can has a QR code on the label that takes you directly to the third-party testing and lab results for that product.”
With the lack of government oversight in the CBD industry, the importance of this kind of voluntary adherence to high standards of transparency can’t be overrated. And the company takes a strict “no-claims” policy to its advertising. That means that customers won’t see over-the-top promises of what Tempo will do for them.
However, even with companies like Tempo taking responsibility for self-regulation, there are lots of unresolved questions around the future use of CBD as an additive to foods and beverages. Most significantly for companies like Tempo, the FDA has yet to decide whether CBD isolate will even be allowed as a food additive.
This may seem odd since the 2018 Farm Bill explicitly legalized CBD in the US. But when it comes to CBD regulation, things are rarely as simple as they seem. The question at stake here revolves primarily around what the FDA will deem an appropriate use for CBD isolate, which the agency approved as a medicine for epilepsy (Epidiolex) in 2018.
In response to the uncertainty, states are taking a patchwork approach to regulating CBD in food and drink. Because of this, Tempo has decided not to ship to ten states which have taken a less-than-friendly stance on the substance. So for the present, residents of Delaware, DC, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Utah are out of luck.
But Tempo is plunging forward with its product line. And during the current COVID-19 crisis, the Chicago-based company is taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to supporting their community:
“Our goal has always been to help hard-working people stay focused and energized during the day, and with the current pandemic unfolding across the world, we’re turning our attention to the people on the front lines,” explains Crane.
So currently, for every purchase of a Tempo beverage, the brand is donating 10 percent of sales to the University of Chicago Medicine COVID-19 Response Fund. The fund supports the health care workers providing essential care, as well as the adult and pediatric patients and families who are affected.