Controversy over new, lightly pot-infused soda, California Dreamin'

California Dreamin' is new, slightly marijuana-infused soda that's spurring debate

CBS San Francisco

OAKLAND -- With more and more businesses looking to capitalize on California's legalization of recreational marijuana, a company is trying to market a new pot-infused soda as an alternative to drinking alcohol, reports CBS San Francisco. The Seven City Beverage Company claims the product includes the right amount of THC to produce a mild high.

But while creators and distributors are thinking green when it comes to profits, some medical professionals see plenty of red flags.

The new soda start-up calls its beverage California Dreamin'. The company aims for the drink to become an alternative to alcohol -- without the hangover. The company's motto: California Dream' is a "cannabis-infused soda for a light social high."

"The market is ever-changing. There are so many products and options," explained Jennifer Jordan, Director of Operations for Oakland pot shop and delivery service Diamond Bonsai. "On a busy day we have about 10 different vendors who call us and offer products."

Jordan's dispensary was one of the first to carry California Dreamin'.

"A lot of the drinks that are on the market are 100 milligrams and for people who smoke or who are used to THC," said Jordan. "It's not only natural and has a delicious flavor, but it's 10 milligrams, so it's a low-dose. It's not intimidating to anyone, so you can casually drink it"

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland pediatrician Noemi Spinazzi is concerned kids could easily mistake it for regular soda. She told CBS San Fransicso studies have proven marijuana isn't safe for the developing brain.

"It makes me worried that products that look so enticing can be so easily available in someone's home," said Spinazzi. "They may not recognize the difference in the flavor and drinking as much or as little as they feel like drinking. And truly, we do see children in our emergency room come in with marijuana intoxication, typically because they got their hands on products that were left unsupervised."

Jordan understands the concern. She says there are California packaging and labeling requirements to make sure these products are childproof and don't get in the wrong hands.

She also said it is important for adults to drink the new soda responsibly.