Hashade, a tasty cannabis lemonade produced by Red Run Cannabis Company in Kenai, took top honors for the Best Infused Drink category in this year’s Alaska Cannabist Readers’ Choice Awards. Produced and bottled by Red Run Cannabis Company in Kenai, this THC-infused beverage has dominated the small but growing drinkables market in Alaska since it first hit stores in the spring of 2019.
Hashade is currently available in lemonade, strawberry-lemonade and blueberry-lemonade flavors, and an application for raspberry-lemonade is awaiting approval from state regulators. Red Run, which also operates a standard cannabis cultivation, cannabis extraction facility and retail store, is currently doing research and development for several new lemonade-based flavors: peach mango, watermelon, black cherry-lime and pina colada.
Ryan Walker, Red Run’s lead extractor and the inventor of Hashade, spoke to Alaska Cannabist on the phone last month while he was driving back to Kenai after a delivery run to Fairbanks. Walker said he’s excited about the new Hashade flavors and continues to experiment with even more exotic taste combinations.
“Anything I can put juice in, at this point, I can make into a good product that people are going to like. Every single flavor that I make, everyone’s in love with, so I’m pretty confident about being able to keep making good product.”
Walker said he and his co-workers at Red Run are “basically working around the clock” to keep up with demand.
“We practically pre-sell out every single batch before it’s even made. Seven days a week and 10 to 20 hours a day, we’re just continuously trying to keep up and satisfy the market,” Walker said.
Each 8 oz. bottle of Hashade contains 10 servings, and each serving contains of 5 mg of THC. Plans are in the works for a condensed version of Hashade that will contain 50 mg of THC in a 2-ounce “shooter” bottle, similar to the popular 5-hour Energy shot beverage.
Hashade is a mixture of cannabis oil concentrate, organic lemon juice, stevia, water, glycerine and MCT oil, and all flavors are made with fresh fruit or juice and do not contain artificial flavoring or preservatives. That commitment to purity is at the core of the company’s mission, according to Red Run co-owner Marc Tyler.
“The reason Ryan and I and our whole team are here and we hit it off is because we make products that we would want to use ourselves. The philosophy across the board with Red Run is that our products are supplements and they’re sacraments. They’re healthy. We look at all of this a completely different way. Every single edible product is minimally processed, every single ingredient is organic, non-GMO and well-sourced from super good places that use mindful practices. Even our oils are produced mindfully. We’re not adding anything that’s garbage, especially sugars or fillers or anything that doesn’t have a good reason to be there.”
Tyler said the unexpected popularity of Hashade has presented some challenges, one of which is acquiring the needed raw materials on a timely basis. For instance, one batch of strawberry Hashade requires 800 pounds of fresh strawberries, all of which are crushed and reduced by the Red Run staff.
“We definitely like the fresh strawberries because they’re just outstanding, they’re great, but we’ll probably move to do a half fruit and half juice mixture to make it easier. It’s not really easy to get 800 pounds of strawberries like clockwork up here,” he said.
Tyler said he and his crew are were surprised but happy to learn about Hashade’s Readers’ Choice win.
“Our crew is so busy that we don’t even have time to look up from a lot of things and aren’t evened tuned into what’s going on outside our little realm,” he said. “We don’t get into the competitions and awards, so we don’t really put much emphasis on it.
“We know what we do, and we know where we’re at with stuff and what we’re trying to do, and so it’s never been a thing for us. But that said, what is pretty nice about winning this award here is that it was the people’s choice, and they are the ones that made it happen.”
Contact Alaska Cannabist writer Dorothy Chomicz at 907-459-7582 or at dchomicz@AlaskaCannabist.com