Marijuana-infused sodas blow up … literally

When Top Shelf Cannabis bought marijuana-infused pomegranate soda for their store, they may have been worried about their profit margins or that the new product might not sell. The retail dispensary in Bellingham, Washington, however, couldn’t have expected the product to disappear in the way that it did. That is, with a bang.

Zack Henifin, the dispensary’s manager, told a Washington state television station it sounded like a shotgun going off when the first one burst. That’s right, the first one. According to the news report, hundreds of bottles exploded at Top Shelf and two other Washington state dispensaries.

After he felt how unstable the remaining bottles were, Henifin put them in a cardboard box that he called the “bomb box”. He showed news camera’s the box, housed in a locked dumpster, that contained the remaining bottle. The box showed obvious damage.

“You could actually feel it.” Henifin said. “It was actually that explosive.”

Mirth Provisions, the makers of the “pot pop”, explained the problem as one of too much yeast.

“It was simply the fact that his batch had a higher yeast concentration, and one of the by-products of yeast is excess carbon dioxide.” The founder spoke with the news station by phone. He lamented that these products are new and mistakes sometimes happen.

Much like explosive devices, the remaining bottles must be destroyed and disposed of in a specific manner. Not because they’re explosive, but because they’re marijuana. The products require special handling as part of the seed-to-sale tracking program that the Washington State Liquor Control Board oversees for marijuana products.

A small controversy erupted when Top Shelf asserted that they could not destroy the products because regulations say that unsold marijuana products must be destroyed by the manufacturer. Mirth settled the issue by agreeing to disagree about who is responsible and picking up their product.

As with all new industries, the creation and sale of marijuana products has and will continue to have hiccups. Let’s just hope they don’t all explode.

This article was originally published by

Published by P. Aiden Hunt

Aiden Hunt is a creative writer and freelance journalist covering marijuana policy and other related issues. He has been published in print and online by outlets such as The Denver Post (The Cannabist),, The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine and Cronic Magazine. He is currently focused on literary creative nonfiction.

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