Our story, sipped straight from our founders.
It seems natural to start our first HighTide article with an explanation of who we are, what we have created, and, more importantly, why we think the world needs HighTide.
Let’s start at the beginning. Our names are Shea Coakley and Josh Grab. We’re a couple of best friends, fathers, and husbands who met doing what we love most — building brands and getting behind things we truly believe in. Through the years, we developed a strong bond together professionally and personally that allowed us to be open and honest with each other about our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. (We also think we’re the funniest people in the world, we might just like each other because nobody else agrees). We believe these candid conversations together are our greatest strength as partners, and eventually, one of these everyday kickbacks led to the idea of a cannabis beverage — both of which we have some history working with (shocker, we know).
HighTide’s Bromantic Beginning
Originally, we met working on the release of a coffee company — Shea being the founder, and Josh working on marketing strategy. It makes sense, with both our passion and expertise in the beverage industry spanning decades both personally and professionally. After graduating from Ecto Cooler and Jolt Cola, we began a slightly more sophisticated journey of seeking out liquid flavors with depth and complexity. From coffee to beer, wine to kombucha, we have been consistently working on or personally enjoying bottled moments of culinary joy.
In addition to expanding our pallet, we found that the right beverage could be a catalyst for all kinds of different functions. Health, energy, relaxation, immunity, and a litany of other benefits can be improved with one simple beverage focusing on our body’s needs. When comparing this to other beverages we’ve sampled all too well, we began to realize that we were consuming far too many things our bodies did not need, all in the name of having a good time. Still, with no real benefit other than a hazy night we wouldn’t likely remember—surely, there has to be something better out there.
The Start of Our Cannabis Beverage
As the years started to pile on, we became disenchanted with the broken promises some beverages are said to provide, namely, alcohol. Beverages promising social lubrication often fell short or left us forgetting the cherished moments in between. The idea seed of infusing cannabis into a craft beverage was planted, only to sprout a half-decade after the original thought was watered.
As founders of multiple start-ups and self-proclaimed sociologists, we’ve come to know that timing is everything. This country is only beginning its process of destigmatization and decriminalization of cannabis use, and, say what you will about the checkered history of cannabis prohibition, but remember there was a time when alcohol was prohibited, too. It’s only within the last 5-10 years when marijuana became legal in various states that its societal use earned more acceptance. As the memories of ‘reefer madness’ culture and the ‘brain on drugs’ commercials start to fade, a new era of exploration has begun leading people to find cannabis as an important piece of mental and social health.
HighTide, Why Now?
In 2023, cannabis beverages only make up about 1.2% of total cannabis sales. That number is predicted to climb around 25% when the dust settles and legislation passes. We think the reason for this is simple. Beverages are the best avenue for social cannabis. Drinks are something we share in communion. They lack the dangerous chemicals and lung harm produced by traditional smoke inhalation and allow us to combine a sophisticated culinary experience with our relaxation method of choice — all in a way healthy and natural to our bodies. Simply put, beverages are the future of cannabis consumption.
It’s only fitting to begin our journey with the world’s most beloved and ubiquitous cocktail, the margarita. The funny thing about the margarita is that its natural home is in a chain restaurant in the Midwest and a fancy nightclub in Manhattan. It’s a beverage that screams, “I’m here to have fun, to be social, and momentarily let the cares of the world melt away.” However, with alcohol, margaritas turn from “I’m here to have fun.” to “What the hell is going on.” pretty quickly… which leads us to the difference our cannabis-infused margaritas bring.
What Makes HighTide Special
HighTide is, however, meant for tuning in and not checking out. We believe cannabis can enhance the experience of doing things we love with the people we care about the most. We believe that a can of HighTide can help unlock a deep conversation or give you a pause to simply take in the night sky and the beauty the world provides us. Whether your preference is to sit around a campfire with great friends or curl up on the couch with your favorite movie, HighTide stands for relaxation and connectivity to the present moment.
We sincerely hope you enjoy HighTide as much as we have enjoyed making it. Our goal isn’t to solve world hunger or cure illness. We are just two friends hoping to be the starting point for millions of micro-moments of happiness and joy. After all, what else is life all about? So come on over and take a sip with us. Let’s kick back and enjoy the good times we’ll always remember.