”Sheesh That’s Good!” The cleverly named Sheesh Soda (as in hashish!) has clearly been making a name for itself. The fact that it’s only available on store shelves in Ontario (expected to be hitting Alberta dispensaries in October 2023) certainly hasn’t stopped the meteoric rise of the young company. Not only is their delicious flagship product so popular that it’s hard to keep it on store shelves for very long, but it is quickly developing a reputation among industry watchers – and cannabis consumers – as the best of the best.
The recent announcement that Sheesh Soda is a finalist of the Grow Up Industry Awards (final winner to be announced at the high profile gala in Victoria, British Columbia on October 1st) is indicative of the brand’s success – especially considering Sheesh isn’t even available on shelves in the host province yet.
But, as Cannabis Business Prospect Magazine recently said in an article, “It’s impossible to try a can of Sheesh and not like it.’ Their first product, a black cherry hash cola, is different from other cannabis infused drinks on the market.
Co-founder Jackie McAskill spent over eleven years as a buyer for one of the world’s largest beverage alcohol purchasers, the LCBO where she launched many iconic wine, spirits and RTD brands into the Canadian retail space before turning her passion for the plant and eye for entrepreneurship to cannabis.
“Once I joined the cannabis industry, I couldn’t believe how many synergies existed between wine and cannabis,” she says. “Applying some key consumer wine practices to the development of our “Sheesh Soda” cannabis beverages is proving to be really successful. Increased cannabis use in former wine dominated generational segments such as Boomers and Millennials provided us with a historic benchmark. We know the cues they are looking for when shopping and consuming recreational substances.”
McAskill points out that connoisseurs of both wine and cannabis value “provenance, transparency and quality.”
“At Sheesh, we pride ourselves on knowing where the cherries are grown for the cherry juice in our beverage, we can provide consumers with strain provenance and can tell you the location and grower of the cannabis that was used,” she says. “Sheesh is the first Canadian beverage to use strain specific rosin inputs resulting in a true expression of the plant like a single varietal wine. We honor our commitment to transparency and quality by publishing our Certificate of Analysis through our Social media to showcase the purity, potency and the profile of the cannabis we use,” she says with pride.
On October 1st, McAskill and co-founder Matt Cherkas will learn whether Sheesh or one of the 8 other nominees in the Best Beverage category is the 2023 winner. According to Grow Up organizers, over 13,000 votes from industry members across the country were collected – their biggest level of participation ever. The Sheesh team will be in attendance at the important event, among other nominees including Tommy Chong of the legendary comedy duo Cheech & Chong, who will receive a Legends of Cannabis award.
With over 180 cannabis beverages selling in the Canadian market in the month of August, 2023, finding itself among only 9 finalists truly is a testament to the hard work Sheesh founders have done. It is undeniable that this first product, a premium black cherry hash cola, is a favourite in the Canadian cannabis marketplace. It will be followed soon by two new delicious beverages early in 2024.