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Hemp beverage company creates alcohol alternative

Plift is a new hemp-infused beverage company committed to creating safer alternatives to alcohol. The effects are psychoactive, with 4 MG delta-9 THC per 12-ounce can. Plift’s drinks taste similar to a soda, and come in both tart lime and crisp ginger flavors.

“It's a letter short of the word ‘uplift’ because we want people to find themselves with our product and so all that's missing is you,” explains Plift Co-founder Todd Harris.

Harris, who was born and raised in Minnesota, says he was inspired to create Plift after witnessing the effects of alcoholism on his community. Both of Harris’ parents were victims of alcoholism. Harris says he started making connections between alcohol and systemic oppression.

“In this country people have easier access to poison - alcohol - than they do to fresh vegetables,” he said. “ I understand supply chain - I understand all of that. But if we're truly about making people people well and better, why wouldn't we be doing more as a society to break those systemic chains that adversely impact Black, brown, and underrepresented communities?”

Harris says the company’s mission is to increase the accessibility of hemp’s beneficial effects without putting communities in harm's way. He says Plift is committed to rewriting the narrative that alcohol is the only way to enjoy oneself. That’s why they decided to create a hemp beverage rather than an edible; social gatherings are naturally associated with beverages. He says the tart lime and crisp ginger flavors are inspired by cocktails.

“We wanted to play on that notion of familiar flavor, familiar format, in a 12 ounce can that could be that replacement for alcohol,” said Harris. “I've gotten text messages and calls and direct messages on Instagram saying, ‘Hey, you've helped me kick alcohol;’ and ‘Your product is giving me something other than alcohol when I'm out in social settings.’ So there's nothing more gratifying than seeing the mission and why you're doing something actually come to fruition.”

Plift beverages are sold at a variety of Twin Cities restaurants, bars and liquor stores, including Surdyk’s, Dark Horse Bar and Red Wagon Pizza.

Note: An earlier version of this story stated Harris' father's cause of death was alcoholism. That was not the case and the script has been updated to reflect that.

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