E.167 – Cannabis-Infused Non-Alcoholic Spirits ft. Darnell Smith, MXXN
On today’s episode of Lit & Lucid is Darnell Smith, Founder & CEO of MXXN. Pronounced “moon” MXXN, is a non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused spirits brand that is evolving today’s cocktail culture.
Darnell shares more about his professional background and how his experience working with companies like Diageo and Pernod Ricard, where he focused on innovation and commercialization, that provided him with the insight needed to create an infused beverage.
We learn more about MXXN’s offerings which currently include Kentucky Oak, Jalisco Agave, and London Dry which are meant to mimimic some of your favorite spirits. We chat in-depth about the benefits of having a cannabis-infused mixer available to those who would like to be part of the social scene without the need to consume alcohol.
While the infused beverage market is becoming more popular, Darnell was candid with us about some of the difficulties his brand has faced when pitching the product to dispensaries. We all agree that with more time and education this product is sure to be a mega hit across California as well as in the legal states that are including social consumption lounges in their legalization model.
NY, CO, NV, MI and beyond stay tuned! MXXN may be looking to make a drop in your state soon.
Darnell Smith is a CPG and alcohol industry veteran and cannabis entrepreneur, innovator and advocate. Smith is the founder and CEO of MXXN, a non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused spirits brand that is evolving today’s cocktail culture and disrupting the alcohol and cannabis industry. MXXN is the first product launch of MOJO Ventures, which is part of the digital + creative consultancy MOJO he founded that has done extensive work for Procter & Gamble Ventures, Barcardi’s Incubation group, Pepsico and more. Prior to founding MXXN and MOJO, Smith was a senior digital transformation lead at Infosys Consulting working with the likes of Adidas, Ralph Lauren, AB InBev, Novartis, GSK, Pfizer, AMEX and more. Prior to that, Smith worked for over a decade in various agency and client side roles focused on innovation and commercialization for the likes of Diageo and Pernod Ricard.
As a Black entrepreneur working in the cannabis industry, Smith is extremely passionate about being on the frontlines of creating a more equitable space. He is committed to working with a diverse set of vendors and supply partners within his companies and always looks to partner with organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Smith earned his Marketing degree from the University of Notre Dame, where he played football as a defensive end under legendary coach Lou Holtz.
Find Darnell on LinkedIn here and MXXN on Instagram here.