MNN blogger Shea Gunther believes the future of marijuana legalization belongs to the capitalists. With marijuana slowly becoming legal across the country, “just about anyone to step in with a good executed idea and come out with millions, and even billions, of legitimately generated wealth just a few years down the road," he writes. "Many stories are yet to be told about the marijuana barons and moguls who will be minted in the coming green gold rush.”

Singer Melissa Etheridge’s new cannabis-infused wines may be part of that green gold rush. For legal reasons, the wines will be called wine tinctures, not cannabis-infused wines or weed wine, but the wines contain marijuana that has been added during the fermentation by a cold extraction process. It’s a bit like cold-steeping the cannabis in the wine while it ferments.

Right now, the tinctures are only available to people in California who have a medical marijuana prescription. She has 90 cases of the wine, and as more states approve the use of marijuana, she expects to increase production.

Traditionally, a tincture is a medicine that’s made by dissolving a drug into alcohol. Etheridge says she started using marijuana for medicinal purposes in 2004 when she was going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. Since then, she’s continued to use it “to keep stress down and keep my GI [gastrointestinal] system level.”

Her wine tincture is a way that the singer believes she can help take the social stigma away from marijuana use and make people comfortable with marijuana products, whether they’re using them recreationally or therapeutically.

Drinkers won’t get a traditional high or paranoia from Etheridge’s wine tincture. Instead, they’ll get what she calls a “full body buzz” once the drug kicks in. The cold extraction during the fermentation process makes the marijuana less psychoactive than if it had been heated at some point.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Melissa Etheridge's wine tinctures combine wine and weed
Drinkers get a “full body buzz” from the singer’s wine tinctures that are available in California to medical marijuana users.