We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Thever and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial, problem-solving spirit. I often find myself looking for ways to do things better or differently. I think I got my entrepreneurial drive from my parents, who always encouraged me to take risks and follow my passions. My parents took the risk of leaving their home countries and immigrating to America at a young age in order to pursue a life here in the US. I think that adventurous, open-minded spirit lives in me.
I started Lift Seltzer when I realized that there is a need in the market for approachable, low-dose cannabis beverages. A couple of years ago I cut alcohol out of my routine and I quickly became aware of how central of a role alcohol played in my social life. Hanging out with friends always revolved around having drinks at a bar or drinks with dinner, etc. I missed the behavior of consuming an alcoholic beverage socially, so I decided to look for alternatives. Cannabis seemed to be a viable option, but at that time, the selection of cannabis drinks was relatively limited and centered around high-dose consumption. I needed something that actually tasted good with a much lower THC dose that I could sip in the same way I would drink an alcoholic beverage, and the concept for Lift Seltzer was born.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Lift Seltzer makes microdosed cannabis-infused sparkling beverages. Our drinks are infused with a mild dose of THC and a balanced amount of CBD, making our drinks sessionable, so the consumer can control his or her own experience. Lift Seltzer is perfect for people who want to lightly partake in cannabis socially or people who are interested in trying cannabis and need an easy entry point. It helps that our drinks simply taste great too. Each Lift Seltzer has 2mg THC and 6mg CBD for a mild buzz, similar in strength to a beer or glass of wine. Our drinks have no alcohol – just cannabis. As opposed to traditional cannabis edibles, which might take an hour or longer for you to feel the effects, our beverages are fast acting, so you can expect to feel the initial effects in about 10 minutes. You can have a couple Lift Seltzers, get an uplifting, mild buzz, and wake up the next day with no hangover. Our drinks are only 30 calories, and we use natural flavors and a touch of organic agave nectar. We launched in 2021 in San Diego and have since expanded in California.
The cannabis industry is an exciting one and it is constantly evolving, so staying nimble is critically important. Every day there are new, interesting challenges, especially being such a nascent field. The most challenging aspect of this industry is the fragmented nature of legal status across the US. Cannabis is fully legal in some states and fully illegal in other states. While the pendulum is swinging toward federal legalization, we are not there yet and it is going to take collaborative work between all players in the industry to achieve that goal.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego is an amazing and diverse city with so much to offer. If my best friend was visiting, we would definitely visit some of my favorite spots:
Morning: The best way to start the day is with a morning surf session at Scripps.
Breakfast: After working up an appetite in the water, we would grab a low-key breakfast at Breakfast Republic or Kono’s.
Lunch: You can’t go wrong with tacos from Oscars in Pacific Beach.
Drinks: We’d class things up and visit Raised by Wolves in the UTC area. They make excellent cocktails and mocktails.
Dinner: My favorite dinner spot is Sushi Ota. In my opinion, sitting at the sushi bar and letting the sushi chef provide recommendations throughout the meal is the way to go.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It’s going to be impossible to capture a comprehensive list of everyone I’d like to shout out for helping or believing in me me along the way. I wouldn’t have had the courage to pursue my dreams if it wasn’t for the unrelenting encouragement of my family. My fiancee Melissa always has my back. My good friend Brent is always there to lend an alternative perspective. I’ve also had the good fortune of having great friends, supervisors, colleagues, and mentors along the way.