By Denise Dicks
The term “munchies” is often synonymous with marijuana usage, but with THC-infused edibles, one can have the high and eat it too. Edibles range from savory to sweet, with traditional favorites ranging from brownies and cookies to gourmet chocolates. For those inclined to savor, and enhance, their beverages, companies such as Washington-based Mirth Provisions, offer sparkling beverages with locally grown cannabis extract. In California, wine lovers don’t have to choose between Bacchus’ signature libation and an edible, Mary Jane Wines already produces cannabis table wine.
While many who partake in cannabis-infused edibles enjoy a standard sugary baked good or candy, individuals using edibles as a source of medicine may not want to partake in sugar-laden fare. Those on special diets due to celiac disease, diabetes, chemotherapy, or those who eschew desserts in order to be more healthy, are creating demand for gluten-free, sugar-free, chemical-free options.
Molly Poiset of Cheffettes is one such source with her gourmet, cannabis-infused, artisanal, low dosage, gluten-free edibles. In 2013, Poiset won second place in the “best edible” category at Cannabis Cup Seattle for her gold and frankincense white chocolate truffles. According to Poiset, “This was the first entry (ever) in the history of the High Times Cannabis Cup to have a French-inspired artisanal chocolate that was less than 10 milligrams of THC per truffle.”
As a French trained pastry chef, chocolatier and cannabissier™, Poiset believes even though creating gluten-free desserts is a challenge, “food is a science and an art and each recipe needs its own special formulation and accurate kitchen testing to create the desired outcomes.”
For those looking for tasty, yet healthy, alternatives that are both gluten free and vegan, Edipure and Venice Cookie Co. offer two options. Edipure’s apricots are particularly good for those undergoing chemotherapy as the dried fruit is high in Vitamin A, potassium and antioxidants. Venice Cookie Co., with its award winning line of products, offers a grape-flavored beverage that replaces sugar with stevia, thereby making it an option for those abstaining from sugar.
Future for Infusion
In a time when juice cleanses and sugar-free diets are becoming more popular, the demand for gluten-free items is particularly robust. The gluten-free food industry has grown from $5.4 billion to $8.8 billion in two years, with a 20 percent increase in 2015. Coupled with the cannabis industry’s rapid growth, this could be primetime for investors to look to these businesses ready to bloom.
A tangible overall example of the lucrative nature of the legalized marijuana industry, Colorado may have faced scrutiny, but the proof lies in the numbers. According to The Cannabist, Colorado’s marijuana industry brought in almost $68 million in tax revenue in 2014. In specific regards to edibles, companies in Colorado had to move to more spacious facilities in order to keep up with consumer demand.
While Colorado momentarily considered banning marijuana-infused edibles, current efforts to improve labeling are underway. This will help prevent people from accidentally ingesting, or ingesting too much, of an edible. Once more standard regulations are in place, the possibilities for cooking with cannabis can be crafted, pleasing all involved—health conscious consumers, businesses that create infused edibles and the investors who support their endeavors.