Since sales began in Colorado on January 1, marijuana-infused edible products have taken the recreational pot market by storm. Currently, the rise in demand has far outpaced most of the projections from the start of this year. In fact, demand has risen so steadily that some edibles manufacturing companies, in their effort to grow with the industry, have been expanding to larger and more sophisticated facilities.
“A lot of people tell me that they’ve smoked weed before, so now they’re looking for something new and different,” said Jamie Perino, co-owner of Euflora, a Denver retail pot shop. Perino’s sales are split about 50/50 between edible and smokable products, and the store puts in new orders for edible products on a near-weekly basis — new shipments of flower and other smokable lines are only necessary every month-and-a-half, Perino told The Denver Post.
Tripp Keber, CEO of Denver’s Dixie Elixirs (Colorado’s largest manufacturer of edible products), estimates that edibles make up about 38% of total sales in Colorado’s dispensaries. Currently providing 450 of Colorado’s 593 medical marijuana dispensaries with cannabis-infused products, Dixie Elixirs is known for a variety of edibles, including cannabis-infused beverages, chocolates, and other treats.
The medibles giant also recently upgraded from a location in Stapleton to a new industrial building in Montbello, which has four times more space than their previous facilities. The company has dedicated about half of their new 47,000-square-foot industrial location to marijuana cultivation. Because bank loans are still largely unavailable to businesses in the cannabis industry, however, the company had to spend $5 million in cash to prepare the new location.
Another edibles production company, Medically Correct, has plans to upgrade from a 1,200-square-foot location to a nearby 8,000-square-foot building. The new space comes with enough space to expand production facilities for the company’s popular line of Incredibles-brand medicated chocolates in addition to, for the first time, sufficient space to actually start growing their own marijuana. Despite the upgrade, however, Medically Correct is still reportedly overwhelmed with the market’s ever-growing demand. As co-owner Bob Eschino explains, “We’re bursting at the seams. Now we think we’ve already outgrown this (new space) before we’ve even started.” There are other products we want to do but can’t come out with because we can’t even keep up with demand for chocolate.”
In addition to issues with satisfying the ever-increasing demand, edible manufacturers in Colorado must soon adjust their practices to honor the state’s updated industry regulations on edible products, which will take effect at the start of November. As per the new rules, cannabis-infused products can only be sold in individual servings containing no more than 10 milligrams of THC or in larger packages that can be easily broken down into the 10mg serving size. Additionally, single-serving products must be delivered to stores already in child-resistant packaging (currently, that responsibility falls to the retail stores actually selling the products to consumers).
Manufacturers have claimed that these new regulations will slow production rates, causing an even greater imbalance between supply and demand in the cannabis-infused edibles market.
Photo Credit: Kathleen Franklin
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