Talk about an all-American dude: Dan Anglin, a U.S. Marine Corps vet, served in Desert Storm from 1988-1992, then worked in the Colorado General Assembly drafting senate bills. Then he founded a public relations firm with clients that include firearms manufacturers and the American Kennel Club. Although he plans on voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson this time around, Anglin is a staunch Republican who believes the government should "stay out of my life, my business, and my home."
And, get this: he's now the founder and CEO of Americanna, a THC-infused candy manufacturer with red, white and blue branding and an über-patriotic moniker, the antithesis of the counterculture image many cannabis companies strive to cultivate. His journey in the cannabis industry started when edibles manufacturer Edipure, which was fighting proposed legislation barred manufacturers of infused products from mimicking trademarked food packaging, asked for his help.
"I wasn't interested," Anglin tells Civilized, "because I was working on firearms and a lot of legit organizations. I was worried that getting involved in marijuana would destroy my lobbying career. So I put a big number on the table. But then they paid it. It got my attention."
Americanna creates gummy in shape of cannabis leaf
Anglin understands why people are afraid of candy-like infused products that could appeal to children, but he says the solution is not to eliminate them from the marketplace.
"I think we did a fairly good job of fighting the Smart Colorado folks on their desire to eliminate candy from marijuana offerings, but why I ended up leaving was that I felt the marijuana industry should address these concerns people have, that there's confusion when you take edibles out of the packaging," says Anglin, who became a partner in 2014, but left Edipure in April 2015. "When you take it out of the package, the parents don't know whether the kids have regular candy or marijuana candy."
As you'd expect from a former military man, the founder of Americanna is a stickler for compliance. "Strict regulation legitimizes everyone," says Anglin. "I'm a big fan of regulated marijuana operations."
The grape, watermelon, strawberry and apple gummies are sold in childproof containers, and each one is shaped like a pot leaf, making sure there's no confusion about what they are. He says it's the first gummy in Colorado that would meet proposed new rules for edible cannabis products.
"[It's] taken 6 months to get the product on the market," says Anglin. "We can guarantee, to a micro-litre, exactly how much THC is on each piece of candy based on our proprietary infusion process, with first-run, high-quality oil."
"Because we can control our raw material, we know this is high-quality oil and high-quality candy."
Anglin is hoping the quality and compliance of the product will speak for itself. "I fought for our country when we needed to liberate Kuwait, and now I'm fighting for each individual to lift the oppression of old policies created in an era where the science wasn't there, and public opinion wasn't there."
"This is about freedom," says Anglin. "It's about the right of adult consumers to make the choice of what type of product they want to consume, whether it's beer, wine or marijuana. It should be up to the person as an adult. They should have that freedom, and not go to jail or lose their job."