Edible enthusiasts in Colorado are craving candy in the form of gummies like never before, according to new data released by BDS Analytics’ Greenedge market research database.
Cannabis-infused gummy candies accounted for 22 percent of edible sales in the first half of 2016, with chocolate bars coming in at 19 percent. This is a significant change from the same period in 2015, when gummy sales came in at 13 percent and chocolate bars at 26 percent.
While this shakeup might have something to do with the fact that the number of Colorado companies selling gummy edibles has gone from nine to 14 in this time (while the amount of chocolate edible companies has stayed stagnant at 18), Dan Anglin believes there’s a lot more beneath the surface of this gummy renaissance.
Anglin is the founder of THC-infused candy company Americanna, which BDS calls the fastest growing edible brand in Colorado – and these state-wide numbers don’t surprise him. He believes the runaway popularity of his company’s flagship treats – pot leaf-shaped gummies of several flavours that have been clearly stamped with the letters ‘THC’ – can be attributed to a number of factors; chief of which is the ever-heightening quality of gummy edibles.
Quality of gummies is improving
“I think the primary reason for [this jump] is that the quality of the products are getting better. When the industry first started, you could really infuse anything and people would buy it, simply because there just wasn’t availability of a lot of products,” said Anglin, adding that his company uses “one of the world’s largest and best gummy manufacturers” to make their products, and has developed a process for consistent infusion that is “down to the microliter.”
“At the beginning of legalization, the consumer wanted the biggest bang for their buck, something with the most amount of marijuana for [a certain] amount of money, but the consumer has matured just like the industry has matured, so now the consumer is more discretionary. They’re looking for quality ingredients and taste and they want to eat a whole serving of something while still getting the same clean high.”
Anglin believes that gummy candies allow for this combination in a way exclusive from other edibles, simply because of their physical makeup; in other words, gummies require lots of chewing, and lots of chewing translates to a more immediately noticeable high as opposed to, say, a chocolate bar.
“You taste a chocolate, it goes into your digestive system and then it takes all that time to get through your intestines into your liver,” said Anglin. “For a gummy, you’re chewing and you begin the sublingual process, which means you’re starting to feel the efficacy sooner… the longer the cannabis oil part of the gummy is in your mouth, your gums start to absorb the THC and it goes straight to your brain.”
People don't overdo it with infused gummies
This is also a process that can help prevent over-consumption, said Anglin, since people often end up getting impatient while waiting for the effects of more traditional edibles and therefore end up eating more.
“When you eat another type of edible, you have to wait for your liver to do [its thing], and you end up wondering if it’s working and if you should eat another one. Well, as long as it’s got THC in it, it’s gonna work,” said Anglin with a laugh. “Our goal is to make sure that experience is pleasant and the effectivity is what you’re looking for. I think it’s just easier to do with gummies than anything else.”
Of course, companies like Americanna wouldn’t be growing quite so quickly (it’s currently increasing production by 2.5 times to respond to demand) if they weren’t focused on constant innovation.
Along with adding a couple of new products down the line – including a blue raspberry flavoured gummy and something called a ‘cannapuff’ which promises to fuse the best parts of gummies and marshmallows – Anglin is looking at ways to reduce the level of THC in the candy while increasing the number of pieces in a serving.
“One of the issues for people who are new to edibles is that it tastes really good… so they’re tempted to eat more than one,” said Anglin. “What I’m thinking of doing is making it so a serving is 10 pieces so you can eat a handful of these…Not every consumer is going to want that but I think a lot of people [will].”
Images: courtesy of Americanna