While the cannabis edibles industry continued to grow by leaps and bounds in 2015, the chilling effect of increasing regulation became apparent in Colorado this year, with less creativity and originality present in the field of entries at the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup held in Denver. The most recent ruling mandates a universal symbol—THC with an exclamation point—that must be stamped or marked on every edible to distinguish it from regular food, even when outside of its packaging. Edibles makers in Colorado fear that if their manufacturing costs continue to increase, customers will return to consuming black market edibles of unknown potency.
California edibles makers continue to enjoy their mostly unregulated marketplace, but that could all be coming to an end with the passage of medical marijuana regulations and a very restrictive initiative to legalize adult use in 2016. The California cannabis industry could look very much like Colorado’s by 2018 if overly burdensome regulations continue to push mom-and-pop business out of the picture. It’s a shame, because the edible cannabis offerings in California this year raised the bar for originality and healthfulness, proving that cannabis can be part of an active lifestyle.
While California continues to redefine cannabis as a health-positive nutritional supplement, other big trends this year included more low-dose products designed for new users, such as Altai’s 25 milligram bon bons and Mellow’s 5 milligram artisanal marshmallows, along with celebrity chefs and pop culture figures getting into the cannabis branding business.
The Top 15 favorites from 2015 were fierce competitors at HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup contests held in California, Colorado and Michigan. Each company designs excellent products with fantastic flavors and euphoric potency, continuing to push the cannabis edibles industry to new heights of professionalism and quality. There are more options on dispensary shelves than ever for cannabis consumers, from THC-infused kombucha teas and barbecue sauce to high-end chocolates, but it’s important to remember that until our favorite celestial seasoning is fully legalized, we will need ongoing activism to ensure the industry stays open to all. With thousands of small businesses employing great numbers of our fellow pot-lovers, the cannabis industry is strong, vibrant and creative.
When choosing edibles, look for concise package information detailing how much you should eat and clear…