Since 2010, Wana has been crafting some of the most delicious and recognizable edibles in the Colorado marijuana market. Their sour gummies are a staple in dispensaries across the state; in fact, their brand is carried in an impressive 450 of Colorado’s 500 shops. Wana’s selection of products is diverse; they boast a robust selection of edibles, vape products, hash, capsules, with a little something for everyone. Stoned Media was able to sit down with John Whiteman, co-founder of Wana, and walk through their fascinating production facility the day after 4/20, the stoner holiday which required them ramp up production several weeks prior, seeing sales triple.
The moment you walk into the facility, your olfactory senses are slapped with the pungent but ethereal smell of weed and sweet fruit, no doubt from the sour gummies being made before your very eyes. Watching the staff turn large square slabs of brightly colored jello into the perfectly rectangular sour gummies we know and love was mesmerizing. It’s hard to believe these pretty and brightly colored confections contain zero artificial colors or sweeteners, but sourcing organic ingredients and keeping it as natural as possible is important to Wana.
When it comes to consuming cannabis, dosing yourself is extremely important, especially with edibles and concentrates. Ingesting too much cannabis can be uncomfortable for some people, and not do proper justice to the healing benefits of the plant. At Wana, so much time and care is spent on making sure all of their products are consistent, homogeneous, healthy and delicious. All of their product starts from trimmings, tracked in small batches to maintain quality and finished products are sent to a state certified lab for testing, with excellent results.
Their staff is as diverse as it is impressive, from musically gifted extraction experts to artistic lab managers. You can tell that Whiteman is proud of the array of jobs Wana has created in the cannabis community, they now have around 90 people on staff, with plans to expand. Wana employs a food scientist to work on all their edibles, and have a former NASA astrophysicist overseeing their quality control program which was developed by an accomplished biochemist. Science plays a large role in the development of their products, and you can tell that they are truly concerned for the health of their customers.
According to Whiteman, Wana is “incredibly committed to learning about the impacts of cannabis on humans and then adjusting our products to provide cannabis to people in the safest delivery method and dosage levels possible” and this shines through in the effort they have put into research and development of their products. They are working right now with Cannabis Pharmaceuticals, an Israeli company conducting clinical trials with cancer patients and their time released cannabis capsules. They hope in the future to be able to do more research stateside, if the federal ban on marijuana is lifted. You can expect the future of Wana to delve into the medical realm a bit more, with ideas to infuse their edibles with vitamins and supplements.
Unfortunately, there are still many individuals in this country who are still opposed to cannabis because they think of it as a harmful substance, with no medical benefits to offer. Whiteman says it best: “As with all things, moderation is the best policy. Overuse and irresponsible use of any substance — from salt to sugar to opiates — is a dangerous idea. Somehow, however, when people discuss cannabis’ potential dangers, there is often no mention of the established fact that cannabis has been used by humans for medicinal purposes for almost 5000 years. Up until the 1930’s, it was the most commonly used medicine here in the United States. Our bodies have more alignment with cannabis than any other plant, as demonstrated by the extensive endo-cannabinoid system in the body that scientists have identified and around which many, many research projects are occurring throughout the world.”
As a business that is growing by leaps and bounds, maintaining the integrity and consistency of their product is the linchpin of Wana’s success. Getting bigger means moving to more automatization and mechanization, which will allow for even more quality and quantity control. The future is bright for Wana, even in a world of ever changing regulations. Wana is at the forefront of a new wave of cannabis consumption that is centered science, health, and happiness and we at Stoned Media can’t wait to see this company grow even more.