The cannabis edibles industry is filled with bold, ambitious brands that are on a mission to provide patients with quality products. One of these iconic companies is California-based KIVA Confections. The business has been serving the West Coast legal cannabis market for years, with its line of tasty, cannabis-infused chocolates and mints.
Earlier this month, the company announced a timely partnership with Illinois-based Cresco Labs, an establishment that specializes in cannabis cultivation and pharmaceutical-grade products. Together, the duo will spearhead the expansion of KIVA Confections’ cannabis edibles in the state of Illinois.
KIVA Bars and Terra Bites
Cresco Labs and KIVA Confections are perfectly matched for this endeavor, as both companies adhere to very high standards for their products. The edibles that are currently available (starting May 3) in Illinois include the following: KIVA Bars and Terra Bites.
KIVA Bars come in 100mg potency and three unique flavors (Dark Chocolate Blackberry, Milk Chocolate Mint Irish Cream and Milk Chocolate Vanilla Chai). The Dark Chocolate Blackberry Bar, which won ‘Best Edible’ in 2013 at San Francisco and Los Angeles High Times Cannabis Cups, is a great tasting product that offers an array of sweet, tart and naturally bitter flavors.
“Kiva Confections’ partnership with Cresco Labs ensures that we provide the same safe, effective, and consistent medicine to Illinois patients that we are known for in California, Arizona and Nevada,”
said Kristi Knoblich Palmer, COO and Co-Founder of Kiva Confections.
Terra Bites are small chocolate pellets that provide 5mgs of THC per bite (total of 120mgs of THC per container). Winner of the 2013 San Francisco Patients’ Choice award, these treats are suitable for patients that require consistent doses of THC – also known as micro-dosing. This method of consumption comes with a plethora of health benefits, allowing patients to reap the medicinal properties of the plant with minimal side effects.
Terra Bites streamlines the practice of low-dosing by segregating small portions of THC into manageable, individual servings. Patients in Illinois can choose from the following flavors: Espresso Dark Chocolate (produced using robust Tanzanian coffee beans) and Blueberry Milk Chocolate (contains dried US-grown blueberries).
Cresco Labs is a leading pioneer of cannabis edibles in Illinois and the US. To elevate the industry’s standards, the business worked closely with James Beard Award-Winning Pastry Chef Mindy Segal in the launching of her personal edibles line. The company also helps promote medical cannabis as a viable, natural alternative to prescription medicine via community reach out programs and educational awareness campaigns.
“Kiva Confections was the obvious choice in seeking an addition to our brand portfolio in Illinois. They adhere to the same high standards of product quality and innovation that our company is known for,”said Charlie Bachtell,
said Charlie Bachtell, CEO and Co-Founder of Cresco Labs.
Illinois legalized medical cannabis in 2013 (signed into all in 2014), making it an ideal location for the partnership to thrive and expand. State officials are currently considering the full legalization of cannabis (recreational) through the introduction of Senate Bill 316 and House Bill 2353.
It’s no secret that the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program has had more than its fair share of struggles to get up and running. Becoming the 20th state to legalize medical cannabis, the Illinois General Assembly approved The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act in 2013, and the law technically went into effect January 1, 2014.
The struggle didn’t end there. Patients had to wait nearly two years before they were given safe, reliable access to medicine through retail locations in November 2015. Even then, dispensaries were not open everywhere throughout the state until much later. Patients on the South Side of Chicago, for example, didn’t have a neighborhood dispensary until April 2016.
The March numbers for the Program are very encouraging–we’re constantly working to increase access for patients in Illinois and help with the administration and expedite the approval of applications. These numbers show that engagement, awareness and education can work.
excitedly stated by Cresco Labs CEO, Charles Bachtell.
Since then, the program has seen slow and steady growth. Indicating that some of the larger hurdles may be in the past, March was a record breaking month for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program, which has been extended through 2020. Some noteworthy statistics are as follows:
- New completed program applications increased by 1,485 or 7% to 21,300
- Approved patients increased by 1,299 or 8% to 18,289
- Patients served increased to 12,224, up 1,510 patients from last month (67% of total patients)
- Retail sales increased by $1.4M or 28% to $6.4M
- Wholesale transfer to dispensaries increased by $745k or 25% to $3.8M
- The average retail cost per gram of flower increased to $12.18
- The average grams purchased per patient per day increased to 1.03 grams
Some may credit the qualifying conditions list expansion last July as a possible catalyst for program growth. After a lengthy battle with Gov. Bruce Rauner, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition suffered by more than five million people in the United States, was added to the list of conditions which qualify a patient to apply to the program.
Illinois medical cannabis patient and Co-Founder of the largest online community for patients in Illinois, Joel Erickson was cautiously optimistic of the news stating, “As granular as you’d like to break these statistics down, there are still significant price barriers for patients at the register.”
Now that the program has been extended through 2020, steady growth is expected to continue. This is also good news for cultivation and retail businesses which will have the opportunity to grow with the program.
A James Beard Award-winning chef has partnered with Illinois’ largest medical marijuana producer to create a co-branded line of edibles.
Mindy Segal will bring her considerable experience as an acclaimed pastry chef and author to Cresco Labs, Illinois’ most prolific cannabis cultivator and retailer.
In a press release, Segal comments,
“We’ve all heard the expression ‘it tastes like medicine’ but there’s no reason it has to. With my recipes and Cresco’s technology, we’re developing this line of products to be consistent every time and absolutely enjoyable to eat.”
The first release of products will consist of chocolate brittle bars, a variety of granola bites, and an infused hot chocolate drink.
Segal has shied away from the spotlight, preferring to focus on the innovation of her craft and giving back to the community. Charles Bachtell, Founder of Cresco Labs, agrees with this philosophy, saying,
“Having someone with Mindy’s name brand and credibility enter the cannabis industry says a lot about where this industry is headed.”
The new edibles will be available at licensed dispensaries in Illinois for approved medical marijuana patients. Plans are in motion for distribution in five other states.
photo credit: Hot Chocolate Chicago Facebook
If the people of Illinois were not aware of the medical cannabis program in their state, they will be soon.
One of the state’s largest cannabis cultivation companies, Cresco Labs, has announced their plan to spend over $1 million on a PSA campaign educating Illinoisans on the state’s new medical cannabis program.
The ad campaign will be spread out among many different avenues, including billboards, radio ads, digital ads, and 45,000 educational inserts in the sponsor bags of all Chicago Marathon participants.
Don’t expect to see any pot leafs or scantily clad women holding bongs though. These campaign advertisements, focused on the tag lines ‘State of Relief’ and ‘Relief has Arrived’, creatively illustrate information about the program using food and real people doing everyday activities framed in a would-be cannabis card.
Hats off to the creative agency who developed the campaign, their hard work is featured below.
We asked Cresco Labs CEO, Charlie Bachtell what his ultimate goal was with the campaign.
“We’re aiming to raise awareness about the medical cannabis program in Illinois and help people become educated on the subject matter of medicinal cannabis.”
The Cresco Labs website is also an excellent educational tool for any person curious to learn more about medicinal cannabis. It provides ample scientific data and anecdotal evidence to which other patients are able to relate.
Coming off the recent news of recommended conditions, it looks like Cresco Labs will be a big player in providing medicine to Illinoisans in need.