San Francisco’s Top Five Edible Marijuana Companies
From olive oils and jams to macarons and marshmallows, there’s something for everyone in the Bay Area edibles scene.
Once upon a time, if you wanted to eat cannabis, you’d probably head to a park to buy a cookie or brownie from a stranger. How potent would your purchase be? Was there even
cannabis in it? These were questions without answers, leaving the consumer to play the role of test subject and simply hope for the best. Nowadays, there are enough edibles being manufactured to fill a grocery store, from enhanced granola to sugary confections that are as much art as medicine.
The rise of edibles as a preferred method of cannabis ingestion comes at a time when the marijuana industry is trying to distance itself from the negative stigmas oft associated with stoners. The modern edible is not intended for the tie-dye crowd, but rather anyone who may wish to experience the benefits of cannabis without having to toke up.
The Bay Area is home to many of the field’s innovators. From the upscale macarons of Madame Munchies to the artisanal granola produced by Flour Child, the market is ripe with new companies eager to merge their culinary crafts with their interest in cannabis-related products.
Gourmet marshmallows sprinkled with inventive toppings.
As someone with a low cannabis tolerance, Stephanie Hua was tired of guessing what dosage she was actually consuming when ingesting cannabis.
“I would have to cut a single gummy candy into 10 pieces, or nibble a tiny piece of chocolate,” she says. “It just wasn’t satisfying.”
Not one to sit idly by, she decided to take matters into her own hands. The result is Mellows, an edibles company that specializes in medicated marshmallows covered in toppings, like rainbow sprinkles, pretzels, or shortbread crumbs.
Available in boxes of 12, each marshmallow contains 5 mg of THC, making it easy for patients to control exactly how much medicine they consume. Hua says she tries to walk the line between classic flavors with broad appeal — S’mores and Cookies + Cream — and options that are somewhat more unexpected, like Raspberry Rose Lychee and Brown Butter Sage. She also takes texture into consideration, describing how Mellow’s Orange Dreamsicle “gets rolled on crunchy bits of vanilla meringue, so you get that contrast with the soft, fluffy marshmallow.”
Of course, the first thing you’re likely to notice about Mellows is the gorgeous patterns and colors of the marshmallows.
“They have to be beautiful,” Hua confirms. “We eat with our eyes first, and this is no exception.”
Beyond serving as a feast for the eyes, one customer told her that Mellows had actually helped him to better understand his child.
“He brought a box of Mellows with him on a family vacation and ate a few to unwind,” Hua says. “At one point, after the effect hit, he turned to his 5-year-old and said, ‘I get you.’ ”
Try This: Birthday Cake Mellow, because who can resist rainbow sprinkles?
Truffles, olive oil, and so much more.
For OmEdibles creator and owner Maya Elisabeth, products are only as good as the ingredients she uses to make them. That’s why her company — an all-female collective started in 2008 — sources cannabis from organic farmers and incorporates superfoods, like cacao, into its edibles. From CBD-infused Raw Sipping Cacao to cannabis olive oil to cinnamon, maple, and vanilla “Treehuggers” (which is to say, nut clusters), OmEdibles reflects Elisabeth’s belief that medicated treats can be both delicious and nutritious.
The results speak for themselves.
“I have received amazing stories from patients about how our CBD miso helped them through cancer, or how our elderberry syrup helped people with Lyme’s disease,” Elisabeth says.
She is particularly surprised about the feedback she’s gotten from children who use her products.
“People have found that our lavender body oil on the chest of a child or one tiny scoop of medicated lavender epsom salt or the CBD chocolate has helped countless children with autism and epilepsy,” she says. “That seems to be the feedback that touches my heart the most.”
Try This: Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Truffle, gourmet buttercups covered in Belgian chocolate.
“The cannabis space was created to be a place of healing,” says Jamel Ramiro, co-founder of MoonMan’s Mistress. “But a lot of edibles on the market are falling short when it comes to healthy options.”
Enter MoonMan’s Mistress, born out of a desire to fill what Ramiro and his partner Liz Rudner saw as a major void in the cannabis space: products for those with autoimmune diseases, food allergies, and other concerns.
MoonMan’s Mistress specializes in inventive cannabis cookies, such as vegan Lunar Lemon Maca shortbread, CBD-only Solar Flare chocolate-chip cookies, nut-free Cosmic Cacao peppermint cookies, and nut-free, vegan, CBD-only Star Cluster Superfood cookies.
“Cookies are a comfort food,” Ramiro explains. “When you have dietary restrictions, people tend to miss out on snacks and desserts.”
The company was derived from Rudner’s personal dietary struggles as someone diagnosed with Celiac’s disease and Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid) as a young woman. When she realized Western medicine couldn’t help her ailing body, she became her own advocate and studied holistic nutrition. While learning to use real food as medicine, she simultaneously used cannabis to heal her body.
As Ramiro explains, the ethos behind MoonMan’s Mistress is a reflection of what he and Rudner have learned: “To live well, you must move well,” he says. ”And to move well, you must eat well.”
Try This: Pumpkin Pecan Mini Space Cake, a seasonal treat the size of a large egg.
Artisanal granola and seasonal jams.
As a child, Stephany Gocobachi would read her way through old issues of Gourmet and Bon Appétit. She took over planning and making Thanksgiving dinner when she was nine. Now, she runs Flour Child, a company she began to map out while studying at NYU, and later while working as a produce buyer for Bi-Rite Market in the Mission.
“I have a background in pastry,” she says, “and I could have gone the route of high-end baked goods or candy and would probably be making a lot more money. But it doesn’t make sense to me to put medicine into a vehicle full of things you really shouldn’t eat on a daily basis.”
What Gocobachi settled on instead was jams.
“Jams were the perfect solution,” Gocobachi says, because they are made from natural ingredients and the dosages are easy to measure. “[Jams are] a way to be able to offer something seasonal that can still sit on a shelf for a year and not suffer damage to quality or have a chance of getting patients sick,” she adds.“Granola seemed like a perfect partner.”
The available flavors rotate by season. Currently, offerings include strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, and peach. Other options across the calendar include blood orange, quince, cherry, tayberry, and apricot.
“I try to keep it to four per season maximum,” Gocobachi explains, “though it’s hard to narrow down, especially in the bounty of summer!”
A few years back, Gocobachi had a chance to see the effects of her work first-hand, when her partner’s father suffered a stroke and received a colon cancer diagnosis soon after. While she says he was reluctant to try her jam at first, he eventually relented.
“It helped him deal with the nausea, appetite loss, pain — everything,” she says. “His physician remarked at how well his body was responding to chemotherapy after starting on the jam. We hear incredible stories all the time, and it’s always really moving to know that our work has helped someone so much.”
Try This: Strawberry Jam, the perfect combination of tart and sweet.
French macarons, as good as Laduree.
Madame Munchie got started in 2014 when Kim Geraghty met Ashley Martino. Geraghty had recently moved to the United States after living most of her life in Paris. Determined to help improve the image of cannabis, Geraghty and Martino established a company that combined the gourmet quality of French pastries with natural, sun-grown cannabis.
Geraghty says the idea to go with macarons — the meringue-based cookies that are different from coconut-covered “macaroons” — was her idea.
“What better product to help change the image of cannabis, than the most high-quality, luxurious French pastry?” she says.
Each macaron contains 20 mg of THC, and comes in flavors ranging from Citrus à l’amande (made with orange zest and homemade almond butter) to Tropical Jungle (made with chocolate ganache and fresh banana puree) to fan-favorite Grilled PB&J (made with organic grape jelly and housemade peanut butter). Each flavor goes through several variations before a final selection is made.
“It always involves a lot of fun taste testing,” Geraghty says.
Madame Munchie’s macarons are not only delectable, but apparently powerful enough to change people’s’ minds about the benefits of cannabis. Geraghty recalls talking with one woman whose husband used Madame Munchies to help treat his Parkinson’s disease.
“He was amazed by the relief they provided,” she says, “and even more so, because he had previously enforced anti-cannabis laws.”
Try This: Grilled PB&J macaron, a fluffy, delicate version of the original.