Making cannabis candy isn’t so different from what typical boutique candy makers do, says Daniel Thomas, chief operating officer of Santa Cruz cannabis-infused cough drop company Dollar Dose. “It’s pretty much standard candy making, with a little bit of special stuff added,” says Thomas, who once worked for Marini’s Candies.
It’s the process of getting the “special” THC into the hard candy, and keeping levels consistent across batches, that is Dollar Dose’s secret weapon. As of September, the company led by founder and CEO Jason Freeman had sold 170,800 of their $1 cannabis-infused lozenges, which come in four flavors: hibiscus sativa, indica root beer, indica apple, and Thomas’ favorite, watermelon sativa.
The candies are available all the way from Shasta County to Los Angeles, including here in Santa Cruz County at KindPeoples, Cannacruz, TreeHouse, Herbal Cruz, Central Coast Wellness Center, and Curbstone Exchange. In December, Dollar Dose became the first cannabis distributor to obtain a local conditional use permit.
What’s it been like navigating the regulatory framework?
DANIEL THOMAS: It’s been nuts. Until mid-January, there were no real permanent regulations. They were all temporary emergency regulations, and they changed several times. Some of those changes were pretty big shifts. Then they would propose new regulations.
Sometimes there would be things in those new regulations that would make us go, ‘Ah, that would be terrible!’ or ‘That would be sweet!’ They were just proposals. It’s this shifting puzzle. It’s hard to get clear answers. It was just us staring at the screen of regulations until our eyes start watering. Fingers crossed they don’t change them too much.
Cheech and Chong or Seth Rogen?
Cheech and Chong—timeless. Come on.
You should introduce a higher-THC night-time varietal and call it Dollar Doze.
Oohhh… shoot. [Nodding] We’re definitely looking at scaling. With this new sales bump, we’re gonna buy a new forming wheel. We’re gonna start getting new products rolled out. We are interested in doing higher dosages, as well as toffees, gummies, stuff along those lines.