If they were affordable, they weren’t necessarily trustworthy or of high quality. They were expensive.
And just because they were called “edibles” didn’t mean someone really wanted to eat them.
When the owner team behind Pure Edibles decided to start their cannabis edibles company, the goal was to solve those problems in a space they considered flawed.
And six years later, with a presence in nearly 100 pharmacies across the state and thousands of loyal customers, the founders of Pure Edibles found this sweet spot with their caramels and gums.
But the team has a not-so-secret key ingredient to this recipe for success: a chef at the top, said Ryan Hermansky, who founded Pure Edibles in 2015 with his brother Brandon and longtime friend Doug Daly.
“Brandon’s background as a chef was critical to the process. He was able to distinguish our products from others, ”said Ryan Hermansky of his brother, who is also a former restaurant owner.
Brandon applies his culinary skills in the small organic edibles, made from local ingredients and featuring natural flavors and colors.
Pure Edibles has gained a following with its taste and texture similar to its non-cannabis counterparts. The award-winning line offers caramel in six flavors and gummy bears in three flavors with gluten-free options. Both products are offered in the strengths of leisure and medicine. Gummies are marked with a perforation so that consumers can easily tear them up into a smaller dose if needed.
“We didn’t want to sugar-coat everything like most do,” Ryan said of the gummy bears. “We have invested more time in developing recipes so that they taste good but don’t stick together.”
The extra time was worth it. For the first six months, Pure Edibles products were in 20 pharmacies in Arizona, Ryan said. Today they are in 85 pharmacies and are growing. The company recorded 125% year-over-year growth in the first 4½ years.
The cost of their products is on average 25-40% lower than the competition.
How the business started
Kevin Crawford discovered Pure Edibles as a medical cannabis patient about four years ago after suffering a broken hip in a motorcycle accident and persistent chronic pain that prevented him from sleeping.
He went to a pharmacy that had a special on Pure Edibles gummies. Crawford has been a loyal customer ever since.
“I tried it and that was it. It works great, ”said Crawford, who is retired from medical aesthetics and lives in Mesa. “I’ve tried others and didn’t like them. They were bitter. ”
Crawford takes a gummy bear about twice a week as needed. He said the consistency and lack of sugar coating are other reasons he’s a loyal fan. His favorite flavor is mango.
“And I don’t like mango as a fruit, but I like the taste,” says Crawford, who enjoys helping a small business in Arizona. “I like that it’s a local product, they started it from scratch and they oversee everything. It’s of good quality and I like that. ”
All of Scottsdale residents, Ryan, Brandon, and Daly, played soccer together at Horizon High School and remained friends during their days at Arizona State University. Their friendship spans 30 years.
Ryan got a medical cannabis dispensary in 2012, and the trio opened their north pharmacy, Greenhouse of Flagstaff. It went well, but Ryan and Daly were looking for a way to turn their part-time gig into a full-time gig. At the time, Brandon’s pharmacy was a full-time job.
“In order for us to quit our jobs, we had to open up more opportunities,” said Ryan. “We were looking for other ways to get involved.”
Back then, Ryan was a medical device distributor and spent much of his time in operating rooms making sure surgeons had the right equipment. Daly was a practicing lawyer.
They saw the gap in the food area and ran with it. They ran internal tests on patients in their pharmacy and adjusted them based on the feedback. After hand wrapping and repacking each one, Ryan and Daly drove across the state selling the product in person and delivering it to pharmacies.
Immediate positive feedback was an indication that they were on the right track.
“It happened in the first month. Orders were received. We were confident that we could sell our product before other pharmacies, ”said Ryan.
Today the operations include an office center in Scottsdale, a retail and manufacturing facility in Flagstaff and their farm in Camp Verde. Pure Edibles was fully internally funded.
All of the cannabis comes from their organic farm. Even the neighboring land that doesn’t grow cannabis is treated ethically and sustainably. Weeds are treated with steam rather than chemicals. Every step is personally monitored by the owners.
“It’s something that we want to use personally, that we pass on to family and friends, and ultimately sell to customers,” said Ryan.
Pure Edibles is part of a US cannabis edibles market valued at $ 3.6 billion, according to Statista.
From the stigma to socially acceptable
Ryan, Brandon and Daly have seen what feels like a 180 degree turn in public perception of the medical cannabis industry since it was legalized in 2010. Ryan remembered the stigma being so strong that he braced himself for the inevitable awkward conversation when people asked about the pharmacy.
But voter power and education have led to a rethink and more openness and curiosity. Ryan said people are totally intrigued when they discover his profession.
A big part of it is the way cannabis, medicinal or recreational use, has brought relief to patients and consumers from all walks of life.
“It’s extremely exciting that people can step away from years of prescription medication and use a plant to help sleep,” said Ryan.
Ryan sees many out-of-state competitors targeting Arizona and realizes the tremendous growth opportunity. But being literally local from the ground up, Ryan believes, is Pure Edibles’ perk in its home state.
“Because we’re completely local, the product is made here in Arizona, it’s our brand, it’s our company, we all grew up here,” said Ryan. “It’s fun to compete against the big, big companies that have been around longer than we have.”
What: Pure edibles
Factoid: In the United States, sales of adult cannabis edibles are estimated at $ 3.6 billion, according to Statista.