Cannabis chocolate brands have to find ways to stand out in a crowded market — whether by one-upping each other on claims of single-origin cacao beans, or by creating an enticing freakshow of marsupial-themed treats.
Here are nine brands making intriguing moves in the chocolate edibles sphere.
Grön is sleek, sexy and sophisticated (an umlaut — how chic). Pastel hues and snappy copy dominate its social media and its website, which has two headings: “The Snacks” and “The Facts.” Nice. The women-led edibles brand was launched in 2015 by “architect-turned-chocolatier” Christine Smith. What a job title. The bars themselves have the same watercolor-inspired design as the site. And they break down into convenient bite-sized pieces, usually in five-milligram doses.
I feel like I’m stoned just looking at this website. When was the last time you had to sit through an auto-playing video to get to a product page — 2002? This isn’t a complaint. Binske’s vibe is like a Vegas slot machine meets a luxury perfume ad. It doesn’t quite make sense, but it works. The design stretches to its chocolate bars, which feature a flamingo on the front along with other tropical-inspired flourishes. Binske markets itself as an upscale weed shop — “a taste of the high life.” Its marketing definitely delivers — as do its bars, with flavors like Peruvian espresso and dark chocolate with sea salt.
Coda is another high-end edibles brand, with marketing that looks more like a Norwegian spa than a pot brand. It promises a “symphony of flavors” from its single-origin South American chocolate and whole-extracted spices. They also make classic chocolate bars that look equally appetizing. The company is led by former PepsiCo exec Maigread Eichten and was co-founded by Lauren Gockley, who was named one of Dessert Professional’s Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America.
While some brands promote quality, Koala touts its quantity — “…after all, variety is the spice of life,” its landing page notes. And Koala certainly delivers on that motto. Its products range from amaretto orange or PB&J chocolate bars to full-on s’mores. The brand takes itself a bit less seriously than some others on this list, explaining some koala facts on its brightly-colored site.
Koko Gemz makes little nuggets of joy — the titular gemz. They look like truffles but come in a variety of flavors, including cookies and cream, mint dark chocolate and more. Some flavors are made with live resin, which connoisseurs should enjoy. And Koko Gemz is one of the only manufacturers to make red chocolate. No, not red velvet (which is just regular chocolate with food coloring). Red chocolate is made from ruby cacao beans — which the brand markets as “an elusive flavor that is a tension of fresh berries and luscious smoothness” (the latter of which is not really a flavor, but we’ll give it to them).
Nové is an upscale edible brand that focuses on quality, which it reinforces with mouth-watering graphics. The company boasts sustainably-sourced ingredients from South America, prepared by “chocolatier cannabis chefs” specifically looking to create entourage effects with their products. The chocolate bars look like they could be found at the cash register of the trendiest bookstore in town, with flat black graphics and just a hint of neon fun. Their six flavors all feature fillings like raspberry bramble, cafe cappuccino, and honey peanut butter.
Theory runs dispensaries in Massachusetts and Maine. Its chocolates are no-nonsense — they come in milk or dark, with a few different dosing levels. The focus here is on the process. The small-batch distributor makes all its products in-house, on its own cannabis farm and indoor gardens. And it’s proud of this fact, frequently posting pictures of the process on its very popular Instagram page.
Bhang boasts a variety of fun flavors like fried chicken and cola dark and white toast white chocolate. The company is obsessed with sustainability, from its products to its packaging. Speaking of, each box is designed by a different artist, and they’re each credited prominently on the site. Bhang started way back in 2009, when its chocolatier founder started dabbling in weed. It was a “your peanut butter got in my chocolate” moment, and it’s still going strong today.
What is it with Massachusetts and edibles companies? Coast is another brand hailing from the state. The woman-owned and operated company positions itself as laid-back, with its wavy branding meandering through its site — literally, waves follow you around. They sell milk, dark and white chocolate bars with fun twists like s’mores, birthday cake and key lime pie bars. All the bars are made with organic, fair trade ingredients and the company invests in cleaning up the coastline and waterways to give back. The branding is clean and chill, suggesting an oceanside resort.