Mellow Ice Cream recently launched a line of THC-and-CBD-infused ice creams.
The Los Angeles-based brand was founded by longtime entrepreneurs Jesse Bride and Enrique Gonzalez. After witnessing the effects of painful cancer treatments in their immediate families, the duo set out to create an edible product that provided a safe and enjoyable way to consume cannabis.
“During our research, we noticed that infused ice cream doesn’t actually exist because it is extremely difficult to navigate legally,” Bride told Benzinga. “We feel the many hurdles we had to deal with along the way are the exact reasons why no one has done it yet. We are also aware, however, that these barriers will eventually be taken down, especially once more states legalize marijuana. We want to be ready and fully established nationally by the time that that happens.”
Being the first to market puts the company in a unique position. Bride and Gonzalez say they are aware competition will soon arise, but they are not worried.
Ben & Jerry’s, for example, has expressed interest in bringing a CBD ice cream to market.
Mellow hit the Los Angeles region with three non-traditional artisan flavors of infused ice cream: Himalayan Sea Salt & Caramel, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Tahitian Vanilla Peanut Butter Cup.
“We aren’t vanilla guys in any aspect of our lives, so we intentionally didn’t go that direction from the jump,” Bride says.
After raising a round of investment, Bride and Gonzalez also set out to hire industry experts.
“Our goal with Mellow was to take the fastest route to launch without sacrificing any element of quality,” Gonzalez said. “With experts who have launched successful brands in these respective spaces on our team, we avoid countless and costly errors and experimentation. We came into this with an idea of wanting to make a first of its kind edible and we knew we would face a lot of challenges because even as avid consumers of cannabis and ice cream, the nuances of the brand building in this space are not transparently seen. We want to build a classic and aspirational hybrid of two excellent categories but most importantly we wanted to make it a deliciously fun experience.”
Mellow plans to expand nationally once regulations change and more states legalize cannabis use. After the most recent election where four states — New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana and Arizona — passed laws to legalize adult-use, the time to scale its ice cream into other locations looks imminent.
According to a report by Arcview Market Research, the cannabis edibles market will hit $4.1 billion in revenue by 2022.
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