Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Back around a decade ago to the very primitive days of California’s Prop215 medical cannabis era.
When you could walk in a shop, flash a paper doctor’s rec and be back in the budroom in a matter of minutes.
Back when they’d pop those massive jars open and drown you in the flood of unique terpenes from each strain.
Back when shops didn’t collect taxes and custies didn’t get receipts.
Back before dabs and vape carts dominated, we had weed… and sometimes edibles.
The edibles found in dispensaries in those days were highly suspect. Usually, some sort of unappetizing looking baked good stuffed into a ziplock bag or wrapped in aluminum foil… dosage be damned.
Then a brand came along and changed the edibles game, one perfectly packaged, perfectly potent cannabis taffy at a time.
They’re called Cheeba Chews.
Founded in Colorado in 2009, it didn’t take long for the cannabis-infused candies to hit Cali and their grassroots distribution efforts quickly landed them in almost every reputable SoCal dispensary.
I remember seeing Cheeba Chews in clever point-of-sale displays at my local shops back in the day, and I barely remember eating a couple of them before a Rebelution concert once, but the day that Cheeba Chews really lit up on the Beard Bros radar was in the summer of 2017, shortly after the tragic loss of the outspoken cannabis activist Mickey Martin.
Mickey was a mentor of ours, but his resume listed him as the founder of a company called Tainted Edibles as well as a Cali-based company called Compassion Edibles. So, he was literally a competitor to the crew at Cheeba Chews.
However, after his passing, they launched a limited edition #FUCKMICKEY Cheeba Chew with all proceeds from those sales going directly to Mickey’s grieving family. We won’t say how much it was, but it was a lot, and it meant a lot to us.
(#FUCKMICKEY was a hashtag propagated by Mickey himself as a way of clowning on his detractors)
Things were different back in the day, though.
That’s why it’s so important to support the people and the brands whose roots run so deeply in our culture and that’s why we are genuinely stoked to see Cheeba Chews back on top shelves in Cali’s top shops.
CHEEBA CHEWS CREW ON THEIR RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
There is no shortage of overpackaged edibles in California’s regulated cannabis market. There is, however, a distinct lack of edibles brands around now that were also blazing the trail back in the day.
Those legacy edibles brands have all but vanished not only from the regulated market but from the streets as well. The fact is, it’s hard to keep up consistent production and quality of cannabis edibles.
Sourcing proper ingredients – particularly the key ingredient – comes down to the long game of forming great relationships with the right people. The team at Cheeba Chews counts this form of mutually beneficial business as a cornerstone in their ongoing success.
As mentioned, the brand was originally launched in Colorado in 2009 when a medical cannabis patient with a home grow cooked up a plan to provide the most consistent edible experience possible. After catching lightning in a bottle two friends joined to help build a brand and those three partners still own and operate Cheeba Chews today.
They have brought on some key licensing partners in their new markets, but by keeping their core operation lean they have been able to shun offers by would-be investors which allows them to advance their brand as they best see fit and remain agile with ever-changing regulation shifts, which has clearly worked for them so far.
“There are plenty of players that are going to come in with a lot of money but if you don’t understand our culture, the roots of where we come from, the hard work it has taken to build legitimacy in what we do as an industry, you’re missing a key component and you’re disrespecting the people who have worked so hard to put us in the position that we’re in now,” says Eric Leslie, co-owner of Cheeba Chews.
That old school blueprint of…
– Respect the culture
– Slang some ______
– Make some money
– Reinvest in your biz
– Slang twice as much ______
…is how your favorite weed and edibles providers survived and thrived for decades and it has put Cheeba Chews on the map from coast to coast.
CHEEBA CHEWS: GOING, GOING, BACK, BACK, TO CALI, CALI
Being early to market is another reason why Cheeba Chews has such deep roots in the Cali and Colorado cannabis markets.
For years, cannabis consumers in these states were able to trust that their favorite dispensary would have Cheeba Chews in stock, and that eating them would get you “heavily medicated”.
When California passed Prop64, though, the Cheeba crew was faced with the monumental cost and compliance barriers that blocked so many legacy operators from entering the regulated market.
Wisely, after initially entering the “legal” market, they pumped the brakes on California and instead sought out more brand-friendly markets, planting seeds for success in Massachusetts, Nevada, and Oklahoma.
When they first touched down there, they were waiting for the specific machinery that is used to create their iconic cannabis taffies. Sensing opportunity slipping by, they decided to bootstrap the resources needed to pre-launch their Green Hornet line of cannabis gummies.
That intuition, and the ability and willingness to act on it, is the reason why Cheeba Chews Green Hornet Gummies remain best sellers in a market that is absolutely flooded with competing brands.
It was only a matter of time, though, before the allure of the nation’s largest cannabis market would woo the Chews back to Cali.
Now, still self-made and doing it their way, Cheeba Chews utilizes a diversified and localized distribution network ensuring that their highly popular products can be found throughout the state of California wherever top shelf cannabis is sold.
Available now in compliant 100mg packages, the delicious chocolate taffies that changed the game are joined by caramel, fruit flavors, and a wide variety of cannabinoid blends. The Green Hornet gummies also come in a tasty assortment of fat-free flavor and effect options.
CHEEBA CHEWS CHANGES THE GAME… AGAIN
As much as we tout people and brands who stick to their roots, and as easy as it would be for Cheeba Chews to limit production to just a handful of SKUs, you cannot escape the fact that if you’re not evolving, you’re dying… especially in the world of regulated cannabis.
A huge part of that evolution, for producers and consumers alike, has been the recognition of the full spectrum of cannabinoids, and what therapeutic benefits can be found in some of the lesser-known constituents of the cannabis plant.
“Not only is the industry evolving, but the consumer’s understanding, demand, and need for these minor cannabinoids was very apparent,” says Eric.
“There are a wide variety of needs that people are seeking cannabis for and when they find a pure THC product that gets them nice and high but maybe doesn’t meet the specific needs that they are looking to address, then the plant experience has failed them.”
As we have written before, buying cannabis based solely on high THC totals is not the right way to do it but THC is a crucial catalyst when the goal is to activate and benefit from cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBN.
The vast majority of the products on the market today that contain CBD, CBG, or CBN are crafted from hemp plants which by federal law cannot contain more than 0.3% THC.
Cheeba Chews new Trifecta Caramel Taffy offers a useful dose of 5mg each of THC, CBD, and CBG and maximizes your experience by providing 20 pieces in each package.
This is an ideal dose to gain the full benefit of the lesser cannabinoids by adding a manageable amount of psychoactive THC.
Similarly, their new Sleepy Time Chocolate Taffy provides 5mg of THC along with 2.5mg of CBN, along with a useful infusion of all-natural melatonin.
This product, in particular, has rapidly risen to become the company’s top-seller in all markets that they offer it in.
“Giving people clear options and a place to start and explore is the most important thing we do if we’re going to introduce more people to cannabis.”
As the flagship products of the new Cheeba Chews Wellness line, these two options are dosed to be able to be taken as a part of a daily wellness regimen and a healthy diet.
This is another example of being early to market.
Markets aren’t just states, right? Being early to the CBN and CBG markets that are forming in early-stage cannabis markets has proven to be a brilliant move by the Cheeba Chews chess players.
So, whether you are new to cannabis and are looking for a product to help you expand your tolerance and understanding of the plant and its effects, or if you’re a seasoned head seeking something that you know will work great every time, their slogan says it all – We Got Chew!
Cheeba Chews are not available directly from the company itself, but their website is full of great information and can point you in the right direction.