As pretty much everybody knows (okay, maybe not your grandparents), marijuana isn’t just for smoking anymore – that’s so 1980s. With newer ways to ingest, joints aren’t completely becoming a thing of the past, but they are being passed over for different methods. And edibles are one these.
Edibles aren’t novel – pot brownies have been around forever. But the idea of putting marijuana inside of everything from kale to linguini, from tea to coffee, from waffles to kettle chips is more modern.
Edibles are no longer limited to baked goods or candies: they’re inside gourmet meals and, yes, things like carrot soup
They’re so prevalent, in fact, that it makes one wonder if Edible Arrangements, the company known for sending fresh fruit bouquets, gets a lot of erroneous orders. Especially since they have a customer appreciation service called “Certified Happiness.”
That aside, edibles are gaining in popularity, which means the workforce is growing. There has to people behind the magic, after all. And, there are: the butchers, the bakers, and the edible makers.
The Definition of an Edible Creator
An edible creator is someone who – wait for it – creates edibles; their job is to infuse cannabis into many types of food. Not only do they work with the obligatory baked goods, but they also work with things like soda, candy, granola, spaghetti, salad, and everything else inside the local grocery store. According to Rooster Magazine, salaries for edible creators range from about 28,000 to 40,000 (with lower salaries for kitchen assistants and packagers). This is highly variable by state due to differences in standards of living.
The credentials needed for this occupation fluctuate, but many edible creators break into the industry with a resume of experience in the culinary world. Anyone with past work as a pastry chef, baker, cook, or chef is often considered over those with no to little experience. And collegiate study in the culinary arts is highly appreciated.
Any kitchen experience is helpful, even bussing tables or dishwashing might be enough to get your foot in the door
Yet, it’s not only sugar and spice and things that taste nice: being an edible creator means government regulations too: in some states, every ingredient and the THC level must clearly be listed on the packaging. Edible creators might deal with a lot of red food coloring and red icing, but they deal with even more red tape.
A Warning About Lawsuits
Unfortunately, edible creators must sometimes face things that are out of their wheelhouse and into their lawyers. In other words, lawsuits happen. These usually occur when an edible creator produces a product too similar to a non-marijuana item already on the market.
According to Reuters, the Hershey Company filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against marijuana companies in Colorado and Washington.
The complaint involved the packaging of the cannabis candy sold in dispensaries: the wrappers too closely resembled products owned by Hershey
Hershey took TinctureBelle (based in Colorado) to federal court over edible products named Hasheath and Dabby Patty. Hershey claimed they were blatant rip-offs of the Heath Bar and York Peppermint Patties.
They also took Conscious Care (based in Seattle) to court over products named Mr. Dankbar and Reefer’s Peanut Butter Cups, claiming they too closely resembled Mr. Goodbar and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
In both cases, Hershey settled with the defendants and the cannabis companies agreed to stop further sales of those brands. They agreed to destroy any remaining inventory as well (which might have involved throwing the product in the trash or having a pretty awesome company party).
Edible Creators: The Job Description
420 Careers, a site dedicated to listing opportunities relevant to the weed industry, presently features a job listing for an edibles creator. It’s expired, but it gives you a good gauge of the qualifications companies are seeking.
The description is as follows:
The laborer is primarily responsible for assisting with the edibles produced by the MIPS Kitchen.
Responsible for loading and unloading designated equipment;
Responsible for proper use and maintenance of designated equipment (e.g. oven, table-top mixer, etc.);
Processes finished product to desired TGS standards;
Maintains supplies and inventory levels;
Responsible for communication with the Assistant Manager to ensure proper P&P and operations;
Responsible for maintaining the organization and cleanliness of the kitchen;
And all other job duties as assigned.
High school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED) required;
College degree in Culinary preferred.
Must stay current and adhere to all policy and regulations of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED).
Excellent computer, mathematics, language, and reasoning skills.
Familiarization with laboratory/kitchen safety protocol required;
Knowledge and familiarity with Cannabis preferred;
Experience in baking, cooking or culinary required;
Experience working in laboratory/kitchen with laboratory/kitchen equipment required.
Other Things to Consider
If becoming an edibles creator is your dream job, there are a few other things to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s not a job as simple as becoming a cook in a regular kitchen: there are plenty of governmental hoops you’ll be expected to jump through. And, if you have a criminal history (particularly regarding drug crimes), this career path likely isn’t possible.
Anyone who has a clean record and an interest in edibles should go to the Marijuana Enforcement Division of their state government’s website. This site provides instructions on applying for jobs making medical and retail marijuana edibles
In some states, like Colorado, you need to be licensed as a Medical Marijuana Infused Product Manufacturer to work with edibles
It also provides information on the application process, the requirements (such as length of residency), and the fees involved in licensing.
Edible Creators – the Competitions
One of the most sought after accolades in the world of weed is the Cannabis Cup. In regards to edibles, the judges rate competitors based on flavor, packaging, and innovation. This means that you want your conception to appeal to the taste buds, naturally, but you want to be original with your concoction and your packaging too. Creating edibles is as much about ingenuity and marketing as it is about food that tastes good and feels great.