How to Start a Marijuana Edible Business: Top Product Trends to Know

If you’ve been following along with our How to Start an Edibles Business series, now’s the time for some fun: product selection! Long gone are the days where chocolates and gummies are the only edible options. Today, the market has expanded into beverages, oral sprays, baked goods, gourmet candies, and beyond. 

But beyond getting creative with your most Willy Wonka-like confections, there are two serious things to consider: what types of edibles will sustain long-term profits and growth and how you’ll make them. 

So, if you’re wondering how to open weed businesses in California and edibles are top of mind – this is the guide for you. Let’s learn more about starting an edibles business with edible and market trends in mind, to get started off on the right foot (or mouths, in this case!). 

Starting an Edibles Business: Product Manufacturing 

If you want to start selling THC edibles, then you’ll need to learn a thing or two about cannabis product manufacturing. Even if you come from a product or culinary background, cannabis is a highly regulated industry, making the logistics of production that much more tedious (in case you missed our Part 2 on compliance!).

Even more, you’ll need more than just measuring cups, spatulas, tools, and other basic supplies. You’ll also need to learn about (and get!) special equipment that will make it easier to dose each bite. 

To evenly dose cannabis edibles for consumer safety, satisfaction, and the state’s regulations, the most common piece of equipment used is a candy depositor. Of course, just like anything, there are top-of-the-line depositors that are specifically made for dosing (think vitamins and supplements) and those that aren’t. It’s likely you’ll also need ample refrigerator or freezer space, as well as plenty of room for production, packaging, and storage. 

But outside of getting all the necessities, it’s the recipe formulation that trips up so many new entrepreneurs seeking to start a canna candy company. Working with cannabis oil in edibles can be tricky. You need to use accurate weights and infusion methods to make sure that the oil is evenly dosed and absorbed optimally by consumers. 

As an example, the oil must be mixed in or homogenized in a way that is consistent with the other ingredients. For instance, if you’re making candy with nuts, will the candy with two nuts contain less THC oil than one nut? To maintain successful production, you’ll need clear SOPs (standard operating procedures) that make sure everything is done the same way from the start, especially to avoid batch losses if your batches exceed the THC limit. 

Now, we know we said this edition was going to be the most fun of all, so enough with the serious tips for quality manufacturing (although still take this seriously!). Next, let’s get into the latest edibles trend to give you insight on what direction to take for sustainable growth when starting an edibles business in California. 

How to Start an Edibles Business in California: The Latest Trends

In general, growth for edible sales has been steady, with a 10.7% to 12.1% rise in total sales from 2021 to 2022. For those close to the industry, it should come as no shock that gummies are leading the charge in sales with a 31% year-over-year growth from 2020 to 2021. But here are some other interesting facts that future canna candy company owners should consider: 

  • Chocolate edibles had a -7% decrease in YOY growth from 2020-21. 
  • Caramels, chews and taffy had a whopping 32% increase in YOY growth from 2020-21. 
  • Brownies and cereal bars had a 2% increase in YOY growth from 2020-21. 

Outside of sales, there are a few consumer trends affecting edible sales and the industry as a whole that should also be taken into consideration. Such as – 

  • Generationally, and demographically, female consumers show a strong preference towards edibles. Especially those over 40, who in the US contribute to over half of all edible sales according to Headset data.  
  • Consumers are shifting towards “whole plant” or strain-specific edibles, as sophistication and education of the market matures. 
  • In alignment with this trend, solventless demand is also on the rise. Solventless refers to the natural extraction of cannabinoids, and terpenes, without the use of harmful chemicals (like ethanol and butane) and with heat, and pressure, instead. Solventless products are at the forefront of the “clean weed” movement that’s expected to continue gaining momentum. 

Furthermore, vegan, low-sugar, and gluten-free edibles are expected to gain traction as more consumers shift their diets in this direction and enter the edibles market.

Contract Cannabis Manufacturing for Edibles Market Entry

Now, on to the most important question: “How to start an edibles business in California faster and more cost-effectively?” Which is the queue for contract cannabis manufacturing to enter the conversation. Contract cannabis manufacturing is a streamlined way to start selling THC edibles to California dispensaries without the initial start-up costs of licensing and facilities. And with experts behind the wheel, driving the quality of your brand’s edible production. 

Through the Type S license and shared cannabis kitchen spaces, or through white label and private label cannabis goods, your unique product or unique brand can be on the shelves in less than a year’s time. In fact, the alternative use of contract cannabis manufacturing is how so many big brands have been able to scale and expand exponentially, pivoting to pre-rolls, edibles, vape carts, etc.   

What is the next step in our series on starting an edibles business? Move forward with exploring contract cannabis manufacturing to start selling THC edibles in California. Schedule a tour of My Green Network, the premier contract cannabis manufacturing facility in the state. Out of state or out of country? Schedule a discovery call with our team now!