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Edible Elegance

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Photo courtesy Coda Signature

Coda Signature’s mind-bogglingly beautiful edibles are truly something to behold, from the mirror-glazed icing on its truffles with modern art flair to its bark-like gourmet chocolate bars. The company’s offerings are not unlike what you’d find from fine chocolatiers in Europe or abroad.

Mark Grindeland, CEO of the company, describes Coda Signature as “a premium brand company that manufactures infused edibles, topicals and concentrates for adult-use and medical markets.”

Coda Signature, of course, is best known for its infused gourmet edibles. “Since our launch two years ago, we have received a great amount of market recognition,” Grindeland told CULTURE. “This includes six first place awards for our edibles from the industry, including High Times, Dope Magazine, THC Magazine/The Hemp Connoisseur, Westword and the Cannabis Business Awards.”

Photo courtesy Coda Signature

Over the last few years, Coda Signature has quickly become a favorite with dispensaries, growing to become the number two company as measured by market share for cannabis-infused chocolates. “Out of the top 20 best-selling chocolate products, Coda Signature has captured six spots,” Grindeland said. “This includes the number one selling chocolate bar, Coffee & Doughnuts. It is made with a unique combination of milk chocolate, coffee, toasted milk and cinnamon sugar. In fact, the quality and uniqueness of our products have helped us grow quickly.” Coda Signature’s products are currently being sold in more than 450 dispensaries across Colorado.

Consumers who buy infused products typically buy them to produce an effect they’re looking for, Grindeland explained. It could be for recreational enjoyment, pain relief or to treat a specific health issue.

“We believe the efficacy of the cannabinoids and terpenes used to infuse products should be ‘table stakes.’ To be successful, an infused products company must deliver a consistent and reliable effect,” Grindeland explained. “But we also believe that if the consumer isn’t ‘wowed’ by the taste of our edibles, or our concentrates, or the luxuriousness and effectiveness of our topicals, they won’t buy our products a second time.”

Grindeland is so mindful of his brand that he ensures a consistent customer experience for consumers when visiting any dispensary that chooses to sell Coda Signature products. The people at Coda Signature have thought through each touchpoint the company has with dispensaries, including everything from how orders are taken, fulfilled and delivered. They’ve designed an entire onboarding process for new dispensaries to ensure they are successfully equipped to expand their revenues by selling Coda Signature products. This includes, Grindeland said, making sure all budtenders are trained to tell the story about Coda Signature and its products to their customers. Finally, Grindeland makes sure dispensaries have collaterals and merchandising that beautifully illustrate their products.

The story behind Coda Signature’s beginning is interesting, to say the least. “I have a favorite saying, ‘We’re making plans, and God is laughing.’ I never imagined I would be the co-founder and CEO of a cannabis company.”

“Any evolving industry has its fair share of challenges, but our industry has some doozies! From banking restrictions, taxes, constantly changing regulations, different rules for each state, not to mention the fact that what we do is still federally illegal with threats of property forfeiture, jail or both. That said, companies that successfully navigate these challenges have an opportunity to build something great.”

Grindeland’s background includes many years as a management consultant. He’s worked in a number of public companies in executive roles, and he’s also co-founded five companies, with Coda Signature being the fifth. “I met my co-founder and our company president, Elizabeth Cooke, in the summer of 2014,” Grindeland said. “Elizabeth was one of the early cannabis pioneers in Colorado. She owned and operated a medical dispensary and grow. When adult-use was legalized and started to rollout in 2014, Elizabeth started looking for a way to parlay her early experience and take advantage of what she felt would be a huge opportunity. When we met, she was looking for assistance to analyze the market opportunity, develop a business plan, financial proformas and for a CEO to run the company.”

The two spent just under a year working together on the plan. Through that process, Grindeland agreed that it was a massive opportunity and decided to leave his senior role at a public company to jump back into another startup.

Grindeland finds that there are many challenges in this industry that create significant challenges for his company, which also affect every other licensed cannabis-related company. “Any evolving industry has its fair share of challenges, but our industry has some doozies!” he said. “From banking restrictions, taxes, constantly changing regulations, different rules for each state,

This industry is not for the faint-of-heart, he reminded us. It’s fiercely competitive, fast-moving, but it can also a lot of fun.

not to mention the fact that what we do is still federally illegal with threats of property forfeiture, jail or both. That said, companies that successfully navigate these challenges have an opportunity to build something great.”

 

“We have a big hairy audacious goal, which is to be the number one premium infused products company, globally,” he explained. “Our early success in Colorado is only the beginning. We are currently working on plans to launch in California and Canada.”

Grindeland believes that every business founder hopes to create something greater than themselves. He hopes to create a lasting legacy, creating something that will continue for many years.

 

www.codasignature.com

 

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Bonus Features

Cannabiz Connection Presents: CannaCon Detroit Networking Mixer and After Party

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Why and when did your conference start up?

Cannabiz Connection hosts four quarterly networking mixers each year. We wanted to provide a fun atmosphere where people can connect after Day 1 of CannaCon Detroit!

 

What does your conference offer patients and business people that they can’t find anywhere else?

Networking: It is Cannabiz Connection’s biggest advantage!

 

How has the cannabis industry changed since you started this conference? Where would you like to see it go?

This industry is changing by the day! I have been involved here in Michigan for four years now, and it really is a different world now. We are finally seeing things progress in Michigan the way we always imagined!

 

What are the some of the challenges you have faced in this industry, as a cannabis-related business?

Finding the RIGHT people to work with. I had to seek a lot of sources outside of Michigan who have been involved in the regulated process in different states.

 

What is the one main thing you want patients to know about your conference?

If you’re wanting to be a part of Michigan’s legal cannabis industry, this is the event to attend! It’s your chance to meet other cannabis business professionals, investors, service providers, innovators and advocates. For sponsorship opportunities, email us at info@cannabizconnection.com!

 

What is the most important thing you hope to accomplish while in the cannabis community?

More business opportunities and patient accessibility! Even though things are moving along well in Michigan, we still have a long way to go. The stronger we build our industry and our teams, the stronger we will be as a whole.

WHAT: Cannabiz Connection Presents: CannaCon Detroit Networking Mixer and After Party

WHEN: Fri, June 1. 6 p.m.-10 p.m.

WHERE: Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit, Michigan

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Call in Sick, Summer Awaits!

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Nothing epitomizes summertime in California better than a glass of ice cold strawberry lemonade while relaxing poolside on a hot day. Now you can enjoy summertime even when you’re stuck in the office. From the first bite comes a mouth-watering tang of lemon sweetened with ripe juicy strawberries that will stimulate your senses and with just a single bite you’ll be walking on sunshine.

Not only are Kushy Punch cannabis-infused gummies moist, sumptuous and satisfying but they are free of GMOs, toxic solvents and pesticides so you can safely and sensationally elevate your day.

Made with a superior blend of 95 percent pure full-spectrum THC oil, Kushy Punch Private Reserve will transport your mind and body to bliss with a taste evocative of summertime for the ultimate and unparalleled head high experience. Using a full-spectrum cannabis oil in our edible gummies ensures the consumer receives the maximum benefits of the complete cannabis plant, the way nature intended.

With an extraordinary strawberry lemonade flavor, a powerful punch, and dosing you can count on, the summer fun has already begun with Kushy Punch’s limited-run Private Reserve cannabis gummies. Grab one (or a whole box) today from your local retail dispensary for a portable taste of summer and an adventure like no other.

 

Check out all of our award-winning Kushy Punch products online at kushypunch.com and kushycbd.com.

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Bonus Features

MICBD Conference May 20, 2018 in Bay City, MI

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www.micbd.com

Tickets are available here.

Why and when did your conference start-up?

MICBD Group has held cannabis business conferences since 2015. Events have been featured in all over Michigan in cities like Detroit, Traverse City, Flint, Lansing and Ann Arbor.

What does your conference, offer patients/business people that they can’t find anywhere else?

MICBD Group events are different from other conferences in many ways, but the following three differences stand out:

  1. The diversity of opinions. Hearing from a broad perspective of voices is crucial in business development; each opinion is derived from personal experience and perspective, both of which can be limiting. More information is better. If you are hearing from just one legal firm or have a single source of advice, you are far less likely to be successful. Conferences which offer a single-firm, limited perspective are of limited value—and, oddly enough, seem the most expensive.
  2. Distraction-free environment for learning. There are no sales booths, no vendor tables or loudspeaker announcements at MICBD Conferences. Selling booth space and renting tables to vendors is profitable for the event company, but business conferences are not expos or a circus. If you seek a comfortable environment to learn about business, come to an MICBD Conference; if you want to buy a vaporizer or some soil, go to a store.
  3. The most business professional locations and fabulous food. The MICBD Group hosts conferences in hotels and college campuses with stunning appeal. In Traverse City, the Hagerty Center conference rooms gave attendees a stunning view of the Lake Michigan shoreline—and the atrium featured a complete sailboat! In Detroit, the Atheneum Hotel is a Greek-themed venue with two-story murals and rough-hewn marble benches. The Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor is a historic hotel; the Radisson Hotel Lansing and the Gateway Centre in Flint are the most upscale venues in their markets. Each MICBD event except Ann Arbor has featured a full meal—and the food is always a big hit with our guests.

How has the cannabis industry changed since you started this conference? Where would you like to see it go?

Rick Thompson and Jamie Lowell have been involved in Michigan’s cannabis business space since 2009, individually. The Michigan industry has grown from a thing brave people whispered about into an industry even the tepid are clamoring to get involved in. The hardest part about watching the industry grow has been seeing it become more focused on commercial industry instead of individual compassion. Through the MICBD Conference series we try and shape the direction of the new business environment but to a very large degree the future is already designed; helping people adapt to that new canna-business space is what the MICBD Group does.

What are the some of the challenges you have faced in this industry, as a cannabis-related business?

Acceptance of our industry was slow at first but is now rapidly becoming the normal in daily life here in Michigan. The challenge we face is thinking about all the people who were disadvantaged by the slow-to-believe system during the MMA’s early years, and who paid a criminal price for their advanced thinking and early advocacy. These memories are what drive us to help people avoid those consequences; knowledge is power.

What is the one main thing you want patients and the public to know about your conference?

This comes at a crucial time for Michigan canna-business hopefuls. But maybe more important than that is the possibility for a final cannabis family reunion. The Michigan cannabis business community will be totally different in one year; faces will have dropped out, new players will be added, some cherished events will be banned, and some familiar places will be closed. Nobody knows who will remain, or in what role they will be; this is our last chance to gather as champions and celebrate the industry we made and the legacy we laid down. Lansing business owners, Ann Arbor and Detroit business owners, out-of-state and Flint and west side people should all share a drink and a meal for a final time before the “Great Upheaval of 2018” begins.

What is the most important thing you hope to accomplish while in the cannabis community?

Create a world where my children can seek the best treatment for their illnesses without being judged or made into criminals. It is the same wish all parents have. And if we get to kick some ass along the way, well, that’s just bonus.

 

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