In a bright, airy warehouse in SoDo, some folks are trying to change how people think about cannabis dosage, and they’re doing it in some really tasty ways.
Founded in 2012 by Chris Abbott and Tim Moxey, botanicaSEATTLE put out its first product, Spot, in 2014, sending a ripple of change through the edibles industry. The twist? According to Lena Davidson, the company’s marketing director, “We made a delicious food product first, a great cannabis product second.” That meant working with top-shelf ingredients like “Clean Green Certified” farms and French couverture chocolate, as well as top-shelf chefs like Hilary Brown (Tom Douglas), Nico Lee, and Nate Sawyer (Trophy Cupcakes).
The company started another trend as the first to label its products with strain information. “A pot cookie has always just been a pot cookie,” explains Davidson, “and many people’s reticence in using edibles is that you never know what you’re going to get. There was no other explanation, no other provenance given to what was in that product.”
botanicaSEATTLE’s Mr. Moxey’s Mints have been a top seller in Washington recently, and Davidson thinks it’s due to a mix of discreet packaging, low dosage, and an emphasis on offering a quality product high in CBD. They even have an herbalist creating herbal synergists to complement the strains for specific effects. “When you go to a bar,” Davidson explains, “you’re not ordering ethanol. It’s a fallacy that what people only want is huge doses of THC. People want a great experience that tastes good, and they want it to have a good story, like good wine or good meat or good chocolate.”
Davidson continues, “When you think about post-Prohibition alcohol, they weren’t smuggling beautiful light beer, they were smuggling moonshine, and I think a lot of the THC bang-for-your-buck mentality around cannabis is a result of prohibition-era cannabis cultivation, which was about pumping up as much value as you could get into that plant.” A great example of what can be done when dosage takes a back seat is the company’s signature line of confections, Proper Chocolates. For these, chocolatier and pastry chef Hilary Brown creates delicate, hand-poured truffles featuring classic candy flavors like peanut butter and peppermint patty and served in beautiful packaging.
The company will soon debut the Proper Special Reserve line, a limited-edition series combining flavors like Whiskey Caramel and Strawberry Creme with single-harvest strains from Raven Grass, one of six area farms that botanicaSEATTLE works with—giving cannabis connoisseurs the opportunity to savor the distinct flavors and effects of individual Pacific Northwest strains. Davidson explains, “Chemically speaking, chocolate is a perfect bedmate for cannabis; [alkaloids] theobromine, anandamide, they’re all talking. You get those going together and suddenly you’ve got a righteous experience of joyfulness on your hands.”
Looking forward, Davidson weighs the impact cannabis can have on people’s lives. “Cannabis could be the product that pushes people who would never consider organic veggies to start caring about that issue in the cannabis they inhale or ingest,” she says. “We’re setting trajectory; it’s an important time to be making decisions with intention, as companies and consumers.”