CannaElite is Checking All of the Boxes
CannaElite is trying a different approach to cannabis edibles.
“One of my favorite things to do at trade shows is watch people’s eyes roll back into their heads when they first try our truffles.”
TLDR: these aren’t your normal edibles.
It is often said that the easiest way to find success in selling a product is to believe in the product yourself—and Theresa Vadnais is a bona fide believer. If her words above didn’t quite paint the picture, CannaElite’s fiery Sales Manager wants you to know that their extensive line of hemp-derived counter-culture confections are of such quality that they may trigger feelings of ecstasy, the likes of which are typically reserved for discussion in the After Hours section of this publication. In fact, “Orgasm” was used more than once.
With a specialization in hemp-derived Delta 9 THC, the folks at CannaElite pride themselves on creating a product that combines the art of a pastry chef with modern food science to give you the pinnacle of edible experiences.
Given Theresa’s public-facing role as Sales Manager, it’s no surprise she can eloquently highlight the ways in which CannaElite has redefined the consumer experience in the hemp edible space. However, to get us more “into the weeds” on what makes this company stand out from the pack, she preferred to hand the proverbial microphone over to their founder, Jeff Young.
Jeff was kind enough to sit down and talk with us about the company’s unique approach to the world of edibles and why he and Theresa believe that they are setting the trend for taste + experience.
HQ: Tell us how CannaElite got started
Jeff Young: At the time CannaElite was founded, I had medical licenses in three different states and was hearing more and more from patients who felt like edibles were a better fit for what they needed. Taking a look at the market then, and even now, it seemed like most of the product out there was designed towards getting the maximum experience while sometimes sacrificing flavor and aesthetic in the process.
We just wanted to do more. We wanted to move beyond the ends justifying the means and to really surprise people. We created something advanced as far as the food science is concerned and brought in a pastry chef with more than 30 years experience to unify taste and effect for a truly satisfying experience.
HQ: The world of edibles can seem a little repetitive. We have all had our fair share of bitter tasting gummies, whether THC or CBD. Often, they just don’t taste great. How are you changing this?
JY: The bottom line is cannabinoids are inherently earthy, bitter and can be difficult to work with. Knowing how to counteract and/or work with this strong flavor profile can set good edibles apart from the rest. And if we’re being honest, the era of buying and consuming products specifically for their effects and not taste, is over. There’s a balance here between finding something that you enjoy without overdosing them to the point you can’t eat them. Ours taste so good, people even ask for un-dosed versions.
HQ: I was told by your sales team that CannaElite makes “grown and sexy” edibles. Can you elaborate on that?
JY: Our marketing is definitely targeted to mature audiences – and that is very intentional. A lot of products available these days come across as marketing to children. Our goal is to avoid that completely. The CannaElite black and gold packaging is meant to be luxurious—to show the quality of the product inside.
We are actually ruthless in going after flavor combinations and I think you can see the intention behind it. Other flavors than chocolate are brought forward, flavors that were missing in the industry. And not to give too much away, but real fruit is the secret – the trick to it all. Our pastry chef has fine dining and luxury catering experience and helped create our yuzu truffles three to four years ago.
HQ: Yuzu is huge right now.
JY: We were ahead of the curve on that one and it has been a big hit. CannaElite is constantly bringing new products to market. Right now, we’re in the throes of our seasonal push with flavors like our Chronic Harvest line spiced caramel apple cider, hazelnut and carrot cake sandwich cookies, and pumpkin spice and salted caramel truffles – even those of us who aren’t basic like them.
HQ: Now that we’ve covered the look and the taste, tell us about the feel.
JY: So, the techniques we use actually improve lymphatic absorption. The ingredients, time and formulation that goes into every bite makes the cannabinoid more bioavailable, giving the consumer more bang for their buck. There are no emulsifiers or gelling agents used in the process so a much cleaner flavor is produced than what is typical.
Formulating infused foods and beverages can be challenging. The complexities between how all the ingredients interact with each other can separate the great from the not so great. Every one of our products has a 3rd party lab tested certificate of analysis so that people know exactly what they are getting.
HQ: What’s on the horizon?
JY: Good things are coming! We think the market is drastically changing and since our main competition are other chocolate companies – not necessarily cannabis companies – our goal is to offer items that are in line with what you would see in a Godiva, for example, but on steroids. There will definitely be vegan options available as well as health-based shamanic mushroom chocolate bars, single-bite teasers, instant gratification jars (note: think layers of parfait-y goodness) and spreads like cookie butter and chocolate hazelnut. We want to surprise people with the quality and flavor and keep them coming back for more.
To inquire about the art and science (and possible orgasms?) of CannaElite, check them out in person at the CHAMPS trade show in Tampa, Florida October 25-27.