Coast Cannabis brings organic ingredients to marijuana-infused edibles
Coast Cannabis, a company manufacturing organic cannabis-infused chocolates, gummies, and vaporizer cartridges, launched in the early days of the pandemic, and brought its first products to market in May 2020.
By the summer of 2021, the company had grown enough that it had to expand its space on the ground floor of Redbrook Plaza on Cranberry Highway (downstairs from Golden Bamboo and Pizza Boy).
Founders and spouses Angela Brown and Brian Cusick said that since the beginning, their focus has been on using high-quality ingredients.
“Everything we do here is done by hand,” Brown said. “All of our ingredients we use are organic and all-natural.”
That includes organic, fair trade, ethically and sustainably sourced chocolate and all organic, corn syrup-free gummies, Brown said.
“Cannabis is a wellness product,” said Cusick. “We really didn’t find edibles that were utilizing those types of ingredients so we entered the marketplace to try to elevate the quality of the ingredients.”
Coast Cannabis products are now sold in dozens of dispensaries, all over Massachusetts.
“With cannabis, I think there's not enough care going on. It seems like a lot of rushing to the market or just the assumption that if it has cannabis, it’ll sell,” Brown said. “Consumers are really smart, and they have options, and they know that.”
Brown said part of her inspiration to get into the cannabis business was her own experience. She had initially been against using cannabis herself, while Cusick was more of a fan.
In her mid-twenties, she was struggling with trouble sleeping and digestive issues. She had tried various traditional medical solutions and gone to see doctors, but nothing helped.
Then, she went to a book club composed of other professional women who began talking about how much they loved cannabis, and how much it had helped them sleep or soothed their period cramps.
Brown said she remembered being shocked: “No way! And you’re still able to be a successful entrepreneur, doing all those things DARE tells you you’re not going to do if you smoke weed.”
She said she went home and told Brian she wanted to give it a try.
She never liked smoke, so she decided to try edibles. Her first experience of commercially-made edibles was terrible, she said: the product was like a drier version of packaged mini brownie bites. And she knew she could do better. So she got to work in her home kitchen, eventually sending her creations out for testing, and deciding to make those creations a career alongside her husband and a growing team.
“We have less than 20 people, so kind of having your hands in a lot of different places is a must,” said Corine Barkus, a Wareham native in charge of packaging. She coordinates packaging design and compliance with state regulations about product testing and labeling.
“One thing that’s a little different for us is we really want to create a lot of jobs,” Brown said. “That’s just something that Brian and I believe in whole-heartedly — human work over robots.”
She said that the company would rather bring in more people than automate parts of the production process.
“It’s great to be able to employ folks and provide ways for people to develop a career and a skillset in the cannabis world, whether it’s at [Coast Cannabis] forever or somewhere within the cannabis industry,” Cusick said.
Brown said it’s important to both her and Cusick for their employees to be invested, so they are focusing on making Coast Cannabis a good place to work.
“We’re going to do the work, right, but it’s cannabis — let’s have some fun,” Brown said.
For more about Coast Cannabis, go to www.coastcannabisco.com.