Nov 23, 2022 - News

Coast Cannabis & the chocolate factory

Co-owner Brian Cusnick holds out a large tray full of cannabis-infused s'mores chocolate bars in the Coast Cannabis facility.

Not your Cub Scouts' s'mores chocolate. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

It's Green Wednesday, which is considered the Black Friday of cannabis consumers.

Driving the news: To commemorate the holiday, we're catching a glimpse into cannabis manufacturer Coast Cannabis' facility in Wareham, where it makes organic, cannabis-infused chocolate bars and gummies before they're shipped off to Boston-area dispensaries.

What's happening: Angela Brown and Brian Cusick have come a long way since the evenings when they filled their kitchens with cannabis-infused peanut butter cups and snickerdoodles.

  • Today, they produce tens of thousands of organic, infused chocolates and gummies in an 8,500-square-foot facility off of Cranberry Highway.

Why it matters: Massachusetts' retail market has grown since the first dispensaries opened on Nov. 20, 2018, and so has Coast Cannabis.

  • Four years ago, the state saw long lines forming out of its first two retailers, but now the market has grown to include more than 250 retail stores.
  • Coast started selling in three stores in 2020. Today, roughly 170 retailers carry its products, including several in Greater Boston.

What they're saying: "We set out to create products that we wanted to consume," Brown tells Axios. "That was like our genesis, and I think that is what has allowed us to be as successful as we've been in a short period of time because we really lead with the consumer mindset."

The big picture: Coast Cannabis is among hundreds of manufacturers bracing for the rush on "Green Wednesday."

  • In 2021, Green Wednesday was one of the top five days for cannabis sales nationwide with the industry reporting $98.2 million in sales, third behind Black Friday ($99 million) and April 20 ($111.8 million)

State cannabis regulators do not compile local figures on its economic impact, and unlike Black Friday retailers, Massachusetts dispensaries cannot offer any promotions or discounts on cannabis products today.

See photos of the facility.

Coast Cannabis co-founder Brian Cusnick, wearing laytex gloves, opens a cylindrical bag of cannabis flower.
Coast Cannabis uses flower from local growers to make its cannabis oil. Here's the ground flower before the extraction process. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
Coast Cannabis co-founder Brian Cusnick stands in front of several barrels where cannabis flower is distilled into cannabis oil.
The extraction process that takes ground flower and makes cannabis oil begins in this room. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
Chocolate drips down a vat as it swirls.
This was Coast’s first vat for chocolate making. They’ve since upgraded to much larger vats. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A close up of an employee's hands, with blue gloves, as he counts edible gummies to put them in their packaging.
Coast uses organic tapioca to make its infused gummies. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
Coast Cannabis co-founder Angela Brown stands behind a tub of packaged gummy packs a white, sterile room in her facility.
CEO and co-founder Angela Brown says Coast's gummies are infused with THC, CBD and CBN, which customers have used as an alternative treatment for colitis and other conditions. (Coast does not make medical claims about its products, citing state regulations.) Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

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