Pot-laced chocolate is perhaps the ultimate two-for-one munchie for stoners. Master chocolatier Scott Van Rixel is banking on it. In 2010, he founded Bhang Chocolate, a maker of cannabis-infused chocolate bars and cannabis oil, along with the vape pens used to vaporize it.
Headquartered out of Oakland, Calif., the sweet startup has locations in seven states, the District of Columbia and in three other countries. Also Bhang’s CEO, Van Rixel isn’t entirely optimistic about maintaining his company’s market stronghold, or even about staying open, should the federal government crack down on infused edibles.
“I think [the cannabis edibles industry] is going to get narrower, not on brands, but with regard to products -- cookies, brownies, chocolates, things that are definitely food items,” he recently told Marijuana Business Magazine (MBM). “I believe that over time, regulation is going to steer [the industry] away from those products because of the likelihood of confusion for a child.”
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Meanwhile, the company continues to expand due to a $39 million venture capital investment made by Mentor Capital in 2014, boosting Bhang’s valuation at that time to $65 million.
“It used to just take a serious set of brass balls to succeed in this industry, and you’ve got to have a brain now, too,” Bhang also told MBM. “You’ve got to have a formula, and you’ve got to be able to repeat that formula. You’ve got to have good business sense. The days of just having to take a risk are over.”