In this interview, Gay Gelman and Greg Weiss, the Co-Founders of @UpsideEdibles share their background on creating high-quality, delicious and consistent cannabis edibles. They share on reasons why they went into medicinal cannabis edibles, the challenges they faced and how their edibles have helped their customers.
Ganjly: What is your background?
Gay Gelman & Greg Weiss: The Upside Edibles team has experience in many different industries. We have experience in event planning, in branding, in law, in startups and in technology. We also have experience in medical marijuana both on the grow side and in cannabis dispensaries.
Ganjly: How did you get started in the business of Upside Edibles?
Gay Gelman & Greg Weiss: There are three main reasons that we started Upside Edibles. First, we saw an opportunity in the market for high-quality, delicious, and consistent cannabis edibles. We knew that using our combined skills, we could create great cannabis products to fill this hole in the market and we had the ability to get it out into cannabis dispensaries and into the hands of patients. Second, we all can read the news and see the statistics about opioid addiction throughout the country.
We truly believe that medical marijuana is a natural, safer option to the synthetic chemicals that drug companies are producing and marketing directly to the public. We are proud to be a part of a movement legalizing access to medical marijuana and being a part of the solution to the opioid epidemic.
Lastly, we have a very personal connection. Our team members have had siblings and parents who have suffered through cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy. There was no legal access to cannabis and no safe, consistent edible options. The choices our family members were faced with was either suffer in silence or smoke illicit marijuana. We are just happy to be providing an alternative to patients and improve conditions in ways that were unavailable to our own families.
Ganjly: Have you faced many challenges while working in the cannabis market?
Gay Gelman & Greg Weiss: The great challenge faced by Upside Edibles, and many other cannabis products and edibles in particular, is educating the consumer. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma out there about using cannabis and many people don’t know the benefits and safety of cannabis as medicine relative to synthetic drugs.
We are working to educate the consumer through information on our website and through literature that we make available at our dispensary partners. As more people become educated about cannabis, our market will grow and we will be able to provide relief to more patients.
The other great challenge in working in the cannabis market is the federal question. Since marijuana is still a Schedule I drug and illegal under federal law, our whole business is affected. Problems banking, inequitable tax treatment and uncertainty about federal enforcement are always in our mind, complicating every decision we make.
Ganjly: How have your products helped your customers in terms of health and wellness?
Gay Gelman & Greg Weiss: We have had tremendous feedback from our customers. They love that Upside Edibles provides them with relief that is delicious and consistent. One patient wrote us to say that she suffers from anxiety, insomnia, and painful menstrual cramps. For years she has eased her symptoms by smoking, which she never really enjoyed.
She found that using Upside Edibles has been a way better and even more effective form of treatment. She described it as a “better and more healthy version of Xanax. The themes that we are hearing from our customers most frequently is that they love the flavor, consistency and effectiveness of our products.
Ganjly: What is the most exciting thing about what Upside Edibles are doing?
Gay Gelman & Greg Weiss: Our favorite events are “patient appreciation days” that many of our dispensaries host. It is a great opportunity to connect with our cannabis consumers, hear what they want, what they need, and what they feel is missing from dispensary shelves. Understanding our consumers, hearing from them directly, is the most important first step we can take to help them. They tell us that they are looking for relief for: arthritis, menstrual cramps, anxiety, migraines, back pain, poor sleep, nausea, lack of appetite, chronic pain, and other conditions. They are also telling us that they love that they can get relief with a delicious and effective edible.
The other exciting part of our business is new product development. This goes back to the idea of connecting with the consumer. We are hearing great ideas for them for the types of products they want and we work in the kitchen developing new ideas to bring a greater variety of choices to patients who are looking for something new and different.
Ganjly: Does Upside Edibles have an advocacy? Tell us about it.
Gay Gelman & Greg Weiss: Our mission is to create high quality, delicious, and consistent cannabis edibles that provide relief to all who seek it. We can only do that successfully, however, if we are a strong voice in the powerful and growing movement to educate the public and eliminate the stigma of cannabis. We encourage people to think about cannabis edibles in a new way, as something that is not just acceptable, but the most responsible way for adults to seek the relief they need.
Ganjly: Where can they find your products and how can the dispensaries contact you for more information?
Gay Gelman & Greg Weiss: We are proud to sell our cannabis products in cannabis dispensaries and through delivery services throughout the Los Angeles area. Every day we are adding more dispensaries to our team. Here is a selection of our current dispensary partners:
Coast to Coast Collective
7127 Canoga Ave.
Canoga Park CA
Green Angel Collective
1716 S. Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
The Healing Touch
18013 W. Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316
8464 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
7382 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
7022 Valjean Ave.
Van Nuys, CA 91406
23043 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Reseda Discount Caregivers
18448 Oxnard St.
Tarzana, CA 91356
Fast Meds Delivery
Culver City, CA
547 Seaton St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Kind Care Delivery
For more information, visit upsideedibles.com
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