Talking Portland Edibles with Laurie + Maryjane

We sit down with Laurie from Laurie And Maryjane to discuss Edibles in Portland, Oregon.

Q: Hello Laurie! How are you today?

A: It's a good day. I had pneumonia recently and felt lousy. Feeling better now and have lots of fun things coming up.  And maybe it will stop raining soon, that would be nice. 

Q: Laurie! You have been everywhere. You are an edibles contributor for many websites, you've wrote 4 cannabis cookbooks, and run an edibles company, where do you find time to sleep?

A: Lol. There is a lot going on, but there are 24 hours in a day. I'm very excited that The New Yorker is going to do a piece on me. A reporter came and spent a week following me doing my canna-business. Her name is Lizzie Widdicombe and she was smart and lovely. I think the fact that we are working on so many different things it's always fun and is never overwhelming. Almost. The books take a lot of time, but the whole family/Wolf Cartel pitches in.  We also have 4 employees, 3 in the kitchen.  That has been a game changer.  And all three of them work hard and laugh a lot.

 My husband Bruce is a photographer and we set up a studio in our home every week and shoot the recipes I develop and that's fun. We have been married for a long time and work well together. His photos are incredible, and that part doesn't feel like work. 

Q: How did you originally get into cooking with cannabis?

A: When my father was dying of cancer I made infused food for him for pain relief. Tremendously helpful. I treat my epilepsy with cannabis.  After moving to Oregon from New York in 2008, I got my medical card and starting treating my seizures with edibles. The choices were mostly pretty grim, and I decided to try making my own.   

Q: How did Laurie + Maryjane start? What was the vision behind it? 

A: Essentially we wanted to raise the level of edibles, attracting folks who wanted more than an infused rice crispy treat. I had designed the packaging and it looked like a 4th grade art project. When Mary, my terrific daughter in law,  joined the company she took it all up about 50 notches, making it all professional and striking.  

Q: You not only produce edibles ready for consumption but also produce products others can use to cook from home? 

A: We created the Canna-Kit that allows people to make their own canna-butter, and that is hugely popular. Yuuuuuggggggeeeee. .  The kit comes with decarbed cannabis, a muslin bag and a jar to contain the prepared oil/butter.  Additionally, we offer recipes and people are encouraged to write in with questions and help making their own infused recipes.  We have done demonstrations at events and dinners at our home introducing people to the joys of creating meals using cannabis as a new herb, that doesn't really taste that good! We help people learn how to enhance or disguise the taste depending on the food and the preference of the cook. 

Q: How has the industry reacted to items like infused Coconut Oil and Peanut Butter?

A: Both products do very well. The coconut oil is both edible and topical which gives people more bang for their buck. Peanut butter is a great way to indulge, no taste of cannabis and is an easy way to enjoy the benefits.  Just eat it with a spoon. Such taste.

Q: For novices out there, what is a good rule of thumb when cooking with cannabis? 

A: Less is more.  Always- We have found that the best way to cook with cannabis is to start with low doses, making sure that people don't have the unpleasant experience of getting too high. It's not dangerous, just unpleasant. 

Q: The effect of edibles vs smoking flower is MUCH different. Can you explain why this is?

A: The ingestion of cannabis feels very different and I love it. The effects come on gradually and it feels like a head and body high most of the time. And it seems to last longer. I like to eat an edible in a few stages, but not high doses, so that I feel kind of a wave of highness, I love that. 

Q: Are there any major misconceptions with cannabis edibles that need to be cleared up with the media?

A: As long as people start with low doses, and go up from there, there is no problem. In the states where cannabis is legal all products for sale have been tested for potency and pesticides. Rather than trying a strong edible first, go with a low THC dose, maybe 5 mg. of THC and see how that feels. It may be just right. If not, try a dose that is slightly higher.  When you find the potency level that is right for you, stick with it. 

Q: How has the Oregon recreational market affected your business? Any major changes you've had to make?

A: We have been crazy busy. We won 3 awards at The Dope Cup, and dispensaries have been very interested in carrying our products.  The licensing process has been challenging and has taken a long time. Being fully compliant is a great relief, we love being back in business. 

Q: The branding and packaging for Laurie + Maryjane is beautiful. What was your thinking when putting this together? 

A: Mary has done a fantastic job making our look both sophisticated, modern and fun. We now have our products in containers that are easy to manage, they keep our foods fresh and they can go in the fridge or freezer. And they look adorable.

Q: What are you most grateful for today? 

A: Being alive, healthy and living in a place that feels just right.  I have a loving family, and have been married to Bruce for over 30 years, and we still have a lot of fun together, and I like that we can share the burdens and the benefits of getting older.  I am not happy about the current political situation, to say the least. In fact, I am horrified.  

Alex PersonComment