California Edibles with “Punch Edibles” CFO Samantha C.
Welcome Punch Edibles to Budtenders Life! We sit down with Samantha, CFO of Punch Edibles. She explains how Punch was created, what goes into the edible itself, and a bit about California cannabis laws.
Q: Hey Samantha! How is the day treating you?
A: My day today is actually a little stressful. We are getting ready to leave for Abra Ca Dabs Festival for the weekend. A lot of planning is involved when we do events, I want to make sure we don’t forget anything! (which happens more than I like).
Q: You are the CFO of Punch Edibles? What were you doing before you got into the cannabis industry?
A: Before starting Punch, I was a wardrobe stylist for about 6 years. I went to fashion school in Los Angeles and then went straight into working at American Idol dressing the contestants. I specialized in national commercials, music videos and celebrity styling. I worked with celebrities such as, Dustin Hoffman, Disclosure, Zedd, Jordan Sparks, Wilson Phillips, Camron Bicondova, and more. At&T, Skippy and Atlantic Broadband were just a few of the companies. I always liked smoking marijuana, but I definitely never thought I would be in the industry.
Q: How did Punch Edibles become what it is today?
A: My boyfriend Andrew and I started the company together in 2013. He is a creative genius and I am here to collaborate and execute! We have been blessed to have a lot of friends and family members join in the company and really put in the hours to help make this company what it is.
Q: Your edibles really do pack a “Punch”! Even though you offer bars weighing in at 225mg, we see that you offer CBD bars. What was the inspiration behind creating the “C-90” CBD Bar?
A: We always wanted to put out a cbd bar, but we wanted to do it in a different but Punch way. A lot of companies do a ratio bar that mizes thc and cbd. There are very few that have 0% thc. Our Punch C-90 bar has one of the highest cbd content and zero thc. It makes it great for people that want no part in the psychedelic effects of thc, but still want the benefits of cbd. There was a need for it in the market and we wanted to provide it.
Q: A lot of edibles in California seem to not be scored or divided into pieces, this can create some confusion with the consumer. Your bars on the other hand are scored into 9 squares. How important is edible education right now?
A: Our bars weren’t always scored, which posed a problem. We are a high dose edible and it can be pretty dangerous to trust the patients to portion out their medicine correctly. We quickly had custom molds made to clearly state how much a serving should be. People are still amazed that they can get high off one little square. Edible education is very important. It is just like any other recreational activity. People have to learn how much their body can take and not to abuse products.
Q: It looks like you have won quite a few awards! What do you attribute to the success?
A: We always made it a big point to stay consistent. The last thing your customers should say is that the bar hits them different every time. A lot of companies struggle with this. We are very careful with dosing our batches and making sure everything is evenly incorporated. We also cater to a lot of different people. First time users can start with one square and some patients with higher tolerances can eat the whole bar. We are half the amount of chocolate as most companies, which mean fewer grams of sugar, fewer calories and more medicine. They taste good too! : )
Q: With the regulations always changing, are there any moments that stand out when you had to overcome a major issue?
A: Packaging used to be a major issue for us. We needed ot make sure that our bar is childproof, and had all the correct verbiage on it. Our product is really small, which doesn’t allow for much room on the package. Trying to make your product look appealing, but still explain the necessary information was a challenge.
Q: Are you excited for recreational cannabis? Will you be producing a special line of edibles for said market, while keeping your higher potency edibles on medical?
A: We are still a little unsure about going recreational. As a manufacturer, you have a lot of questions… Will we need different packaging for medical vs recreational? Will there be new regulations on serving sizes?… There are definitely more positives than negatives but any unknown is a little scary. I am however excited for more people to try our product.
Q: How important is the relationship between vendor and budtender?
A: Super important. We pass the baton to the budtender. Our job is to sell it to the collective. After that, it’s the budtenders job to sell it to the patients. If we don’t educate the budtenders, our products wont be sold. If they like your product, they are more likely to suggest it to the customer.
Q: You not only do Edibles but produce extracts as well? What made you go down this route and what type of extracts are you producing?
A: We use “smoke-able” quality shatter in our edibles. We were already manufacturing it ourselves, so we figured why not let people try it outside of our edibles. People get really excited when they can actually see, and smoke what is in our edible. It helped us coin the term #WhatsInYourEdible. In Addition, the industry wasn’t really being too transparent with patients about what their shatter or concentrates were made out of. People would label trim run as nug run and take advantage of the consumer. We wanted to put out a premium trim run that was just as good as some nug runs, but be honest with the consumer and fair in pricing. People tell us all the time they would think it was nug run if we didn’t tell them otherwise.
Q: So, what’s next for Punch?!
A: We just came out with the Punch Creams (all white chocolate PunchBar flavors) and a nug run rosin. We plan on coming out with a couple different products this year. Keep your eyes pealed : )
Q: Have any advice for newcommers to the industry?
A: Do your research. You need to see what the market is like, and make sure you can keep up with demand.
Q: Final but most important question! What are you most grateful for today?
A: I’m most grateful that I can come to work everyday to a creative and fun environment. I work with amazing people that all have the same goal in mind. We plan to take this all the way, and I am confident my crew and myself can make that happen.