“For the general public, having food safety laws in place and having a way for people who are producing edibles to have access to the regulations and certifications that they need is really important.”
Many cannabis enthusiasts have their go-to edibles— one’s they’ve tried, trust, and would recommend to friends. Then there are others that if you ask about their experience, they painfully gaze off reminiscing about their horrible experience, vowing to never try the buzzy gummy again. The latter more than likely didn’t purchase their product from a certified dispensary, and that’s a big problem according to edible-brand Azuca’s William Widmaier.
Before we get into some of the issues with edible production today and their solutions, according to Will, let’s take it back to the beginning of his road to cannabis.
Like any regular ol’ teenager, Will would smoke weed, order takeout, and play video games. Over time, his consumption and knowledge of the plant evolved. Through an understanding of its medicinal properties and a career change from a chocolate factory into the field (Please hold all Will Wonka jokes.) Will recognizes that “Three years in the cannabis industry is a long time for a lot of people. There’s just so much to learn, to digest as you’re working through the cannabis business.” As Vice President of Partnerships and Production at Azuca, Will is learning a lot.
For those unfamiliar, Azuca TiME INFUSION™ is hailed as the “main efficient delivery system for cannabis edibles,” according to their website. Azuca uses the acronym TIME: thermodynamic individual molecular encapsulation which basically means onset is fast-acting, consistently taking effect generally between two to fifteen minutes. To break down why Azuca’s technology is better in the simplest terms, this cool chart should help.
The chart is not as cool as the technology. You see nano, or nanolipid emulsification (the process used for most edibles) is oil-in-water, whereas Azuca’s licensing model is hydrophilic, meaning the water-friendly ingredient bypasses the liver. It absorbs in the soft tissue of your mouth, esophagus, and stomach, quickly reaching the endocannabinoid receptors.
Will started at Azuca based in New York, then moved to Albuquerque, NM about a year later. One of his first tasks was to help facilitate a local cannabis company setting up an edibles program.
It’s important to note that Azuca does not sell edibles. The edible-ingredient company licenses their proprietary technology, Azuca TiME INFUSION™ to edibles producers. While they don’t make edibles themselves, Will says “We [help] edibles producers who are currently making or looking to produce make their product fast-acting.” Their product Azuca Chocolate Activator powered by TiME INFUSION™ is sold to companies, not infused, making way for interesting commerce.
As a mover in the industry, Will says one of the biggest alarms: Some dispensaries are pretty lax with what they require the facilities to have. In other words, their compliance is trash, and it’s often reflected in the products carried. That’s mainly in part due to weed not being federally legal. If and when it is, we’ll probably see more companies like Azuca (if they even exist) holding edible companies accountable. Consumers should be able to accurately dose. Will says,
Some states haven’t necessarily adopted all of the food safety laws, and everybody is always super worried about how kids get edibles but just for the general public, having food safety laws in place and having a way for people producing edibles to have access to the regulations and certifications that they need is important.”William Widmaier, Azuca
Will uses the FDA as an example, stressing that because there’s no need for approval, you don’t need to have all of the FDA food safety requirements you would need if you were making regular ol’ baked goods. He points out, “Sometimes, there’s a bit of disconnect there because people that are getting into edibles might come from a cannabis cultivation background or they might be doing it because maybe they came from a dispensary and now they want to have their own brand of edibles and they’re not necessarily someone coming from a food production background.” For those funny gummies, eat at your own risk.
Since working on the production end of edibles, Will is a little more careful about when he consumes them and how.
There’s no doubt more research and education needs to come from cannabis. Cannabinoids are the medicine, so having a predictable dose and ways to apply that medicine safely and consistently is important. Our bodies’ receptors are key. Will points out “When you consume alcohol, your body doesn’t have alcohol receptors. Your liver processes it, it goes into your blood, and it’s just all over the place causing havoc. But, your body actually has cannabinoid receptors, and there’s a real purpose to cannabinoids. It could provide a lot of relief for different kinds of people in a lot of ways.”
He ain’t never lied about that. So, how does Will chill?
Despite being at an edible company, that’s not really his go-to method for relaxing, unless he’s spending the day at the beach or camping. As a fishing and foraging enthusiast, Will loves zoning out to catch and cook Youtube videos or shitty action movies. For him, a sativa is cool (high THC isn’t necessary) blown down in a glass bowl. His most recent favorite strain is Durban Poison, copped in Cali. For snacks, he likes ’em salty and crunchy. You might also catch Will in the backyard with his dog, a bowl, and a fire going as he sips on a Mezcal.
For edibles manufacturers seeking stability and waste solutions, try seeing how AZUCA TiME INFUSION™ can help your edis better elevate here.