Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016 | 2 a.m.
Marijuana-infused soft drinks, pocket mints, chocolates and lotions. Oh, the variety!
Silver State Wellness’ new 17,000-square-foot production facility in the central valley is one of an increasing number of sites to produce items for the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries without actually growing the plant itself.
The facility, which opened earlier this month, is a partnership with Colorado-based producer Dixie Elixirs and Edibles and manufactures more than 20 THC-infused edibles, topicals and tinctures set to hit dispensary shelves later this month. The company purchases marijuana from local cultivators for its products.
“It doesn’t make sense for us economically to also cultivate marijuana at this time,” said Dixie Brands CEO Tripp Keber, whose company also partners with marijuana edible facilities to distribute products in Colorado, Arizona and California. “But with the robust medical program and potential for recreational marijuana here in Nevada, we saw Las Vegas as a great spot to establish this partnership.”
One of Dixie Elixir’s flagship products, the sarsaparilla root-beer flavored, marijuana-infused elixir, features 100 milligrams of THC in its 8.5-ounce bottle. It’s one of four different flavors coming to Las Vegas next month, including fruit punch, wildberry lemonade and an Arnold Palmer-style lemonade-and-iced-tea combination.
The facility’s mint-making machine cranks out dozens of weed-infused circular pill-size confectionaries at a time. They include the Relaxation peppermint flavor, mixed with a blend of lemon balm and passion flower roots, and the Awakening orange-zest flavor with ginseng and matcha tea powder. With a modest 5 milligrams of THC and CBD per mint, multiple tablets will likely be needed for users experience a significant high, Silver State Wellness spokesman Jacob Silverstein said.
“It’s really designed to be enjoyed in small portions,” Silverstein said. “We always suggest that you can add to the experience. Go low, go slow.”
In a separate room, Le Cordon Bleu-trained chocolatier Kristal Chamblee made milk chocolates and handed them to fellow kitchen employees for wrapping. Just one square of the 12-square, 100-milligram THC and CBD Crispy Kraken or Toasted Rooster chocolate bars, shaped like a Hershey’s, is enough to produce a “relaxing high,” Chamblee said. The effects usually take 30 to 45 minutes to kick in, but also depend on the individual’s tolerance level.
While consumers of the elixirs and mints are directly ingesting THC and CBD, those applying the marijuana-infused muscle relief lotion won’t feel any significant effects, because the lotion does not penetrate the skin. Designed as an anti-inflammatory to help with muscle spasms, aches and pains, the lotion does not enter a person’s bloodstream, Keber explained.
The facility doesn’t just cater to humans, either. Downstairs, boxes of dog-friendly powders designed to be sprinkled on the animal’s food rest on a shelf by the dozen. With formulas such as Calm and Quiet, Stop the Itch and Up and Moving, the cannabis-based pet products include flavors such as maple bacon for overall wellness, Keber said.
But while just about all of the facility’s other products are made with marijuana, the canine-friendly products are THC-free industrial hemp-based and can be sold legally in pet stores across the country.
“The first thing people ask is if Fluffy or Fido is going to be high,” Keber said. “And the answer is 'no.’”