Mark Mallen was already a highly successful, ice-cream entrepreneur when he decided last year to start a separate company that infuses cannabis into his product, providing a tasty alternative for Colorado’s fast-growing medical marijuana market.
Mile High Ice Cream now offers more than 60 “medicated” flavors, ranging from Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pot Tart and High Country Chocolate to Peanut Butter Kush Cup and non-dairy Coconut Fudge.
Fresh fruit sorbets and lower-fat gelati round out the product line that rolls out of two commercial kitchens near downtown Denver. A sales force of eight independent contractors crisscrosses Colorado, selling the frozen desserts and other medicated edibles made in Mile High’s kitchens, which employ another 15 people.
“We are the biggest distributor of medical marijuana edibles in Colorado, wholesaling to 250-300 dispensaries,” says Mallen.
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Mallen moved to Boulder 10 years ago. Nine years ago, he founded Glacier Ice Cream and Gelato.
“I just thought there was no ice cream in Colorado that really stuck out,” says Mallen, 48, who estimates he’s started 20 businesses since he was 13 years old.
Glacier has consistently topped the area’s “best of” lists, supplanting other super-premium brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen Daz.
A year ago, Mallen’s 20-year-old son suggested a foray into Colorado’s burgeoning medical marijuana market.