Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
You might get one with marijuana.
This Valentine's Day, there's a boost in sales of pot chocolates, along with other cannabis products (check out this unique holiday gift guide).
"Chocolates are big all year-round," said Ata Gonzalez, CEO of GFarmaLabs in California, which makes cannabis-infused treats. "But through any holiday, you see the truffles sell a lot more. It's a gifting item."
Edible marijuana products have turned out to be the biggest surprise hit in Colorado after recreational pot was legalized. Newcomers often don't want to smoke, though New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd famously discovered that edibles can pack a punch if you're not careful. Her bad experience is one reason Colorado now tells retailers to score or portion edibles into segments with 10 milligrams of THC apiece.
Most of GFarmaLab's products in California's medical marijuana dispensaries have 25 mg to 35 mg of THC, though the chocolate hearts Gonzalez sells have 50 mg. "California's a different market than most," he said. "The consumer has a tolerance for this type of product."
Images of marijuana leaves and other warnings are on his labels to try to keep the treats out of the hands of children.
GFarmaLab sales in 2014 topped $1 million, according to the CEO, and they're growing at least 20 percent a month. Gonzalez is looking to expand into other states with either legal medical or recreational pot, like Nevada and Washington. While his company still sells cannabis in weed form, also called "flower," he sees less and less of that in the future.
"My kids don't know what a flower smells like," Gonzalez said. "People aren't smoking pot that much anymore in the form of joints—you know, the Cheech and Chong era."