How a young Vermont baker is trying to elevate cannabis edibles
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - Since Vermont’s recreational pot shops started opening on Oct. 1, more and more products are joining the market. For consumers who don’t want to smoke, edibles might be the way to go. I caught up with one manufacturer moving away from the typical gummy and into something with a bit more crunch.
Ahead of the holidays, Martha Bruhl is hard at work making cookie dough. Flour, eggs and vanilla: all the components are there. But the butter is a bit... elevated.
“It’s basically just like running a bakery except I add cannabutter. It’s really no different,” she said.
Bruhl owns Fog Valley Farm, a Middlebury-based company that makes cannabis edibles. She says she was the first recreational marijuana manufacturing license granted in Vermont.
While dispensaries focused heavily on getting flower onto store shelves when shops opened on Oct. 1, Bruhl is now stepping in to bring tasty treats to the table.
“Grandma Kush’s chocolate chip cookies and I’m just releasing a summertime jam cookie this week. So, those are little tiny cookie doughs that you can bake in your oven and have a fresh baked edible,” she explained.
Bruhl says she’s always loved baking but the labor-intensive nature of a commercial bakery wasn’t for her. When marijuana was legalized in Vermont and she turned 21, she and her family began dabbling with bud-based baking. A year later, she’s opened up her own business.
“I’m only 22 years old, so I’m very young,” she said. “I think I’m the youngest person in the cannabis industry.”
But Bruhl is adamant that it doesn’t much matter, though she says it was quite a learning curve to get here, especially when it came to learning the chemistry behind the cannabis.
“Adding cannabutter is really no different, but the science behind activating the THC and creating the cannabutter, creating a solid potency, not allowing the THC to degrade when you’re heating it to higher temperatures or making your cannabutter... it’s a lot to learn,” she said.
Because Bruhl makes her own cannabis butter, the sticks are sent to the lab for testing before baking and are made with strain-specific cannabis. Bruhl picks strains based on desired effects from the THC, and terpenes for flavor.
“I really look for ones that have lemonene in them, that’s big. Things that are like vanilla undertone, and all the undertones you’d find in a cookie,” Bruhl said.
Once the butter comes back from the lab, it’s time to bake. Making sure each cookie is properly dosed to 5 milligrams involves a lot of careful measurement.
“It seems really daunting, it seems really complicated but once you’re in it and you do it a couple of times, it gets really simple,” Bruhl said.
Once they’re done, they’re portioned out and packed up before taking a car ride to stores to be sold or dispensed to home bakers.
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