‘Ganja Gum’ could soon be made in Aspen
February 24, 2016
Marijuana-infused bubblegum could become the newest cannabis-related product manufactured in Aspen if Pitkin County commissioners approve a Denver woman's business plan today.
Commissioners are scheduled to hold a public hearing on the application today during their regular meeting, which begins at noon. If they give their thumbs-up, Diane Van Os, co-owner of the business, said she hopes to be open and producing "Ganja Gum" within a month.
"It's something new to the market," Van Os said in a recent interview. "It's really, really good. It tastes and smells just like bubblegum
"You can barely taste the cannabis."
Van Os, a Denver-area patent attorney, said a friend of hers came up with the bubblegum recipe when the woman's father was going through cancer treatment and marijuana soothed the side effects. The woman's father didn't like smoking marijuana and found that edibles were too strong because they came on all at once, she said.
But the gum worked well for him because it delivered the drug in a more measured dose, Van Os said.
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"It's hard to overdose (with the gum) or get so high that you're not functioning," she said. "It was what really helped her father get through the cancer treatments."
While other cannabis-infused gums are on the market, their taste and consistency are often inferior, Van Os said. Ganja Gum, however, tastes and looks like the bright pink Dubble Bubble gum and has already won awards in Washington, she said.
"It's super, super popular," Van Os said. "Actually, you can blow bubbles (with it)."
The pieces will each contain 10 miligrams of cannabis and eventually also will be offered in watermelon and apple flavors, she said.
Van Os said she plans to sell the product statewide, and picked Aspen as a manufacturing base because of the moratorium on marijuana-businesses currently in effect in Denver.
"I had to apply in a county where there wasn't a moratorium," she said.
To that end, she is partnering with Sonya Bollerjack, a local resident who was already in the process of setting up a kitchen at the Aspen Business Center to manufacture marijuana edibles called Aspen Mountain High.
"We've been working on the kitchen for a month," Van Os said.
Attempts to reach Bollerjack on Monday and Tuesday were not successful. However, Van Os said they plan on producing other marijuana-related products in addition to the gum.
"We are definitely going to make other products down the road," she said.