Courtesy of TreeTown
TreeTown's line of cannabis-infused, cocktail-flavored gummies.
A new line of gummies from Michigan-based TreeTown tastes like real cocktails — flavors like mimosa, tequila grapefruit, strawberry daiquiri, and piña colada. Except, of course, they get you high instead of drunk.
The gummies were developed by TreeTown chef Ella De Carvalho, who says there was a learning curve in pivoting to making cannabis-infused treats.
"The whole candy world, I was not very familiar with it at all," she tells Metro Times
. "I was more familiar with baking and decorating cakes and all that. So candy was definitely a big mystery for me."
De Carvalho says she started at TreeTown as a chef, and now oversees production of the company's edibles at its processing facility in Michigan Center, outside of Jackson.
She says she moved here with her family from Brazil in 1999, and grew up in Ann Arbor. "I was always into the arts, but my dad was always really concerned about me going to art school," she says. "So culinary is kind of the route that I went. I've always loved food — my grandma was a baker, not professionally, but as an amateur. I always hung out in her kitchen, so there's definitely a lot of love there."
She started studying pastries at Washtenaw Community College, and earned an associate's degree at Chicago's Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. She then returned to Michigan and worked for Zingerman's bakehouse.
When she started with TreeTown, De Carvalho says she didn't have much cannabis cooking experience, aside from "rice Krispies at home, or basic cannabutter stuff."
She adds, "It was definitely a sink or swim situation, but thankfully we were able to swim."
De Carvalho says the biggest lesson she learned is to ditch cannabis-infused butter.
"For home bakers, a lot of people really stick to cooking with cannabutter and stuff, which I find a really dangerous choice of medication," she says. "It's very hard to control and it causes a lot of crappy and just not really great experiences with cannabis, which makes people kind of turn away and not want to try it again."
She adds, "Something that I would love to tell people is use distillate. You can buy it at dispensaries, and you have your desired potency. You're able to do the math and you're able to get really accurate and consistent edibles."
The TreeTown gummies are available at more than 200 stores in Michigan. They come in 100-milligrams packages of 10, or 10 milligrams per piece. (As with any new edibles, you should start small by breaking off a piece of one to test your personal tolerance, which differs from person to person. We found one gummy provided us hours of high times.)
De Carvalho says she's also working on smaller bite-sized cookies. The cookies typically run 100 milligrams, so the smaller size will allow consumers to dose more easily.
"We've heard from our customers, and the people that like our products said that it is difficult to portion them when you want to microdose," she says. "So I want to make it as easy as possible for people to enjoy our products."
She's also working on gluten-free options.
She says the cocktail gummies are created from scratch with locally sourced, quality ingredients.
"We really found a way to have a really great formula for our gummies — something that has really great flavor, that really stands out compared to other ones in the market, I think," she says. "I told my boss, I was like, it's either we do everything from scratch, or we don't do it. That's something that I wanted us to stand for. So I'm really proud of the gummy line we have created."
More information is available at treetowncannabis.com
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