Oakland’s Korova owns the high-THC edibles market, which will be banned under the state’s historic regulations

BY ED MURRIETA

Korova Edibles is about to lose its claim of “Unrivaled Potency.”

Since it launched in 2011, the Oakland company has owned the super-potent edibles space. Its current product line-up includes two dozen edibles each containing between 150 and 1,000 mg of mind-bending, body-soothing THC.

All of those super-potent edibles are on the verge of being banned under historic cannabis regulations that begin Jan. 1 in California,

Come Jan. 2, when medicinal dispensaries re-open after the New Year’s holiday, all Korova products sold via 765 stores and delivery services will effectively be as potent as every other edible brand in California’s newly regulated market and on potency par with other medicinal and recreational states: no more than 100 mg of THC per package.

Same goes for when recreational cannabis sales start later in the week, month or year, depending on local approval.

I emailed Korova founder Joe Gerlach to get his take on the matter.  I’ll update the story when I hear from him.

Meanwhile, here are some of my notes from my interview with Gerlach for my story in Leafly in April after the state released its proposed regulations.

  • “Sixty percent of our sales are the high-potency bars. Capping it off at 100 mg is really going to put a lot of people in a hard spot.”
  • “We saw a need for high-potency edibles. People were longing for something more potent. That’s when we came out with the 5150 bar at 500 mg. There was a lot of feedback that people wanted something stronger. I was kind of taken aback by that too. I have met lots of people who say they eat multiple 1,000-mg Black Bars a day.  While that might seem insane to some people, it’s what other people rely on to get through their day.”
  • “We’re interested in talking with the state about what kind of compromise we can come to that keeps the public safety in mind but also doesn’t screw over the patients who need more than 100 mg.”
  • “I think there’s a very responsible way to do this with child-proof packaging, proper warning labels, proper education. There are a lot of other ways to be responsible and protect the public. let’s not trample on the patients.”
  • “Frankly, people aren’t going to want to buy five brownies to get the same effect. First of all it’s going to cost them more. And from a health and caloric intake standpoint, you don’t want to have to eat 5,000 calories to get the same relief you were getting from 200 calories.Take a little nibble off a Black Bar and get 50 or 100 mg and don’t have to consume a 200-calorie brownie.”
  • “The Black Bar at $50 is the lowest price-per-mg product on the market. It’s not just high-potency, it’s also value.”

Here are some questions I posed to Gerlach:

  • What’s the fate of your current inventory of 150-mg, 250-mg, 500-mg and 1,000-mg edibles?
  • Will you have to recall or destroy these products?
  • Are dispensaries holding fire sales on these products before new regulations take effect?
  • Do you expect a significant financial loss from the ban of high-potency edibles — both loss of current product and loss of future sales?

I’m also interested in knowing whether any losses relate to banned products can be claimed as tax deductions.

More to come as the story develops.

Korova’s newest product, mini cookies, is in line with the state’s new regs: 10 10-mg cookies in one package, 100 mg total, no potency claim.