For a lot of people, cannabis is closely related to nostalgia. Everyone remembers the first time they smoked, the first time they tried edibles, or dabbed. With SunDrift Craft Edibles, nostalgia is the name of the game. Their line of craft-hard candies invokes a trip to days past, where you could forget your troubles and just get happy. With 4 wonderful flavors- butterscotch, black cherry, watermelon, and cinnamon- SunDrift hard candies are a great way to try a new cannabis experience.
Their nano-infused candies melt in your mouth, working sublingually to create a fast-acting experience. This creates a gradual, balanced high.
In January of 2023, we at Bask partnered with SunDrift as a distribution partner, joining a portfolio that includes 1906 and Howl’s Tincture. SunDrift is woman, AAPI, and LGBTQ+ owned and operated.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Janine Yu, COO and owner of SunDrift, to talk about the history of SunDrift and some of the hurdles of this industry.
In your own words, how would you describe SunDrift as a brand?
SunDrift is a woman- and minority-owned craft edibles brand based in the Berkshires. We produce delicious, full-spectrum, nano-infused hard candies for a fast-acting, balanced high.
Why hard candies?
Our hard candies are a throwback to an old-school, classic candy format with the nostalgic taste of New England. They combine great taste with superior effects (we think of ourselves as a candy company, with benefits). Because the candies dissolve slowly in your mouth over several minutes, you get to savor the great taste for longer, and you benefit from the sublingual uptake, which means a faster-acting more gradual, balanced high compared with a distillate gummy which can take longer and have a more spikey, psychoactive high.
What goes into making a SunDrift hard candy?
We wanted to represent a traditional, old-school hard candy, so the recipe is simple and allows us to produce a clean product. While there are only a few ingredients, it’s the process that requires a lot of extra attention. It’s fairly difficult to get the timing and the choreography of making hard candies right, which might be why you don’t see a lot of hard candies in the market. We also closely monitor temperature and humidity levels to ensure the customer receives the product in good condition. All of our candies are individually wrapped so they stay protected and transportable.
Can you tell us a little about the history of SunDrift?
SunDrift started in my home kitchen, where my husband and co-founder David Hollands perfected the recipe for a full-spectrum hard candy for five years before we decided to enter the Massachusetts market. His candies were really popular with our family and friends, especially during the pandemic when both our careers were at a standstill — I worked in travel and David worked in music and events. In late 2020, we decided to pursue a cannabis license in Massachusetts. We approached our friend, Jonathan Pollock, to become our business partner. With David’s candies as proof of concept, my operational skills as a veteran travel planner, and Jon’s business acumen as a successful entrepreneur with experience in consumer packaged goods, we felt we had a great team to launch a small craft edibles business.
It took us just a little over a year to get fully licensed and launch SunDrift in July 2022. We launched with four flavors of hard candies, which got us into over 20 dispensaries within the first six months because of its unique form factor — most stores did not have a hard candy edible. At the end of 2022, we signed a deal with Bask to become our distributor, and we joined its portfolio of premium brands, which include 1906 and Howl’s Tincture.
What are some unexpected hurdles you face in this industry?
There are of course the regulatory challenges that all cannabis businesses face. What’s been particularly challenging as a small and independent business is financing. We raised our seed round through family, friends, and our extended network. That helped launch the business, but as a start-up, we continue to seek investment and other forms of financing, which is not easy in the cannabis industry, especially in this capital environment. We continue to make it work by making intelligent business decisions and being scrappy.
For example, we currently have a crowdfunding investment raise through Mainvest (ending on Friday, September 8th), where fans and supporters of SunDrift can invest in our business for as little as $100, to be paid back as part of revenue share. This is one of several ways we are solving for financing, which really is the biggest hurdle to operating a cannabis business.
What’s next for SunDrift?
SunDrift just released the first flavor in its effects-based line, “SunDrift to Sleep” StrawberryCream, which incorporates CBN and CBD for rest and relaxation, and we have more exciting innovations soon to come – from seasonal flavors over the holidays to other effect-based SKUs. Stay tuned and come drift with us!
Where can we find SunDrift?
SunDrift is carried in over 50 dispensaries across Massachusetts, ranging from small and independent retailers that are woman, minority, or veteran-owned such as Calyx in the Berkshires and Hennep in Provincetown, to large MSOs such as MedMen.
Where can we follow you?
Follow @getsundrift on Instagram and LinkedIn. You can also find more information on SunDrift on our website, www.getsundrift.com.
We at Bask are proud to partner with SunDrift. Check out SunDrift on our menu by clicking here.