NYC staple Magnolia Bakery is now making cannabis edibles, but New Yorkers can't get them yet

ByJordan Valinsky, CNN, CNNWire
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Magnolia Bakery making cannabis edibles, but NYers can't get them yet
Magnolia Bakery launches limited edition marijuana infused treats.

Magnolia Bakery's famous banana pudding is being whipped up in a new version that triggers elation in a different kind of way.

The New York City-based dessert maker is transforming some of its famous treats into THC-infused edibles, including its banana pudding and red velvet cake. The limited-edition bars, which mark Magnolia's first-ever cannabis product, "celebrate the brand's most iconic, fan-favorite flavors in a new light," the bakery said.

Both bars contain tetrahydrocannabinol, the part of the cannabis plant that produces a "high."

The "Swirled Famous Banana Pudding" bar contains a dollop of its creamy vanilla pudding, crunchy vanilla cookies and freeze-dried bananas. The 10-piece bar contains 10mg of THC per piece.

The other bar, a "Red Velvet Piece Ahhh Cake" bar contains flavors of moist, crimson-colored cake, a cream cheese flavor and rich chocolate. The 10-piece bar has 10mg of THC and 10mg of CBD (a component that does not cause the high associated with marijuana use) per piece.

Prices range from $18 to $30 depending on the flavor and the state. Beginning Wednesday, they will be sold in only three states - Illinois, Nevada and Massachusetts - at Rise Dispensaries. Magnolia worked with Green Thumb Industries, which produces Incredibles edibles, to make the branded bars.

Weed's woes

Marijuana remains illegal on a federal level, but roughly two dozen US states have legalized it for adult medical and recreational use. That has created consumer interest in weed, including edibles, with the stigma of buying the drug dissipating.

Perhaps once known for being just "pot brownies," the edible market has blossomed into several categories and hundreds of brands, including gummies, mints and candy bars. Cannabis research firm Headset said in a recent report that edibles have grown to 12% of total sales of weed, although still trailing behind flower, vapor pens and pre-rolls.

Within edibles, gummies are king, with three of every four edibles sold being gummies, It's not so sweet for sales of chocolates and cookies, which were down about 25% in September compared to the same month a year ago.

Gummies are "easier to travel with and carry around in your pocket versus a bunch of chocolates," Headset cofounder Scott Vickers told CNN, adding that "fruity or sour flavors probably mask the weedy taste of edibles better."

In total, edibles generated about $2 billion in sales last year, up almost 6% from the year prior, according to Headset's data.

Sweet for Magnolia

For Magnolia, the new edibles could create more awareness of the brand that is perhaps most famous for its cameo on "Sex and the City" and also generate some incremental revenue, according to Neil Saunders, retail analyst and managing director at GlobalData Retail.

"There is no real downside to Magnolia, as consumer opinions on cannabis are now relativity liberal," he told CNN. "Moreover, these products will be sold through dispensaries rather than being available in mainstream retailers, so people not interested in marijuana will not be exposed to them."

However, the lack of federal legalization makes it tricky for national distribution and could limit other brands from experimenting with edibles. Saunders said that since edibles can only be sold at dispensaries, that could "act as a brake on sales."

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