Ever since they first hit stores in the 1970s, Jelly Belly’s legendary candy beans have been a bastion of sticky sweet Americana. Some candies come and go, but these enigmatic confections continue to thrive. They were famously a favourite of President Reagan. They even got their own wizarding, every-flavour rip-off in Harry Potter. There aren’t many snacks that can claim to have influenced both Hogwarts and The White House. Now, as part of a radical move by their creator, it looks like the candies are about to enter a new stage of their pop-culture career.
In an interview with the candidly named “Cannabis Aficionado” website, Jelly Belly creator David Klein laid out his plans to enter the newly emerging cannabis market with a range of all new, weed-infused Jelly Beans. Speaking to reporter Melissa Hutsell, Klein revealed how, after recently becoming aware of the positive effects of some cannabis extracts, he asked himself, “is anybody doing a jelly bean with CBD?”
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a complex cannabinoid compound which some scientists believe has a number of beneficial medical applications. For instance, some studies have attempted to prove that the chemical can be used in the treatment of epilepsy, whilst others posit that it could be an effective remedy for symptoms as diverse as anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain. Though any health benefits are highly contentious, it’s clear that Klein is a bonafide CBD convert.
Through his new company, Spectrum Confections, Klein has announced that he intends to unveil 38 flavours of CBD-infused beans. These will include classics like toasted marshmallow, pina colada, strawberry cheesecake, as well as new additions such as cinnamon, spicy liquorice, and mango. According to Klein himself, “Our mango tastes more like mango than mango does.” The candy-mad creator also notes that, “The jelly bean is perfect for the proper dosage [of CBD],” continuing, “we are putting 10 ml in each [bean]. If people want a small dose, they eat one. If they want 20 ml, they can eat two,” and so on. “They can decide what their proper dosage is.”
For a particular kind of overprotective parent, the idea of candy laced with a narcotic might sound like a total nightmare. However, it is important to note that Klein’s new CBD Jelly Bean will not get any children high. Though the substance does comprise about 40% of the cannabis plant, it does not have the same intoxicating effect as other chemical components. The chemical associated with a cannabis high, THC, is not included as part of the ingredients list.
For now, cannabis-infused foods remain controversial for many people. However, David Klein believes that the tide is turning firmly in favour of legalisation. At the end of his interview, he claimed that, “About two years from now, everybody is going to laugh at how long it took to get there.” Despite his optimism. It remains to be seen whether the world is ready for his jelly right now.