Video: Behind The Edibles At T. Bear, An East Coast Original And First Of Its Kind In Mass 

“Coast was born out of cannabis consumers that were disgruntled. … We thought that as consumers we deserved better.”

When you write about weed for a living, the only thing that people in your everyday life love more than when you hook them up with freebies is to tell you what products they run to the dispensary for on payday. And as someone who covers cannabis and has hundreds of friends who tell me in person and in emails and DMs what’s getting them stoned, there’s no exaggeration when I tell you that most of them are consuming Coast gummies.

As I see it, there are several contributing factors to their visibility. Notably, as the first licensed independent adult-use manufacturer in the state (and therefore on the East Coast as well), T. Bear Inc., the company founded by Angela Brown and Brian Cusick that makes Coast products, was early to market. With the coast mostly clear, they launched in April 2020, and by the end of last year were in more than 150 stores (bringing them from six employees at their launch to 25 today).

Then of course there is their noticeable quality, with all of Coast’s edibles having organic and natural ingredients juxtaposed with cannabis oil extracted in house. Their chocolates are outstanding while their gummies are wholly unique in shape, squeeze, and structure—bouncier and more resilient than most others on the market, and among the few that chew like the authentic dime-store gummy bears that we all grew up biting.

“You see a lot of gummies in the market that are the same sugar-coated cube,” Cusick said during our recent tour of their facility. “That’s fine, but we really wanted to launch a true gummy. We didn’t want the extra sugar, we didn’t want the fruit pâté base. We didn’t launch gummies initially because they weren’t right; we went through many iterations.”

They’re prone to trying new things too, like a solventless program they’re working on, with some of their experiments becoming hits. Coast’s cranberry-pomegranate gummies pack in as much CBD and CBN as they do THC, making for an ideal full-spectrum evening couch, snack, and movie experience. On the more active end, their raspberry-lime THC:THCV:CBD treats are some of the best work buddies since sliced meds, and potentially the only hope for ADD-addled Americans enduring a national amphetamine shortage. Their CBG product, meanwhile, is popular with many people managing Crohn’s disease.

“When we rolled out our CBG gummy two years ago there weren’t a lot of CBG [edibles] on the market [nationally], let alone here in Massachusetts, so there was a lot of education [that had to be done],” Brown said.

She added, “Coast was born out of cannabis consumers that were disgruntled with the medical market. We thought we deserved better … and set out to create a brand that thought of the product first and the cost second. We really honed in on those ingredients and that’s why when it comes to our edibles we use such high-quality organic products.”

There’s also a strong people factor; Brown and Cusick are a lot like their products in that there is no bullshit afoot. They’re truly independent operators, having mixed recipes in their home kitchen long before there was a license or profit in sight. They scraped together funds to build an 8,500-square foot facility in East Wareham, and have been solid denizens among the early independents, showing up and speaking out where it has mattered—from municipal meetings to advocating for healthy responsible sourcing. And they did it all despite pandemic hurdles and curveballs.

“We are dealing with a stigma,” Brown says. “The last thing that we want to do as an industry is get someone through the door, they have finally put their trust in us, and then [have them] leave feeling duped.

“That’s what set us out to make these products that really have the effect based outcome that you want, and we do that by using the different cannabinoids.”