Marijuana Business Magazine

¬NFUSED BUS¬NESS STRATEG¬ES Producing Perfection Oregon’s Grön Chocolate relies on detailed planning, lots of product testing and top-notch ingredients to make award-winning edibles by Lisa Greim 78 • Marijuana Business Magazine • November / December 2017 T he full-fledged launch of Oregon’s recreational mari- juana program got off to a rocky start in the fall of 2016. Strict marijuana testing standards, a dearth of labs and other factors threw a wrench into the plans of many Oregon marijuana businesses, resulting in plunging revenue and half-empty store shelves. But edibles maker Grön Chocolate skillfully navigated Oregon’s chaotic regulatory landscape and succeeded in getting its products on retailers’ shelves in time to capitalize on the full-scale kickoff of recreational can- nabis sales in October 2016. A commitment to strategic plan- ning, product testing and consist- ent dosing gave the Portland-based company a jump on its rivals. Thanks to the use of top-notch ingredients, Grön also has distinguished itself as an award-winning maker of high-end, infused artisan chocolates. Christine Smith, Grön’s CEO and founder, credits the company’s success to her previous career as an architect. What’s the common denominator for designing communities and creat- ing high-quality edibles? Planning, planning … and more planning. “I did a lot of project management on multi-million-dollar projects,” Smith said. “I brought planning and strategic thinking with me into the (cannabis) industry.” That approach helped Smith move from tinkering in her kitchen to developing a full-fledged marijuana business that launched in 2014. Grön – which is Swedish for “green” Grön Chocolate CEO Christine Smith in the packing room of the company's Portland plant. Photo by Doug Hoeschler Photography