Kiva customers have been asking the company for a Cannabidiol (CBD) product for years, “so the decision to make a CBD bar was easy,” Kiva’s co-founder and COO, Kristi Knoblich, told ConfectioneryNews.
In addition to the chocolate bar launch, Kiva has been manufacturing chocolate Terra bites, including blueberries and espresso beans that are covered with chocolate, for several years now.
“We are also gearing up to produce non-chocolate and sugar free confections this year which will be a first for us,” Knoblich added.
Kiva bars are made up of four combined squares each and they come in eight varieties, including ginger dark chocolate and mint Irish cream milk chocolate. Their products are available at about 900 collectives across California.
Kiva’s 60 mg CBD/THC Espresso Bar retails for $18, and its Ginger 120 mg CBD/THC bar for $32.
“A Kiva consumer is looking for the ability to control their dose. They may be parents with kids at home, have full-time jobs or just be busy individuals who have neither the time nor the desire to experiment with cannabis,” said Knoblich.
"Each patient’s tolerance varies when it comes to cannabis, so we provide instructions and illustrations so that they understand the potency of the product and how to dose themselves correctly with it," she added.
CBD gives a calming effect
Knoblich said CBD is becoming increasingly popular for its therapeutic effects, but for years, CBD has been overshadowed by its better-known, psychoactive cousin, THC.
“CBD and THC seem to work together. On its own, CBD is generally believed to be non-psychoactive, but when taken with a dose of THC, CBD appears have a calming, sedative effect,” she said.
Locally sourced materials
It took Kiva about four years to develop its latest bars because finding the right CBD source took it “quite some time,” the company said.
“But we finally found the perfect source of CBD in Mendocino County where we can support the local farmers and their traditional permaculture farming techniques,” Knoblich said.
“Additionally, the CBD bars required us to develop a new, in-house whole plant extraction system specifically to create the highest quality CBD extract.”
Kiva's CBD bars are locally sourced from small farms in the Mendocino region in California, instead of from hemp oil produced outside the US, she added.
Business grows despite political challenges
Kiva acknowledges that the emerging cannabis chocolate businesses, such as Défoncé, have helped elevate the category and create a healthy competitive environment.
Kiva has grown steadily over the years as it expands its product portfolio and reaches new markets and other states.
“It turns out people like cannabis and chocolate, so business is good,” Knoblich said.
However, the new medical marijuana regulations in California, the MCRSA (Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act), do not allow cannabis manufacturers to distribute products directly to dispensaries.
“This would not just affect our business, but the industry as a whole, it will seriously interrupt the supply of medical cannabis to patients, and goes against the way the industry has been operating in California for two decades,” Knoblich said.
Californians are now waiting for the final vote on the Adult Use Marijuana Act due in November, which could invoke marijuana to be sold for recreational purpose once it is passed.
What will Kiva do if that is the case?
“We’ll be scaling up [our volume],” Knoblich said.