Wyld Gummies | Q and A with the Brand’s Co-Founder, Rene Kaza
At Highway Cannabis in Marina Del Rey, we are super fans of Wyld gummies. At the close of 2023, we named the Elderberry Wyld Gummies, which are CBN-infused sleep gummies, one of the best THC gummies of 2023. We were lucky to get to sit down for a conversation with Rene Kaza, one of the Co-Founders of Wyld to discuss the brand’s success, the importance of starting low and slow when it comes to THC gummies dosing, new flavors of Wyld gummies, and more.
Our friends over at our sister-store, KindPeoples, shared the first half of the interview, and we’re here to share part two. If you love Wyld gummies as much as us, be sure to head over to the KindPeoples blog to catch up on the rest of the conversation.
Q: Wyld Edibles has been in the cannabis industry since 2016 and the brand has grown consistently year over year. Can you pinpoint a specific moment when you realized Wyld gummies had achieved something extraordinary in the cannabis space?
A: The benchmarks have changed from the beginning. Originally, it was like, let’s just be the number one edible producer in Oregon. We were really pleased to have that barometer for success when we made that happen in Oregon. But one of the things that made me realize is when we became the number one edible in California and then nationally.
I mean, the West Coast, everybody knows about California cannabis. We’re from Oregon, so there’s a lot of pride for us in Oregon cannabis as well, but California is the fifth biggest economy in the world. A lot of people are there. I know from experience having launched our brand down there how tough it is to get your footing in that market, so to be able to go up against some really strong competition in that state, against competitors that have been in that space for upwards of 10 years, for us to come in and be able to take over that number one spot was huge for us.
Then also, when we became #1 nationally, that was a huge thing for us as well. Being able to take a step back at that moment and say, wow, we have something bigger than just an Oregon or even a West Coast brand. We have people from all over the place. I think it’s just ubiquitously a product that people enjoy and we’re really proud of that. I think being able to provide a quality product to the consumers is super important so it’s nice to be able to know that our product is having that type of effect and standing in the communities that we work with.
Q: Wyld Edibles is the first Climate Neutral Certified cannabis company. Can you discuss the significance of this certification and how it aligns with Wyld’s goals?
A: One of the big things we focused on over the last couple years is this climate neutral certification that we’ve obtained. We’re very environmentally focused as a company. That allows us to track all our emissions and then we buy carbon offsets essentially for all of the emissions that we are creating at all of our facilities. I want to also just thank the people on our team. It’s a lot of effort to be able to even do that and get that certification to track all those things within all our facilities.
We’re also the first company when we launched into Canada that produced the first fully compostable and recyclable bag for all our products. It’s one thing that we’re focused on doing with all our products in the US with our pop top drams. We have a rendition of that, that we’re looking to launch in the US but it’s a pretty challenging thing to do—to maintain all of the food safety requirements, as well as making sure that the product doesn’t dry out the permeability of it, and those are things that for us are super important, right?
We care about our environment. We care about how things are going. We want to be a company that consumers, budtenders, customers can all feel good about putting their dollars into our products and knowing that we’re going to reinvest it to do good. So that’s one of many things.
We also help with expungement to get cannabis offenses off people’s records. We do a lot of community outreach, working with retailers like yourselves doing beach cleanups, doing food drives, things of that nature. So those are other areas just for us philanthropically that we’re super interested in as we continue growing our business and don’t want to lose sight of. The community, the people that we work with are who we work for.
I just want to say thank you to anybody who consumes our products and supports our brand. It really means a lot to us starting from a small company into where we are now. We recognize and understand that we wouldn’t be in this position without all the people that support us. So truly it means a lot to us.
Q: I’d love to hear more about your mindset on educating customers and budtenders, and how this approach has impacted the success of Wyld gummies?
A: We definitely care a lot about our customers, and our customer is both the end consumer and our retail partners. I think our approach is always to have the customer in our minds whenever we’re doing anything. It’s that ability to empathize with where other folks are coming from and figure out how to best find an amicable solution for whatever situation you’re going through.
There’s a lot of new consumers still coming to this space day in and day out, and so for us to be able to continue to show up for you guys as retailers to share how we want our products spoken about, how we want to educate the consumer understanding new products like a CBG or CBC. To be able to provide some information in context to how we’re thinking about that product and what the consumer may need to know, whether it’s understanding dosing or the new cannabinoid.
There’s a lot of people that do know about them, but there’s also a ton of new consumers and canna-curious people coming into the space every single day. So, for us to be able to provide that resource for both you guys and the end-consumer will allow more people to feel comfortable taking edibles again, especially for those folks who have had that bad experience prior.
Q: For anyone that is new to THC gummies, what is your message to that person on why they should come into Highway Cannabis in Marina Del Rey to try Wyld Gummies?
A: I would say that there is an opportunity for everybody to enjoy cannabis and that we have something for you if you’re new to cannabis. I kind of joke and call our 20 to 1 strawberry CBD Wyld gummies our “gateway gummy” because it gets people to want to try other products. Once they realize, hey, I can eat one of these and not have an adverse effect, I’m not even going to necessarily feel any psychoactive head shift from one gummy—they become more curious about trying other products.
For me, it’s so important to understand dosing and know that everybody is different. I would say try 1 to 2 milligrams and then go from there. If somebody is recommending you 20 milligrams, 50 milligrams, their body may handle cannabis differently. I really think it’s important to understand how it’s going to work for you specifically. That’s always how we try to meet the consumer as well, like hey, this is my personal experience, but it may be different for you, so I suggest starting on a lower dosage to kind of get things going.
If you want to learn more about THC Gummies Dosing, check out our blog: 9 Tips for THC Gummies Dosing.
Q: Your team also recently launched a new product, Good Tide gummies, which are solventless hash rosin gummies. What was like the motivation behind extending the Wyld gummies product line?
A: Well, we’re calling it “Wyld’s vegan solventless tropical cousin”—a quick, little catchy headline there for the things that differentiate it from Wyld. We’re data-driven people and see how the market has shifted, and we have a lot of salespeople in a lot of different states noticing a trend of customers and budtenders yearning for a product in that category, so we would be remiss not getting involved in that.
With Good Tide, we wanted to launch a new brand to highlight all of those amazing things about the solventless category with tropical flavors, highlighting the variety of the plant itself. With Good Tide, we have QR codes on every batch. Each batch is going to have a different strain associated with it where you can scan the QR code to get the terpene profiles to understand exactly what the effects are going to be. We always try to get a single strain for every sativa, indica, hybrid, so you’re going to have more or less a similar terpene profile, but it’s not always going to be the same.
Really our goal is to embrace the variance of the plant; it’s the spice of life. But if you want that consistent dialed in effect, you’ve got Wyld, right? So really, we’re just hitting on a different number of form factors and it’s been going great.
Q: Can you share anything about how the reception of Good Tide gummies has been so far?
A: We’re super excited about the success of it. It’s already the number 15 edibles brand nationally. In Oregon, it’s the number 5 edible brand. In California it’s #10 and in Colorado #12. We’re super excited about those results and more to come there. We just launched it in Washington, Michigan, Illinois, and Nevada should be soon thereafter.
We’re really excited about the reception so far and looking forward to hopefully continuing to roll out new SKUs in that assortment as well.
Q: Do you have any favorite stories or personal anecdotes that involve consuming Wyld gummies?
A: When we were testing for new states, I had a funny experience mis-dosing myself and getting way too high. In Oregon, when we started, everything was 5 milligrams with a 50-milligram cap. They changed the dosing to 100 milligrams to get on par with most other states. When we were getting ready to launch California and Nevada, we had seen most companies were doing 10 milligram gummies, 10 pieces and 100 milligram pack. Some of them were doing fives though and we were trying to figure out what we want to do. Do we stay on brand with the 5 milligram pieces, do we do 10s? Obviously, as you know we ended up going with a 10, 10 milligram pieces.
Anyways, I had a bag full of what I thought were three undosed gummies and three dosed gummies, but they were actually all 10 milligrams, so I ended up eating 60 milligrams. You know for some, that may not be a whole lot. I know a lot of budtenders who can eat well more than 100, but for me, I’m used to eating like 10 or 20.
So I ate it before bed, and I just woke up so high still. I could barely stand and was supposed to go into work and just could not bring myself to even go into the office. I fell back asleep for a couple hours, woke up and was like, yeah, this day is toast. So, the travails of product testing sometimes, right? It can be a benefit and a blessing, but it also can sometimes set you back a little bit. So, yeah, it was a day in bed.
Q: What can we expect from Wyld gummies in 2024? I know that you guys just launched the Boysenberry Wyld gummy flavor, is there anything else exciting coming our way?
A: There’s definitely new products coming for both brands. I’m going to tease you here and not provide you the exact details quite yet.We’re still finishing out those details and getting our launch plans set for some of those things.
Right now, we’re obviously focused on just having a really great launch with the Boysenberry Wyld gummies. We’re really excited about that product given the CBN category at large and how well sleep gummies seem to do for folks.
One thing I can share for anybody outside of California is that we’re going to continue expanding eastward. We have Maryland launching hopefully in January, and thereafter in 2024, we’re hoping to get Massachusetts launched, as well as Ohio, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Pretty ambitious plans for us in the New Year.
Really one of our major goals is to continue providing quality product to every state we can get it to which is obviously a huge endeavor given the requirements of all the state regulations and manufacturing within each state.
We’re super excited about all of that as well as the new SKUs that we will be launching, and as soon as I have more details there that I’m privy to share, I will definitely make sure you know.
We’ll be at the edge of our seat until those new flavors of Wyld gummies hit our shelves, but until then, you can shop the entire Wyld and Good Tide product lines at Highway Cannabis in Marina Del Rey.
If you want to read the first half of our interview with Rene Kaza, the Co-Founder of Wyld gummies, be sure to check the rest of the conversation on our sister-store’s blog. Kindpeoples has the rest of the story.