Sweet Grass Kitchen, one of Colorado's oldest marijuana edibles brands, has been acquired by the state's third-largest dispensary chain.
The marijuana-infused bakery and edibles maker was purchased by LivWell Enlightened Health, according to the two companies. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the deal has been finalized.
Founded by Julie Berliner in 2009 (who originally cooked her edibles in a trailer so that she could drive the kitchen away before police showed up), Sweet Grass is one of the few edibles makers remaining true to the roots of classic infused treats, creating cookies, brownies and seasonal bites for dispensary shoppers, as well as making infused butter — an even rarer find in dispensaries nowadays — so that marijuana users can bake their own.
"We have worked closely with Sweet Grass Kitchen for ten years and have an immense amount of respect for the company and culture that Julie Berliner and the Sweet Grass team have created. We saw a great opportunity to work with an original, and incredibly popular, Colorado brand and introduce it to a larger consumer base as we continue our national expansion," says LivWell director of business development Michael Lord.
LivWell currently has seventeen dispensaries in Colorado and one store in Oregon, as well as an ownership stake in LivWell International, a publicly traded marijuana company in Canada. According to Lord, Sweet Grass products will be introduced in every market in which LivWell operates.
All Sweet Grass employees, including Berliner, have been extended offers to stay, Lord adds, and the Sweet Grass brand will remain despite the change in ownership.
"LivWell doesn’t have staff with the specialized experience that the Sweet Grass team has, so it only makes sense that they would be retained post-acquisition. We wanted to acquire Sweet Grass because of the people and brand they had created, so keeping them on board is imperative to making this acquisition a success," Lord explains. "Brand and product diversification will always be important to customers, but I think that also staying innovative and genuine is just as important."
A Westword photographer visited the Sweet Grass bakery (and Berliner's trailer) a few months ago, where she captured the steps required to bake well over 100 marijuana cookies. See the slideshow here.