3 Tips to Succeed in the Cannabis Edibles Industry

Noah Edis
February 21, 2023

Kaya Cast is all about speaking to cannabis industry experts about finding success. This week we’re sitting down with Kelly Flores, Chief Operating Officer of Wana Brands

Flores brings a long history of working with consumer goods like Nestle and Monster Energy Drinks to her work with Wana Brands. She’s passionate about bringing the benefits of cannabis to a wide audience.

“Wana is a brand that doesn’t have a target consumer. It doesn't even come up in our discussion. We really think cannabis should be accessible to everybody.”  

In our interview, we discussed the power of cannabis edibles, where the industry is headed next, and some expert tips to keep your dispensary on the leading edge of the market. Keep reading to get a taste of Kelly Flores’ insights about the edibles industry.   

The Gummy Revolution 

Edibles have taken the cannabis world by storm. But what makes cannabis gummies so popular? Flores pinpoints a few factors that have led to their success. 

  1. Gummies are more accessible and discrete than smoking flower or vaping
  2. Gummies have specific measurements, so you always know exactly what and how much you’re consuming
  3. You can include other functional ingredients like melatonin

In discussing their accessibility, Flores states, “We’re all used to taking gummy vitamins… It’s a nice entry point for pretty much anybody.” 

Colorful cannabis-infused gummies in three metal tins, the most popular form of cannabis edibles.

The Future of Cannabis Edibles

There is always something new coming down the pipe from Wana and other cannabis edibles leaders. Here are some big shifts to keep an eye out for. 

Curated Experiences

Gummies allow you to include active ingredients like melatonin and offer more control over the percentages and terpenes to target specific issues. Wana Brands has done research into products that affect sleep, intimacy, anxiety, gut health, and more. 

Automation in Edibles Production

With the advent of more automation opportunities, there’s likely to be a streamlined supply chain soon. 

“I remember the days of packing (products) yourself, which wasn’t that long ago.” With the time that can be saved by having ‘robots’ deal with fabrication and distribution, there can be even more resources and time for innovations. 

Focused Cannabis Research

Recently the CEO of Wana Brands, Nancy Whiteman, invested a significant amount toward funding science and research into the boundless possibilities that cannabis provides. 

With the industry being as new as it is, there’s still so much to be discovered about the functions it can have and the medicines that it can replace. More research can not only help reduce the stigma around cannabis, but also open the doors to new uses and markets. 

The Expanding Edibles Market

We’ve seen it time and time again. Companies will innovate or create a new market, only to have huge corporations like Coca-Cola step in and overtake the industry. 

However, Flores isn’t too worried about infused Doritos coming in and stealing Wana’s thunder.

“I think there’s a place for craft beer and then there’s a space for traditional beers. Cannabis is going to be the same.”

She goes on to say that it will likely be some time before we start to see contenders like Coca-Cola enter the market. Because the culture of cannabis has focused so much on the craft and community, it may be a hard sell for more commercialized brands. 

With the time and dedication required to research and create custom profiles, current cannabis companies will have the edge over generalized conglomerates. 

Wana Brand focuses on creating a truly curated experience for its customers, with new product launches always in the works. They’ve found their niche in innovative products and strive every day to stay at the top of that market. 

A couple lounging on a couch enjoying cannabis edibles in the form of a cannabis-infused tea.

How Your Dispensary Can Take a Bite Out of the Edibles Market

Flores knows that dispensaries and budtenders are a huge asset to the community, so she shared some tips on making your business grow.  

Tip One: Focus on Cash Management

Especially when you’re starting out, you should have a handle on your cash flow and management. It can be easy to underestimate the cost for things, especially with the massive growth in the industry.

“Whatever you think your operations expenditure is, double it.”

Tip Two: Don’t Race to The Bottom 

As tempting as it may be to lower the prices of your items, ultimately it doesn’t serve the brands you're working with, or your shop itself. “You end up having to have more consumers coming through your shop to try to make the same revenue… it just starts to kill the market for everybody.” 

Tip Three: Find Your Niche 

Continuing on the previous tip, you need to have confidence that there is a market for what you are offering. Wana stands out because of its quality and curated experiences. 

This attracts a different kind of customer than simply having cheap gummies. There is a need in the market for all price points and interests. Identify your passion and associated niche, center your business around that niche, and then trust that your people will come.  


There’s always something new in the cannabis edibles industry, but with a focus on innovation and a clear niche, you can stay ahead of the times. 

If you want to hear more about Flores’ journey into cannabis, Wana’s connection to its community, and the exciting new things unveiled at MjBizCon, be sure to check out the entire interview!

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February 2023


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