You want a perfectionist making the edibles.
Jake Heimark had no intentions of starting a food manufacturing company when he got into cannabis. But he and his partners at PLUS took it a step further—they created their own facility.
Heimark, an early Facebook employee in risk management, left tech behind to work in Colorado’s legal marijuana market. During his time with a cannabis incubator developing a banking solution, he saw a massive growth in edibles sales through recreational dispensaries that led to a eureka moment.
He knew he wanted to make edibles. And he wanted to do it in the nation’s biggest growth market: California.“We started in a garage in Palo Alto,” says Heimark. He wanted to scale and improve the process, but couldn’t find a facility that met his exacting standards. Everywhere he looked, something wasn’t quite perfect.
So Heimark and his partners did what anyone does when they want something done right.
They built it themselves.
A world of pure innovation.
Now, with the eighth manufacturing license issued in California, PLUS operates a 12,000-square-foot facility in Adelanto, staffed with chemists and food scientists. It’s there that the PLUS team creates its patent-pending “secret sauce”—a fast-acting form of cannabis is absorbed almost instantly through the mouth like a tincture, as opposed to digested like other edibles.
“It was only due to frustration with the lack of proper good manufacturing practices in everybody we evaluated that we became a manufacturing company.” Heimark says. “And we realized that was a huge need in the industry.”
PLUS originally used a version of its formula in its chewing gum of the same name, but focuses now on the gummies it introduced in 2016. They contain precisely five milligrams in cannabinoids per cube—4.5% THC and 0.5% CBD for the relaxing blackberry and lemon indica, 5 milligrams of THC for the energizing sour watermelon Sativa—and are perfect for precisely measured dosing and micro-dosing.
PLUS also makes all-CBD gummies, which contain five milligrams of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s gaining popularity for relief of all kinds without feeling high.
“We’re helping lead the charge of making sure that it is consistent and safe and approachable for the end user,” Heimark says. “People need to know exactly what it’s going to feel like, and we want to match that expectation for them and it needs to be that way every time.”
The spoonful of sugar.
Like any good sugar wizard, Heimark isn’t just meticulous with chemistry and clean factory vibes. He’s obsessed with whether the gummies are delicious.
“By weight, 98% of what we’re putting out on the shelves is food, and only a small percentage of it is cannabis. And the cannabis part is really important—it has to be deliberately sourced and it has to be tested. But the food matters, and I think a lot of food manufacturers in this industry forget that.”
The 30-year-old entrepreneur isn’t a heavy THC user himself, but he’s an avowed fan of chewy candy, and loves the PLUS Pineapple Coconut CBD gummies. He describes them as a “mood calmer” and likes to take them before bed.
So while Heimark didn’t expect to become a food manufacturer, he says PLUS is kind of like a candy company, “except more fun.”
Just like the gummies themselves.
This post was created in partnership with PLUS.
[Products named in this story are sold under California license CDPH-T00000008.]