Marijuana Business Magazine - April 2018

¬NFUSED BUS¬NESS STRATEG¬ES T he team behind Coda Signature is relying on several ingredi- ents to transform its premium infused products into a national brand: high-quality Latin American chocolate, a nationally acclaimed chocolatier, affordable prices and an expansion strategy that includes both licensing and company-owned facilities. Coda Signature has spent the last two years whipping up award-winning edibles, including truffles, candy bars and single-serve treats dubbed hot chocolate on a spoon. Earlier this year, the Colorado company launched a line of concentrates. Coda Signature – with corporate offices in Denver and a production facility in southern Colorado – is now eyeing the national market and Canada. It plans to expand sales in Colorado, carve out space in California and plot new markets nationwide, co-founder and CEO Mark Grindeland said. “Our hypothesis in our business plan is that at some point the feds will step in to either declassify or decriminalize cannabis – legalize it – and when that happens it will open up the doors for interstate commerce,” Grindeland said. “So the goal of the company is to build large manufacturing and distribution hubs that are located regionally to serve certain parts of the country.” The 40-person business makes medical and recreational products. It started shipping four items at the end By Adrian D. Garcia Recipe for Success Coda Signature relies on superior ingredients, top culinary talent and a flexible expansion strategy to become a national infused brand of March 2016. Fast-forward to the close of 2017: Coda Signature boasted 21 edible and topical products across 333 MJ stores. Revenue surged 270% percent from 2016 to the end of 2017, when the company became the No. 2 infused chocolatier in Colorado by way of market share. Grindeland aims to tri- ple revenue growth from 2017 to 2018. Top Talent and Ingredients When Coda Signature was getting started a few years ago, Grindeland and his co-founder, Elizabeth Cooke, were unimpressed by the edibles on the market. Products were often covered in “really crappy packaging” and “tasted like you were eating a mouthful of cannabis that had some afterthought of chocolate or whatever the product was,” said Grindeland, a consumer brands veteran who previ- ously worked with American Express, FedEx, Nissan and other major com- panies and also launched and sold his own businesses. “What we did is we flipped it around,” he added. “I looked at our Lauren Gockley is the head chocolatier behind the award- winning edibles at Colorado-based Coda Signature. Courtesy of Coda Signature 84 • Marijuana Business Magazine • April 2018