As the cannabis industry continues to borrow from other commercial sectors while blazing its own trail, it’s only natural that the edibles market would fuse more synchronously with restaurants and the movement toward fresh, organic ingredients. At Good Things Coming, that’s the name of the game.
Chef Aaron Chamberlin has worked for the past 33 years at restaurants across the U.S., including the two he still runs in downtown Phoenix. He brings that experience to the edibles business he co-founded last year.
“I remember tasting an edible for the first time that was coming from a dispensary about three years ago. And I was shocked at how disgusting it tasted. That was intriguing for me because I knew that I could make things taste good.”
It was a simple idea. Chamberlin was a new medical cannabis patient in Arizona, someone who’d converted to the plant after a stint with prescription medication years earlier had rubbed him the wrong way. “I just basically wasn't the same person that I was in the past,” he says. “I eventually bumped into a doctor who asked me if I've used cannabis as a medical tool and as medicine.”
He hadn’t, but the opportunity to learn more about the medical benefits of cannabis seemed hopeful.
When Arizona legalized medical cannabis in 2010, Chamberlin was pleased to see the state legitimize the plant’s value to patients like him.
But the edibles were an issue.
“I realized that a lot of these edible companies that were emerging—not all, but a lot of them—they were basically just hodgepodge people in their backyard, making stuff, not dosed properly, not tested,” Chamberlin says. “The branding was horrible. That lured me to really want to create an edible company that had a much higher standard, with testing as major impact, and something that tasted good.”
At the time that Chamberlin co-founded Good Things Coming, he was operating five restaurants. The coronavirus pandemic has since put a damper on that end of his business, leaving more time for the chef to learn about the cannabis industry and develop interesting new edibles recipes for a growing patient population in Arizona.
He also found a partner in Copperstate Farms, a vertically integrated cannabis company that helps place Good Things Coming products in front of those interested customers. Copperstate’s lab-tested distillate forms the backbone of Chamberlin’s edibles; from there, the rest of the recipe is where he can flex a bit of muscle.
Good Things Coming brownies are made with Valrhona chocolate, for example. Take the product line’s Fruit Jellies: mango chile, yuzu citrus very cherry and pomegranate, all blended with fresh fruit purees and organic cane sugar (and available in micro-dose options).
And with those flavors, Chamberlin brought an awareness to the Arizona market. What he’d learned in the restaurant business is that you must recognize what your customer base likes. In a state with a significant Hispanic population, he says that many other edibles companies weren’t targeting their flavors and concepts toward a more nuanced, regional palate.
“No one's marketing toward these consumers, and they love cannabis too,” he says.
So, what’s next?
Chamberlin is working on products with higher cannabinoids doses now. And—who knows?—Arizona may very well legalize adult-use sales later this year, opening the door to a much wider customer base precisely at a time when edibles sales are increasing across the board.