Election 2020 – Cannabis Emerges a Big Winner, Signaling an End to the War on Drugs 

Election 2020 – Cannabis Emerges a Big Winner, Signaling an End to the War on Drugs

On November 3rd, the US experienced an historic US election by all accounts – a record number of Americans voted, both in person and by absentee ballot. We voted for government leadership, state leadership, and on state and local initiatives. What emerged a big winner in different parts of the country? Cannabis. Five states had cannabis initiatives on their ballots – Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota – the most in any election cycle, and all of them passed. Cannabis is now legal for medical use in 36 states and adult recreational use in 15 states. After the election, New Frontier Data projected that with these five states entering and increasing the marketplace, the regulated U.S. cannabis market will hit $38.3 billion by 2025. Here’s a state-by-state rundown of the legislation that was proposed and passed.  


  • Legal Recreational Adult Use 
  • Legal Medicinal Use 

Adult recreational use of cannabis will be legal in Arizona, as a majority of voters approved Prop 207. This proposition allows adults 21 and older to possess, consume or transfer up to one ounce of cannabis and create a regulatory system for the cannabis cultivation and sale. Arizona’s Department of Health Services will be tasked with licensing and regulating all cannabis businesses, from growers to retailers. A 16% excise tax will be levied on sales. The money generated from licensing and renewal fees, application fees, civil penalties, excise taxes and penalties related to selling and testing cannabis will be deposited in the smart and safe Arizona fund. Monies in this fund will first be used to pay for the costs of implementing, administering and enforcing the measure. If monies remain in the fund after getting the measure off the ground, they would be distributed to community college districts and provisional community colleges, municipal police and fire departments, fire districts and county sheriffs’ departments, the Arizona highway user revenue fund and various “justice reinvestment programs.” Another important aspect of the proposition is that people with cannabis-related criminal records can petition to have the charges expunged.  


  • Legal Medicinal Use 

Mississippi voters were asked to weigh in Ballot Measure 1, featuring two versions of an amendment regarding the use of medicinal cannabis. Voters could approve Initiative 65 or Initiative 65A or vote against both. Initiative 65, which was approved by an overwhelming 73% of voters, will allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis for patients with any of 22 qualifying conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Patients will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis per two-week period. The constitutional amendment will establish a regulatory program overseen by the Mississippi Department of Health for businesses to grow and sell medical cannabis and for the products to be taxed at a 7% rate. Regulations for the program must be developed by July 1, 2021, and medical cannabis patient cards must be issued by August 15, 2021. Initiative 65A would have limited the smoking of medical cannabis to people who are terminally ill and would have left the regulatory framework up to the Legislature. This initiative did not pass  


  • Legal Adult Recreational Use 
  • Legal Medicinal Use 

Montana voters had two cannabis initiatives on their ballots to consider this fall, and both were approved. Prior to the vote in October, Montana State University released results of a poll on Montanans’ stance on cannabis; among active and likely voters, 49% supported legalization and 39% opposed it. The first initiative was Initiative 118, which amends the state’s constitution to establish 21 as the legal age to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis. The secondInitiative 190, allows adults in the state to possess and buy cannabis for recreational use. The state Department of Revenue will oversee the set up and regulation of a commercial system for growing and selling cannabis and will impose a 20% tax on sales. Half of the revenue generated from sales will go toward environmental conservation programs, and the remaining revenue toward veteran services, drug treatment, health care and local governments, and the general fund. It would also allow people convicted of past cannabis-related crimes to apply for regu or records expungement. Opponents of the law have filed a lawsuit to have the legalization vote overturned on the grounds that the initiative is unconstitutional.   

New Jersey 

  • Legal Adult Recreational Use 
  • Legal Medicinal Use 

New Jersey voters approved Public Question #1 on their ballots, which asked: “Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called ‘cannabis’?” This amends the state constitution to legalize cannabis for personal, non-medical use by adults 21 and older. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission that oversees the medical market will also regulate the personal market, including production and sales.  This week, a New Jersey Senate and Assembly committee approved identical bills to implement marijuana regulations following approval of Public Question #1. Members of the Senate panel also merged two bills to decriminalize cannabis in the short term, which also passed. The state Attorney General is also being called on to issue a directive to end prosecutions for low-level marijuana offenses.  

South Dakota 

  • Legal Adult Recreational Use 
  • Legal Medicinal Use 

South Dakota voters had two cannabis decisregulations to make – one on medical use and one on recreational use – and both passed. Measure 26 establishes a medical cannabis program and registration system for people with qualifying chronic, debilitating conditions and diseases such as severe pain, nausea, and seizures. Patients will be allowed to purchase and possess up to three ounces of cannabis from a licensed dispensary.  Amendment A legalizes the possession, transportation, and distribution up to one ounce of cannabis for all adults over 21 years old and require state legislators to adopt medical cannabis and hemp laws by April 1, 2022. Voter-approved cannabis will become law on July 1, 2021.  

2021 and Beyond 

 The support for cannabis legislation that voters have shown in this election cycle bodes well for other states legalizing medicinal and/or recreational use in the next few years. New York had the legalization of cannabis in its sights earlier this year, but once COVID struck, state lawmakers moved that conversation to the backburner to respond to health crisis and the subsequent economic falloutNow that New Jersey has approved recreational cannabis use, it seems highly likely that New York legislators will take up the topic of legalization in 2021knowing the revenue that can be generated with cannabis sales. This winter, New Mexico legislators will reconsider decriminalizing cannabis for recreational use. Earlier this year, a bill backed by State Representative Javier Martinez died in their Senate Judiciary committee. Martinez believes that legalization and regulation of cannabis not only presents a huge opportunity for job creation and revenue generation, but it would also reduce harm that criminalization brings to its youth and people of color. Support for legalization is also building in Texas; State Representative from San Antonio, Roland Gutierrez, is proposing a legalization bill. He believes that cannabis could create upwards of 30,000 new jobs and bring in over $3 billion in revenue. 

According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of the American public support federal legalization of cannabis – and the most recent approval of these state initiatives and ballot measures further validates this wave of public support and approval of cannabis. When it comes to how cannabis use is perceived by the public, there is no denying that the tide has turned in this country. State by state, the green wave continues to roll across the country – it just seems to be a matter of time before federal legalization becomes a reality.  

SōRSE Employee Spotlight: Tyler Peterson

Meet our Chief Operations Officer, Tyler Peterson, who has been with the company since 2016. Over the past four years, Tyler has touched every aspect of our business, from setting up production to developing new products and bringing them to market, as well as working at trade shows. You name it; he’s done it! Tyler draws on many of the professional experiences he has had in the past in his current role at SoRSE; he’s a hands-on manager who builds strong relationships with his employees and clients.  

Tyler Peterson

 How did you end up working at SōRSE? What was the first year like? 

Prior to 2016, I had worked with Howard at two other startups. When Howard was presented with the opportunity to take the reins of SōRSE (then Tarukino/ Tribe Processor), he invited me to come along with him to manage Operations. The first year was about figuring out our direction, the technology we were using, and the beverages we were going to produce. From these ideas, we started fundraising to help prop us up. We acquired the emulsion technology and started running with it. The first year was crazy because we went from a virtually empty building with three people and ended the year with 20 employees, products on the market, and with the evolution of the technology well on its way.  

How much did you know about this space prior to coming on board? 

I knew quite a bit about Operations, but not so much about the cannabis industry. Prior to working at the startups with Howard, I was Head of Operations at a materials handling company. I came into SōRSE well versed in inventory, client services, sales, and everything else required to manage a company. The cannabis industry is considerably different in terms of rules and regulations, not to mention how heavily taxed it is. Because of that, there have been more failures than successes across the industry – it’s not necessarily easy to stay in business and make a profit.  

 What do you enjoy about the role of COO at SōRSE and what’s been challenging? 

I am a very hands-on person, and I love figuring out problems. What I need to remember to do in this role is take a step back and trust my employees to figure out the answers to problems while I oversee them and make sure they are making the right decisions. I have to let go of my desire to do what one of my employees can do, which means that I can focus my attention elsewhere. Operations is driving the company to the future – expanding into other states, creating new emulsions, working with large customers. All of this is exciting, but they are high pressure/high risk situations. Operations drives income and profitability, not just in one avenue but in multiple avenues. Our flexibility and determination is what keeps us moving forward.   

Can you share some highlights from the past four years? 

When I look back at where we came from, I’m pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished – like our first approval of products from the Liquor/Cannabis Control Board in Washington. Little things like that are big wins. The success of MAJOR is huge – its growth from month to month has been a highlight. I love hearing that customers love our products; it means we have created an emulsion that has changed people’s lives – not just consumers, but the retailers who are becoming more profitable and successful because of what we offer. Making a company profitable is also a big win. All that said, what I am most proud of is the team around me. People at SōRSE know what needs to get done and never question how to get stuff knocked out.   

Can you share something that a lot of people don’t know about you? 

I love show tunes, and I have inspired more than one person to overcome a fear or physical hesitation by breaking into song. I was in every play and every summer musical during high school. I am not necessarily the best singer, but I love it. 

Terpenes: What They Are and Why They Are Important

Terpenes: What They Are and Why They Are Important

There is no doubt that cannabis has a very distinct taste and smell. Most people can identify it as soon as they smell it – but if they have never ingested a CBD drink or edible, they might wonder about the flavor it can impart. When it comes to describing cannabis’ smell and taste, a few of the words we often hear are earthy, skunky, herbaceous, citrusy or piney. It’s important to note that each strain has its own unique sensory qualities, much like a Gravenstein apple tastes and smells different than a Fuji. What gives cannabis and other plants these qualities that humans react to when they smell or taste them? Terpenes!

Terpenes: What They Are and What They Do

In the cannabis plant, terpenes are fragrant oils that are produced and secreted from the same glands that produce cannabinoids, which are called trichomes. Terpenes are the molecules that give the plant its odor and flavor and increase the cannabinoids’ efficacy. As is true with other plants, the qualities that terpenes bring to cannabis are impacted by soil composition, climate, and myriad other factors. Terpenes can help the plant repel insects and other predators, as well as attracting pollinators like bees. They also have antioxidant effects. Scientists have identified over 200 terpenes in the cannabis plant, and each strain has its own unique blend of terpenes.

Terpenes also have therapeutic qualities; they can play a role in a plant’s medicinal effects because of the way they interact with cannabinoids and help them enter the bloodstream. Scientists have found that when terpenes and cannabinoids work synergistically, their effectiveness in treating pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and infection is enhanced. Interestingly, Terpenes are the basis of aromatherapy, a healing treatment that utilizes a plant’s essential oils to promote physical and emotional well-being.

Common Terpenes and Their Qualities

Beta-caryophyllene can be found in black pepper, oregano, cloves and cinnamon and can be described as peppery. It is the only terpene that can act as a cannabinoid and interact directly with our endocannabinoid system and is reported to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Limonene can be found in citrus fruit rinds, rosemary and peppermint. It is reported to provide stress relief. Research has shown Limonene’s potential for stress relief, fighting fungus and bacteria, and relieving heartburn.

Linalool can be found in lavender and birch bark and can be described as floral. It is reported to promote calm and relaxation. It’s also known for its antimicrobial properties and its ability to help the immune system fight stress.

Myrcene, one of the most common of the cannabis terpenes, can be found in hops, mango, and lemongrass and can be described as floral or herbal.  It is reported to impart calming qualities and relax muscles. One of its most important qualities is that increases a cell membrane’s permeability, which allows for a larger uptake of cannabinoids and therefore stronger effects.

Pinene, another very common terpene in the plant world, can be found in basil, dill, rosemary and pine needles. The scent and flavor be described as foresty or piney. Because it is a bronchodilator, it can improve airflow to the lungs. It is reported to provide relief for pain and inflammation and aid in memory retention.

Terpinolene can be found in apples, lilac, tea tree, nutmeg and cumin and can be described as fruity. It is reported to have uplifting effects and can help fight off mosquitos. Terpinolene is a common ingredient in cleaning products because of its fresh scent and antibacterial qualities.

ECS and The Entourage Effect

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which is present in all humans and animals is responsible for building and sustaining health. Its primary role is to maintain and balance all of the other bodily systems such as the central nervous system, reproductive system, and immune system.  The ECS is made up of receptors throughout the body and in the brain, which help maintain balance in reaction to change. The ECS is crucial when it comes to regulating a broad range of physiological processes that affect us, such as our mood, energy level, and immunity, as well as how we experience stress, pain, and more. Research studies have linked the ECS to the following processes: Appetite/digestion, metabolism, chronic pain, inflammation, mood, learning/memory, motor control, and skin/nerve function, to name a few. After being thrown into imbalance by physical, environmental or emotional stressors, the combination of cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and terpenes can bring the body back into balance.

Cannabis researchers S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam introduced the term “Entourage Effect” to explain the process of biological synergy between cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. It represents the idea that “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” meaning that the effects created when the three work together are stronger than each would achieve alone. A paper by Ethan Russo titled “Taming THC” in the British Journal of Pharmacology reported evidence that taking cannabinoids and terpenes together may be beneficial for treating conditions like pain, anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, infection and cancer. What this means, in layman’s terms, is that the combination of cannabinoids like CBD with terpenes can bring a body back into balance through its work with the ECS.

If you are exploring the idea of creating a CBD beverage or edible or perhaps reformulating a recipe you already have in the works, it’s important to consider the differences between extractions, particularly CBD Isolate and Broad Spectrum. Isolates are CBD in their purest form; they are 99% CBD and impart very little in the way of flavor or odor. Broad Spectrum retains a large complement of plant material without the THC, which allows for the Entourage Effect to occur. Hemp, which contains less than .3% THC, forms the basis for most Broad Spectrum extracts. Broad Spectrum can also be created by either adding terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids to CBD isolate or by removing THC from Full Spectrum extract via distillation. If you want to create a product that is free from any plant smell or flavor, Isolate is your best bet. If you want to give your customers the benefit of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids working together and imparting flavor and smells that can complement the other flavors, then Broad Spectrum is a great choice.

The team here at SōRSE is well-versed in working with cannabinoids and terpenes alike and are always willing to help you create the perfect sensory profile for your product. Book an exploratory call today!

5 Steps for Taking Your CBD Edible from Concept to Commercialization

5 Steps for Taking Your CBD Edible from Concept to Commercialization

In the past few years, consumers’ curiosity and interest in CBD has grown at a rapid rate, and a result of that is an influx of food items and beverages infused with the cannabinoid. From marshmallows to protein bites, from fruit-flavored gummies to popcorn, the array of sweet and savory edible CBD products on the market is ever-expanding. For consumers who are curious about incorporating CBD into their daily routine but don’t love the idea of ingesting a tincture, CBD edibles offer a great alternative. 

If you have a great idea for an edible and are wondering how to turn it into a viable product that will land in the hands of the consumer, here are 5 Steps to Building an Infused CBD Edible from the producers themselves.  


Mainstream vs Unique Concept 

The first thing that you need to know when building a successful infused edible is that a simple, mainstream concept will be easier to execute than a unique concept that is not on the market. That said, if you are determined to create a product that no one has seen before, try to find its mainstream, CBD-free equivalent so that you can understand what it will take to execute production. The process of taking an edible from concept to commercialization typically takes nine to twelve months, so thinking through your timeline from start to finish and being realistic when setting expectations is extremely important. 

Needs & Challenges 

In the early stages of planning, it’s also advisable to identify your needs and potential challenges. Aside from having a great concept, you’ll need ingredients, including CBD; production equipment (like forms or molds); a production facility; packaging; and marketing materials. If you have never created an edible before, some of the challenges you might foresee could include: A key ingredient not being available; a piece of equipment being expensive to purchase; figuring out how your packaging will impact shelf life; or working with a co-manufacturer. 

What’s Important? 

Any product will be more successful when you are excited about the idea and believe the item will add value to a consumer’s life. Your product should reflect what is important to you — clean label, flavor profile, quality of ingredients — and what you can bring to the marketplace. Think about what your niche is, and how you are going to differentiate your product while reaching as many consumers as you can.  


When developing your culinary concept, you will need to identify your audience — who is going to buy your edible, why they want to buy it, and where they will buy it. The profile you create of your target consumer should be as specific as possible. You should be able to picture what that person is like in your head, from what they do for fun to the clothes they wear. 

To develop an infused edible that will bring your customer back time and again, you have to do a lot of research on consumer behavior to find out what the buyer is looking for in a company and in a product. You’ll need to consider what the consumer will find appealing about your product, what they might be doing when they are eating your edible, and who they might be with. The better you understand what your consumer wants and needs, and how the product will fit into their lives, the more successful you will be. 3.


When it comes to edibles, there are a variety of options on the market. In the “Sweet” category, we have gummies, chocolate bars, energy bars and cookies, to name a few. In the “Savory” category, you can find crackers, jerky, chips, amongst others. As you think about where your product will fit in, you need to continue circling back to these key questions – What does my consumer want? Are they looking for a discrete consumption method? How much do they care about the sensory experience? Is this something they will eat on-the-go or in the comfort of their home? How much does the consumer care about a product’s visual appeal? 

When thinking about where your product will fit in in the marketplace, examine other items your consumer might purchase and what the packaging looks like. Packaging and labeling is the first level of engagement a customer has with your product, so visual appeal is key. Is your consumer drawn to natural products? Do they avoid plastic packaging because they are concerned about the environmental impact? Do they like to be able to see the product through the packaging? Your label and packaging should reflect your company’s culture and values and what makes your product unique.  


The next step is to create your formula, including its flavor profile and CBD dosing. Some of the current trends in the consumer marketplace are: Global flavors like espresso, tropical fruit, and coconut; natural ingredients; earthy flavors like mushroom; sugar alternatives such as agave, maple syrup, honey, and stevia; herbs and spices; and tart and sour tastes. 

When considering your product’s flavor, you also need to think about how the flavor of the CBD will work with the other ingredients, especially if your product is in a small format like a tablet or gummy. An isolate would be a good choice if you want an edible with a clean, specific flavor profile. If your consumer appreciates botanical, herbaceous products, a Broad Spectrum CBD might play well with the other flavors. Some consumers specifically seek out Broad Spectrum products because of the terpenes (aromas and flavors) that accompany the CBD.   

Currently, there are a wide range of CBD dosages in the products available. Here are some of the average dosages currently on the market:   

  • Gummy: 10-25mg 
  • Mint/tablet: 5mg 
  • Chocolate bar (1.7oz-2.11oz): 80-200mg 
  • Cracker or pretzel: 2mg 

 To determine dosage, consider when the consumer will be eating your product, identify the desired effect you want the consumer to have after eating the product, and also think about how many pieces they might be inclined to ingest. For example, some people can eat a whole chocolate bar in one sitting, while others might only want a portion of the bar.  

When adding active cannabinoids to your product, you will also need to know what parts of the process create waste or evaporation, because both need to be factored into dosing. When you’re doing trial batches of your product, you may need to initially overdose the recipe/formula to achieve an accurate final dose.


Once you’ve tested your formula, determined dosing, and chosen packaging, it’s time to prepare for scaling up and production. The key to a successful scaling up is identifying and securing your strategic partners in this process, such as your suppliers and a manufacturer. 

Consumer safety should be your #1 concern when making an infused edible, To ensure the highest quality CBD for your product, make sure the CBD supplier that you work with shares documentation like a Certificate of Analysis, Product Data Sheets and Safety Data Sheets. For more information on what to look for when choosing a CBD supplier, please reference Section 4 of our blog entry, “5 Things You Need to Know to Create an Infused CBD Beverage.” 

Next, find a co-manufacturer who understands CBD as an ingredient and has experience producing other CBD edibles will know how to work with it. Being able to do batch testing is critical because it will let you adjust your formula if you need to. It’s also worth noting that the scale-up process may take a few runs over a few months’ time, as at that stage, there can be changes in the equipment that can affect the product. Ideally your producer will allow you to be on-site for the first few runs so that you can feel confident in the process of how your edible is being produced. 

If you want to sell to an audience in a specific state and there is a manufacturing center in that state, you’ll save a lot of money by producing it as close as possible to your target market area. Also, if there is a facility producing a product similar to yours and it’s considered a turnkey process for them, you will be more successful commercializing your product because they already have experience making something similar.   

The journey you will take bringing a CBD-infused edible to market will be an exciting one – especially if you really believe in your concept; just know that the process will require planning, patience, flexibility, out-of-the-box thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. As you try to get your product to market, you might be thrown some curveballs along the way, but if you work with a CBD supplier and co-manufacturer who has experience working with cannabinoids, they will be able to partner with you throughout the process. 

At SōRSE, our R&D team of 30+ employees is well-versed in edible production from concept to final product and welcomes the opportunity to help bring your dream to life and your product to market. Schedule an exploratory call today with SōRSE to get started on your infused CBD edibles journey! 

Webinar: How to Build a CBD Edible

SoRSE webinar

Presented by SōRSE Technology’s Director of Culinary, Stacy Primack, and Director of Technical Services, Hilary Brown

Learn everything from culinary conceptualization through commercialization from the culinary masters themselves!


Chile Avocado Salsa

Chili Avocado Salsa powered by sorse

Chili Avocado Salsa powered by sorseWe recently hosted a webinar “How to Build a CBD Edible” presented by our Director of Culinary, Stacy Primack, and our Director of Technical Services, Hilary Brown. The webinar offered information on the how to take a product from concept to commercialization and also featured two product demos! Here is the recipe for Chef Stacy’s homemade salsa that she infused with our liquid emulsion. We will be posting the video soon, if you didn’t get a chance to tune in! 



YIELD: 2 ½ cups of salsa 

CBD: 20 mg  



1/2 lb Roma tomatoes 

3/4 lb tomatillos, husked and washed 

10 chiles (such as árbol), stemmed 

1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped roughly 

1 medium onion, chopped 

2 T. cumin 

4 cloves garlic 

2 cups water 

1 tsp. Kosher salt 

1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground 

1.667 grams SōRSE liquid emulsion 

1 avocado (slightly underripe), halved, seeded, finely diced 



Preheat broiler. Line a sheet pan with foil. Put tomatoes and tomatillos on the sheet pan and broil; turn occasionally until charred evenly, 10 to 12 min. Transfer to a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients, except for the avocado. Cook on medium heat until onion has softened, about 12 to 15 min; stir frequently. Take off heat and let the mixture cool. Transfer to food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached. Strain. Add SōRSE and stir well. If serving immediately, add avocadootherwise, you may store salsa up to a week in the refrigerator. Add avocado just before serving. 

Magnifica Mushroom Bruschetta  

magnifica mushroom bruschetta

From pesto to lasagnefrom pizza to risotto, Americans can’t resist Italian food, especially during summer when fresh basil, zucchini and tomatoes are plentiful. Need an appetizer for that great Italian meal you have planned? Here is a recipe by Chef Stacy for Mushroom Bruschetta seasoned with Balsamic vinegar and Thyme powered by SōRSE that will whet you and your guests’ appetite! 





  • 400 g mushrooms (approximately 4 cups) 
  • 3 T. olive oil 
  • 6 T Balsamic vinegar 
  • 1.334 grams SōRSE Broad Spectrum CBD liquid emulsion 
  • 2 tsp. sugar 
  • 1 T. Thyme leaves 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Half clove garlic, peeled and smashed with the back of a chef’s knife 
  • 4 slices bread, preferable from a thick baguette 
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling 



Heat oil in large fry pan over high heat. Slice the mushrooms into 1/4″ slices. Toss into hot pan and sauté quickly, about a minute or two. 

Separately, place balsamic and sugar into a small pot and reduce by a thirdcontinue to reduce on low heat until slightly caramelized with a syrupy consistency. Stir in SōRSE until well combined. 

magnifica mushroom bruschetta

Pour the syrup over the mushroom slices and heat until hotadd Thyme and season with salt and pepper. Toast the bread and rub each piece lightly with garlic. Pile on the mushrooms and serve immediately, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil (if desired).