Jolly Meds handcrafted products have been made in San Francisco since 2005. Founder Jeffrey Kolsky was able to increase production over time, thanks to the cities long standing cottage industry law for cannabis edible. Originally, he cooked, labeled, and sold the products all on his own while working out of a small kitchen space. Now, four staff members work multiple shifts making products, packaging goods, and managing orders.
Jolly Meds is up to 10,000 units a month in sales and it’s easy to see why with their concise line of infused lozenges, lollipops, meltaways, and honeys. They hit multiple palates, with various flavors, cannabinoid profiles and potencies, with a production line that can still be made in an affordable city space. Jolly Meds are small batch medicines, and Kolsky is a perfectionist about the products consistency and shelf appeal, “I like to see everything before it goes out the door,” he said, “But, (it’s) getting difficult as the volume is getting so high.”
His first dispensary clients were some of the classic old school San Francisco collectives, The Green Door and the Vapor Room. “At first, I would sit in their patient lounges, waiting for the hash oil supply at dispensaries,” Kolsky shared, “Back then, supply was not consistent.”
The sativa dominant Jolly Lolly was his original product. “At the beginning of the company, I did not really understand the difference between indica and sativa before the Vapor Room explained it,” Kolsky admitted. After some tutelage, he realized he wanted everyone to feel the uplifting effect he enjoyed from a sativa, so he created the lolly.
“Ultimately, it was my hope to replace people’s Adderall and Wellbutrin, the stimulants and anti-depressants that so many people were using for depression and neurological issues,” he expressed. Whenever asked his mission, he replies, “every dollar spent on a cannabis product is a dollar not spent on a pharmaceutical drug.”
Next up for Jolly Meds were their lozenges, as early dispensaries did not want to carry products that looked attractive to children. Berkeley Patients Group suggested a cough drop, so they started making their Canni-Soothes, with menthol and eucalyptus, in both indica and sativa, daytime and nighttime formulas. Soon after followed indica Jolly Lolly’s, sugar free meltaways, and locally sourced and produced East Bay honey products. And, like many people, Kolsky was inspired by author and founder of Project CBD to create a line of CBD-infused products. Kolsky stated, “These have become one of our most popular growth products.”
Jolly Meds products can be found in approximately 65 dispensaries throughout California. Most of these have been around for a very long time like Buds and Roses, LA Confidential, and Harborside. They are also in more recently established stores like CBCB in Berkeley, as well as San Francisco’s newest dispensary, Harvest. “We work with really great people, and the patients really love our products,” Kolsky said. “Even through all of the crackdowns over the years, we never lost our collective. The number of patients using our medicines stayed the same.”
Spending time on their master recipes, they’ve worked with Halent Lab to learn how to infuse the medicine and test the finished products for dosing consistency. “Every product has a super terpene spread,” Kolsky recounted, “15mg feels strong, because it is not just a stripped down delta 9 oil.”
Kolsky is deciding how to grow the company now, and wonders if San Francisco is the place for it. The only legal production allowed is still small-scale, cottage industry, and home-based. “I am working to get San Francisco to look at licensing manufacturing from my perspective as a member of the California Cannabis Industries Association’s Manufacturing Subcommittee,” Kolsky said, “San Francisco does not recognize us.”
Otherwise, Jolly Meds will be looking at other cities like Oakland or Berkeley. Kolsky hopes that with permits eventually available at the state level under the MMRSA legislation, San Francisco will finally catch up with its East Bay neighbors, and start licensing infused products facilities.
[justified_image_grid caption=off mobile_caption=off lightbox=photoswipe mobile_lightbox=photoswipe ng_gallery=83]