A group of students won big at SFU’s Opportunity Fest, an annual event that showcases innovators and entrepreneurs, with a cannabis-infused chocolate company that aims to help North American producers enter the edibles market.
Stolz: Cannabis Infused Fine Chocolates took the prize for most investable opportunity and innovator’s choice, as voted by participants, local investors and business leaders.
Garrett Downes, Smarth Duggal, Michael Pizzolon and Jeff Salzsauler said their company will help growers and processors who want to diversify into edibles, but lack expertise.
Stolz will offer a full package to customers, including equipment purchasing, operations design, staff training, marketing and quality control.
Salzsauler, who is a classical chocolatier and pastry consultant, has helped many firms build pastry programs from scratch.
“The demographics of cannabis users is also changing,” says Salzsauler. “As existing cannabis users grow up, the market is shifting towards young professionals who are college educated with a higher income and status, creating a demand for higher quality products. All of a sudden this isn’t a fringe business anymore.”
Stolz already has a working prototype and recipes, and has begun product testing and validation and expect to enter the U.S. market in early 2017.
They are also looking for a partner in Victoria’s growing medical cannabis and plan to operate as edible wholesalers in Canada after legalization.