[By] Ariella Wolkowicz
Johnson & Wales University-Providence*
Dr. Scott Smith, Dr. Cheryl Almeida
The Verdes Foundation was established in 2011 by a group of five individuals, three of whom are “qualified medical cannabis patients.” The founder and Chairman of the business [Douglas Speegle] is also a registered medical cannabis patient producer. Each of these members offers specific skills to the business. The founder has over thirty years of financial and business experience. He served as president and a board member of the New Mexico Bankers Association. An optometrist, IT developer, computer network engineer, and a landscape designer/horticultural expert with thirtyfive years experience complete the business team. Their medical edibles market grew out of their interest in providing patients with a longer, lasting, medically effective product that did not require smoking (The Verdes Foundation).
They grow the medical cannabis used in their products outdoors, at a high tech facility
under experienced horticultural direction. Strict guidelines are employed to produce a clean, safe product without pesticides or plant hormones. Different strains are used in the production of edible products to provide patients with the varied medicinal benefits. Infusion techniques are employed to extract the cannabinoids from the plant material using butter. Since laboratory
testing is not required by the state, The Verdes Foundation do not have their products tested.
Also, as a result of no state requirement, the dosing of their products is determined by calculation by weight. Each individual edible product is prepared to contain approximately ¼ gram of medical cannabis. This information is included on the product labels along with the other ingredients used in each edible (The Verdes Foundation).
Their product line which is composed of brownies, lemon bars, oatmeal cookies and an
Indica Chocolate “Sleep Cookie” is well received by the patient population. The Verdes
Foundation only sells products they produce in their dispensary and do not carry other product
lines to sell to their patients. They have developed their own label and use opaque packaging for all their products. Patients must place their orders in advance, either by phone or online. Pick up is on site or, for patient convenience, delivery is available for a flat fee. Patients are able to pay for their medical edible products using a credit card (The Verdes Foundation).
The Verdes Foundation has experienced growth and satisfaction in knowing they are
providing a much needed medical benefit to their community. They also choose to remain
committed to this market frontier and see greater potential for its growth as federal regulations
catch up with the states that have already recognized the need to legalize cannabis for medical
use (The Verdes Foundation).
*”Johnson & Wales University is well known for its Culinary Arts program but was first founded as Business and Hospitality programs. The university is the largest food service educator in the world. JWU is one of the top three Hospitality Colleges, according to the 2010 rankings released by the American Universities Admissions Program, which ranks of American universities according to their international reputation.” Wikipedia