NEW YORK (MainStreet) — A Czech immigrant named Walter Lappert launched Lappert’s ice cream in 1983. Little did the hippie entrepreneur know that his dessert storefront would serve as a stepping stone for his grand son Isaac to launch a cannabis-infused ice cream brand called Isaac's Cannabis Creamery.
"It's super premium ice cream made with 16% buttermilk content, which is delicious fat," said the 24-year-old Lappert. “It’s not being whipped up in my sink without any bacteria control."
With six flavors that include vanilla bean, chocolate, mint chip, kona coffee, fully baked cookie dough and vegan passion fruit sorbet, Isaac's cannabis ice cream is manufactured out of a licensed dairy facility in the Bay Area of California.
"It doesn't have the bitter taste or smell that smoking marijuana leaves behind," Lappert told MainStreet. The five-ounce cup of ice cream comes with a lid and 60 milligrams of THC.
“The high average is a weekly demand for 1,000 cups from a typical dispensary,” said Lappert, who is currently working over time to fill the demand. “Medicinal marijuana can’t grow fast enough.”
Lappert purchases his supply from some 15 growers and sells his pre-packaged ice cream cups for $5 each to an estimated 100 dispensaries except in San Francisco, which maintains a ban on frozen edibles.
“If the ice cream were to partially melt and be refrozen, it could redistribute the THC and cause inconsistency in the dose,” said Tony Alfiere, author of the book Pot Inc and CEO of Quigleys, a cannabis-infused drink.
At this time, Lappert is shying away from selling medicinal scoops in any of his grandfather’s multiple storefronts because even though pot is legal in some states, public consumption laws are prohibitive.
Isaacs Cannabis Creamery is currently only sold in California, where the Seven Stars Holistic Healing dispensary in Richmond is never out of supply.
National ice cream brands such as Baskin Robbins and Ben & Jerry’s are reluctant to jump on the cannabis ice cream band wagon for obvious reasons.
“They will eventually enter the cannabis ice cream market to compete with us once marijuana is legalized federally, but it will take a lot of practice to get the infusion and science right,” said Lappert. “They will have to set up a laboratory in legal states where they can dose and test. It’s a big undertaking.”
Ben & Jerry’s Founder Ben Cohen reportedly expressed an interest in launching a cannabis ice cream flavor, but the corporate office denies any plans.
“The truth is there’s nothing going on from the company, not discussion nor development, in regards to a cannabis concoction,” said Sean Greenwood, spokesperson with Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont. The same goes for ice cream from Baskin Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts.
“We have no plans to introduce products with that ingredient,” said Justin Drake, senor mananger in public relations with Dunkin' Brands Group.
Selling psychoactive ice cream is a risky proposition even for Lappert.
At this time, the high school dropout is shying away from selling medicinal scoops in one of his deceased grandfather’s multiple storefronts, because even though pot is legal in some states, public consumption laws are prohibitive.
“The customer cannot eat infused ice cream in public, so the product would need to make it back to the consumer’s freezer, adding yet another layer of complication,” Alfiere told MainStreet.
Isaac’s Cannabis Creamery is currently only sold in California, commonly at the Seven Stars Holistic Healing dispensary in Richmond.
That’s because delivery to Colorado and other legal states would require the culinary school graduate to own refrigerated trucks, but transporting marijuana across state lines whether in an ice cream cone or cigarette is federally illegal.
“There are no existing pot shops in Denver set up for frozen items,” Alfiere said. “Ice cream cups would require child resistant packaging that is approved by the Marijuana Enforcement Division.”
—Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet