Pubdate: Sun, 04 Jan 2015
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2015 San Jose Mercury News
Author: Martin Totland, Richmond Confidential


Sausalito Creamer's Son Striking Out on His Own

RICHMOND - When 6-year-old Isaac Lappert started serving ice cream in 
his family's Sausalito business, he was too short for customers to 
see him behind the counter.

It wasn't until last year, when his father told the now-24-year-old a 
story about a famous rock band, that Lappert got the idea to start 
his own business: Cannabis Creamery.

If you've been in any of Richmond's medical marijuana dispensaries 
recently, you've probably seen Lappert's locally sourced ice cream in 
the 'Edibles' section. It has been around for only a year, but his 
marijuana specialty ice cream is already available "from Sacramento 
to San Diego," Lappert said.

The Lappert family has been making ice cream in Richmond for the past 
13 years at a licensed dairy facility a few miles south of the 
Hilltop area. Lappert declined to reveal precisely where because of 
the risk of break-ins.

For the past year, Lappert has been making his own special blend at a 
different facility in the city, also a secret location.

In 1983, his father was approached by a ragged group of hairy 
musicians who wanted to know if he could make some "special" ice 
cream for their upcoming party. Michael Lappert obliged and made a 
cannabis-infused batch of high-fat ice cream for them to take to 
their party. As it turned out, the group was The Grateful Dead.

"They must have liked it, because they ended up ordering several more 
times," Lappert said.

"This is what we got in the business for. Whatever people want, give 
it to them," Michael told Isaac.

Isaac figured he could do what his father did, but legally, and so 
began Cannabis Creamery.

Lappert, whose shaggy brown hair and scruffy beard are de rigueur for 
his industry, quickly found that he was a long way from Sausalito. In 
his first week making cannabis ice cream, a botched drug deal led to 
a shooting. A man in a car was shot, and the car crashed into the 
factory doors.

"We got a nice welcome to Richmond," Lappert said.

Since then, improved.

"Everyone is super-nice there," Lappert said of Richmond. Once or 
twice a week, he crosses the Richmond Bridge from San Rafael to stir 
up batches at his facility here.

The novel business has already won several awards, most recently at 
the HempCon Kush Kup in San Bernardino last October. Lappert won the 
award for "Best Dessert Edible" for his mint chocolate chip ice 
cream, which packs 60 mg of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

"I lab-test every batch," said Lappert, who admits to obsessing over 
the quality of his product. Precise, consistent dosage is important, 
he said, before voicing his displeasure at what he considers his 
competitors' lax standards. "If you buy a cookie from someone in the 
park, you might get stoned, or it might not hit you at all," Lappert said.

His frustration at the lackadaisical process of other edibles-makers 
also partly stems from his time in culinary school, where he learned 
the importance of precision.

Lappert never attended high school or college. Instead, he spent his 
time working in the family business and traveling, before ending up 
at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in San Francisco. 
It was there he started experimenting with edible marijuana products.

Lappert says the business is picking up, and he plans to expand for 2016.
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