Pubdate: Wed, 23 Mar 2016
Source: East Bay Express (CA)
Column: Legalization Nation
Copyright: 2016 East Bay Express
Author: David Downs


Why Maya Lapid of the East Bay company Om Edibles is the name to 
watch in US medical cannabis foods in 2016.

Unlike the new crop of cannabis carnival barkers, real power players 
in the industry tend to be discrete. And few in the weed game have 
been as discrete, or have built up as much momentum as Maya Lapid, 
founder of the award-winning East Bay company Om Edibles.

Lapid is a prescient, college-educated Bay Area native, and a 
plugged-in, insider of fourteen years in the local medical cannabis 
industry who foresaw the edibles-as-superfoods trend eight years 
early and can no longer hide from the limelight. Still, Lapid is 
hesitant to fully spill the beans, particularly when it comes to her 
budding business relationship with superstar celebrity Whoopi Goldberg.

"I'd love to tell you, but we're almost, almost there," said Lapid, 
referring to the details of the Goldberg partnership. "When we can 
get there, I will tell you."

On March 19, Om Edibles re-posted to Instagram a picture of Lapid and 
Goldberg posing for a photo, smiling and sipping what looks like iced 
tea. The advent of a medical cannabis product partnership for the 
co-host of ABC's The View - which has 3.9 million national viewers - 
signifies the arrival of mainstream cannabis. The Bay Area medical 
weed industry is abuzz about Om's coup, but Lapid is no carnival 
barker. She said she has "no comment" on how she met Goldberg.

"She's just an awesome lady, She's one of my heroes," Lapid said. "We 
have a lot in common. We have a lot of exciting things happening."

But as reticent as Lapid is about discussing the details of her 
venture with Goldberg, she's not afraid to share the secret of her 
company's success. "I know exactly what my secret is, and I'm not 
afraid to tell it: We use the best ingredients we can and the best 
products we can. ... We use an extreme level of care, from the root 
to the fruit."

That means growing Om's own bud outdoors on a farm run by women, and 
then combining the company's top-shelf, exclusive strains with "as 
few ingredients as you can, as organic as possible" and lab testing 
for consistency, she said.

And all that dedication to excellence has paid off. Last year, Om's 
CBD Raw Sipping Cacao took first place in CBD edibles at The Emerald 
Cup and in the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup Northern California. 
Om also took first place in the Jamaican High Times Cannabis Cup for 
its infused topical oil.

Lapid said she first got high at the age of thirteen, and by fourteen 
was smoking nearly every day. "It's kind of the way I prefer to live 
my life," she said. "I'm one of those people cannabis really agrees with."

After getting a degree in psychology from San Francisco State 
University, she began her medical cannabis career at a San Francisco 
pot club in 2004. "I really connected with that role of being a 
resource for people to learn about cannabis," she said. "I saw a lot 
of problems out there, and I loved to cook. I felt like I could 
create stuff, too."

During her pot club days, Lapid budtended, became a head chef, ran a 
clone desk, trimmed cannabis crops up north, and perfected ice-water 
based extraction (bubble hash) techniques in the Bay Area. Lapid also 
began growing cannabis and is connected to the Cookie Fam - the Bay 
Area horticultural masters behind the world's biggest current 
cannabis strain - Girl Scout Cookies.

Om Edibles, an all-female company, officially launched in 2008 and 
has racked up a string of hits. Eight years ahead of the curve, Om 
was the first to market cannabis infusions in super-foods, eschewing 
sugary, fatty desserts for items like the company's award-winning 
Peanut Butter and Puffed Rice Truffles (175 milligrams THC).

Om's latest is a CBD-rich miso with mushroom and sea kelp soup broth, 
part of a line of thirty Om products carried in clubs throughout 
California. The soup won't get you high, but it might help manage 
your arthritis, back pain, or seizures.

Lapid also is not shy about predicting the next hot trend: 
THC-infused bath products - a potentially billion-dollar sector of 
moms and grandmas underserved by stoner, bro-oriented brands. "Baths 
are so amazing. They deserve a category of their own from topicals or 
edibles. It's really just a strong body effect that's great for 
sleep, aches, and pains and overall dermatological issues," she said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom