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Ryan Hermansky, Co-Founder of Pure Edibles – Interview Series

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As the cannabis industry evolves, so does the way people consume it. People are finding that edibles are just really simple and effective. It’s convenient to medicate in different places.

Ryan Hermansky

Arizona, the Grand Canyon State, is among the handful of states that have legalized adult-use cannabis. Last year, cannabis sales in the state topped $1.9 billion, far surpassing the projected value of $1.2 billion, according to Headset. Even as the state bustles with legal cannabis activities, stigma and misconceptions about what actually happens in cannabis dispensaries is derailing the industry. At the same time, the illicit market is rife and this is a threat to the legal industry, which we have worked so hard to get to where it is today. The Arizona Dispensaries Association (ADA) safeguards the interests of the stakeholders in the legal industry. My Cannabis spoke to Ryan Hermansky, president of ADA and a cannabis entrepreneur, to get a deeper understanding of the cannabis industry in Arizona.

Meet Ryan.

As an intro, how did your career path lead you to the cannabis industry?

I’m the Co-Founder of Pure Edibles with my brother Brandon and our longtime friend, Doug Daly. We launched the edible product line after opening a dispensary, Noble Herb in Flagstaff, which we still co-own and operate today. Before that, I actually started my career in medical sales. While there were some perks and great learning experiences, I realized early on that working my way up the corporate ladder was not something I was ever going to be passionate about. I wanted to build my own business and create my own path. This led to me going back to school and getting my MBA from the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State.  While I was there, the first bill passed to legalize medical marijuana. I saw this as an incredible opportunity to not only be a part of such a dynamic industry but one that really can help so many people at the same time.

You serve as the president of the Arizona Dispensaries Association (ADA). What does this role entail?

The Arizona Dispensaries Association’s goal is to conserve and advance the cannabis business safely through policy and education. As President, it's my role to ensure that happens. I help oversee how our dispensaries are regulated and monitored. From a legislative perspective, I’m involved in the overall political process and work to protect our industry from unsupportive policies. We also continuously work to increase awareness and education of our industry to the public. I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve done and believe Arizona is one of the strongest cannabis markets in the U.S.

In many states, the process of obtaining a retail license is often prolonged and complicated. How is this in Arizona and how does ADA assist applicants through the process?

In Arizona, there are a certain number of licenses available for dispensing and cultivation and each applicant goes through a lottery process to obtain them. The ADA becomes involved once business owners receive that license.  We help new license holders understand existing policies, compliance rules, and regulations.

What can you say about social equity in the cannabis industry in Arizona?

The ADA is fully supportive of social equity and looks forward to working with new license holders.

Is there a place for mom-and-pop shops in the future of the legal cannabis industry in Arizona?

Absolutely! Noble Herb is a single-operator business. We pride ourselves on creating a welcoming, stress-free environment that places a tremendous focus on educating our customers whether they are first-time or long-standing shoppers.  While there will always be a niche for large multi-state operators, I believe consumers will continue to seek businesses where they feel their experience is prioritized.

What can you say about the illicit cannabis market in Arizona and how does this affect the legal market?

There's no question there’s an illicit market. And while we know it exists, we choose to focus our energy on educating the public about the steps we take to ensure all products sold at dispensaries are tested, consistent, and most importantly safe. That’s the only way we can continue to see exponential growth while eliminating any remaining stigma there may be about our industry.

You are also a cannabis entrepreneur. Briefly introduce Pure Edibles and the unique impact that you’re making in the edibles space in Arizona.

Pure is an award-winning product line that delivers elevated edible products at affordable price points. We launched Pure in 2015 because we wanted to create a product that was high-quality and accessible for every customer, which was missing from the market. I believe we helped set the bar for what an edible product could and should be.

Our signature candy chews and gummies are all hand-crafted in small batches and are sourced from local, organic ingredients. The candy chews are available in three strengths and are made from full-spectrum oil, a true differentiator among our competitors. Gummies provide two strengths, in both Indica and Sativa strains.  The edible lines come in a variety of flavors with vegan, low sugar, and gluten-free options.

The cannabis edibles market has grown significantly in the last few years. From a current value of about $4 billion, the edibles market is gunning for $9 billion by 2026. What are some of the factors that are fueling this growth trajectory?

As the cannabis industry evolves, so does the way people consume it. People are finding that edibles are just really simple and effective. It doesn’t require any time. You don’t need a lighter. You can be discreet if you choose to be. It’s convenient to medicate in different places. Overall, it's an incredibly accessible and safe option.

Fast-acting edibles seem to be the avant-garde in the cannabis edibles market.  Can you weigh in on this new trend?

When people make the decision they want to take an edible, they’re looking to feel its effects as soon as possible. I understand the appeal and believe it to benefit the market as a whole.

What’s next for the Arizona Dispensary Association?

While we've made leaps and bounds over the last few years, our research shows there are still misconceptions about dispensaries and our industry overall.  For example, many still don’t realize that any adult who is over 21 can walk into a dispensary. We’re also still battling stigmas of what people expect their experience at a dispensary to be. It’s our job, as the ADA, to expand awareness and public education on these issues.  Dispensaries are safe, welcoming spaces that deliver exceptional customer experiences. And we’ll work tirelessly until any negative perceptions are a thing of the past.

It was a great pleasure to have this one-on-one with Ryan Hermansky, Co-Founder of Pure Edibles. Readers who wish to maintain pace with the new developments are more than welcome to visit their website.



Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.