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Companies infusing products with pot ingredient

Laura Rillos

Vancouver, WA -- Catapult Coffee is locally roasted and available in single serving pods, like many other local favorite brews.

This morning cup of Joe comes with a different kick, though. It's infused with cannabis at Fairwinds Manufacturing in Vancouver.

"We have found there's incredible synergy between cannabis and caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee," Fairwinds owner James Hull explained. "The two go together very well, the flavor notes complement each other."

Fairwinds Manufacturing is an indoor grow and processing facility, and they extract cannabis oil from their plants to make a variety of products.

The company makes everything from liquid tinctures, including a bacon flavored one, and capsules to topicals.

A few months ago, they launched a personal lubricant called "O-Lube" to provide what they refer to as a "heightened experience" in the bedroom.

"We've had many, many requests for Fairwinds to produce this type of product," Hull said. "There's fair demand in the market for this."

Before opening Fairwinds in 2014, Hull was a mechanical and systems engineer. He saw an opening in the cannabis industry and leapt at it.

"I saw the opportunity to apply a lot of science, a lot of engineering, and really increase the quality, the standards," he said.

A growing number of entrepreneurs are joining the cannabis industry seeking to create innovative products.

Kelly Ogilvie used to be a policy advisor for Governor Jay Inslee, but he is now the CEO of DeepCell Industries.

The state just approved their cannabis infused sugar "ruby sweets," and he sees the marijuana edibles industry growing up around him.

"The food is where you're seeing all the interesting stuff happen," Ogilvie said. "Year two now is when I think you saw more traditional sophisticated business people enter this arena. You're seeing real brands, real good business models emerge in this industry now."

Many of these entrepreneurs believe marijuana will one day become federally legal. They believe their products, along with their branding and packaging, can help reduce the social stigma around the drug.

"I think focusing our brand on folks like us versus marketing to the traditional stoners, like in High Times magazine or something, is really important for the maturity of this industry and the evolution of the industry," Ogilvie added.

Fairwinds Manufacturing's newest product, an instant drink mix, just hit store shelves this week.

As they create new-to-the-cannabis industry products, Hull hopes to create new-to-the-industry customers.

"We believe that's a huge market and we think for those people to transition into this, to be comfortable with it, it needs to be a professional product, it needs to be a tested product, it needs to be a regulated product," he said.

It's important to remember, cannabis products made in Washington can only be sold at pot shops in the state.

KPTV

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