During the cannabis boom of 2015, Drip was known for making the best cannabis-infused ice cream in Portland.
Then came the transition from medical to recreational licenses, in which established companies like Drip had to go through a rigorous and confusing new process. The OLCC's new requirements for commercial kitchen and high-volume testing are particularly hard on edible companies. Drip founder Andi Bixel was stuck at the end of the line in the now-infamous licensing backlog. Drip was out of business for nine months.
"There was a point where I had to really ask myself, 'Why am I doing this? Why am I putting myself through this?" says Bixel about the stressful hiatus. "But I was able to regroup and remind myself of how deeply I believed in what Drip could be."
This July, Drip finally received its OLCC license and was able to get its cannabis creamery back in action. Drip is still making its ice cream and now growing into a confectionery as well, with new infused candies called Gems, by the rebranded Drip Sweets. Following an initial delivery to dispensaries around the state, Bixel threw a jewel-encrusted launch party for the candies last weekend to celebrate being back with a bang. The crystal-shaped candies come in two flavors.
Vanilla-mint—or "white mint illuminite, of the 6th and 7th chakras" per Bixel's playful promo materials—is a sweetened take on a traditional breath mint, and causes "attunement to the inner eye." Zesty citrus, or "citrine quartz, of the 3rd and 8th chakras," contains grapefruit and lime oil, and "grants the ability to play with time and interdimensional travel." One bag of 10 CO2 oil-infused candies are five mg THC each. As she puts it, "it's the perfect dose to add a little sparkle and lightness."
Sparkly lightness is exactly what Bixel spun together at the Gem Party, an iridescent affair hosted at AK Studio in North Portland. She and her entourage wandered through the crowd in pastel frocks and jewel-toned wigs, like crystallized deities on a cannabis-infused Mt. Olympus. Kaleidoscopes were arranged besides glass bowls of the Gems across the space, and local artist Blossom graced a pink cellophane stage, adorned with fresh flowers, for an intimate performance.
With a creative background in fashion and design, Gems are a chance for Bixel to let her imagination run wild, without the technical limitations of ice cream-making. "Candies are just so easy, and it's beautiful to have these bowls of gemstones all around the kitchen. Drip ice cream is beautiful, but very hard. The production, the testing, managing storage and refrigeration at dispensaries—it's all hard."
These low-dose edibles are anti-anxiety pills for me. After a long day, one of the Gems helps me take a deep breath and shake off the day without removing all motivation by taking a big bowl to the face. They're also great for newbies who are scared of trying edibles and getting too stoned. Pop two (especially if highly tolerant) if you can really go with the flow for the next few hours and see where the day takes you. Since they're sublingual, the Gems hit you faster than Drip ice cream.
I may not be fully onboard with the effectiveness of crystals and minerals, but I know that these equally aesthetically pleasing Gems have a clarifying and soothing effect.