yan Crandall is the chief revenue officer of MariMed Inc. and co-creator of Betty’s Eddies, one of the brands in MariMed’s portfolio. A top seller in all the markets where it’s available, Betty’s Eddies is a brand of all-natural, cannabis-infused fruit chews celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Warren Bobrow: Please tell me about yourself. Where are you from? Now? What drew you to infused foods? Why cannabis?
Ryan Crandall: I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I’m originally from southeastern Massachusetts and currently live in the Boston suburb of Foxborough with my wife, two children, and more animals than you have space to list. I’ve always been a cannabis user and a proponent of its medicinal benefits, but I’m a foodie at heart. I am constantly inspired and intrigued by new dishes, restaurants – you name it. I first started to merge cannabis and food together in my kitchen when I discovered how much better I was sleeping after incorporating an infused edible into my bedtime routine. I am fascinated by all things science, especially when it comes to biology, evolution, and plants. So, I was intrigued to learn all I could about cannabis. I figured if it could help me sleep better by understanding the plant’s origin and all of its elements, there were bound to be additional ways I could incorporate it as a natural remedy for other areas of my health and wellness. That’s what initially led to the creation of Betty’s Eddies with some friends.
Warren Bobrow: Please tell me about your company. What are you known for? What are you working on now?
Ryan Crandall: MariMed is a multi-state cannabis operator that is dedicated to improving people’s lives every day through our high-quality products, actions, and values. We develop, own, and manage seed-to-sale, state-licensed cannabis facilities, which are models of excellence in horticultural principles, cannabis cultivation, cannabis-infused products, and dispensary operations. We currently have full seed-to-store operations in Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, and Delaware, a dispensary in Ohio, and partnerships for brand distribution in Rhode Island and Puerto Rico. We are perhaps best known for our best-in-class brands, which include Betty’s Eddies, Bubby’s Baked, Vibations, and Nature’s Heritage. Each brand is reputable in their respective categories for their high quality. We take great pride in our approach to innovation and creating the best products consumers can buy. Our benchmark is that our edibles should be so delicious that non-infused versions would see well in better grocery stores. We’re constantly pushing ourselves to improve our products as well. For example, Betty’s Eddies has always been a strong seller, but we improved the line last year by being one of the first brands in the industry to add in supplements and other minor cannabinoids to further elevate their efficacy, onset, taste, and consistency. Consumer response was off the hook. We’re about to do the same with our Vibations brand, a great-selling cannabis drink mix that we’ve improved to deliver even better taste plus advanced hydration, a boost of energy, and a quicker onset.
Warren Bobrow: What are your six- and twelve-month goals? Obstacles? How do you anticipate removing them?
Ryan Crandall: Our mantra for 2024 is to LEAD the industry in every way we can! We want to be one of the top contenders, hopefully, number one, in each of the categories our brands participate in. Of course, there are always obstacles, but one that is fairly constant is the state-by-state regulations we must follow in the industry and how unexpected and often they can change. Those changes result in timeline shifts for our operations teams, our financial planners, our marketing team…really everyone. You always have to have your finger on the pulse of potential changes, new entrants, federal and local regulations….the list goes on. But in order to stay on top and truly lead, you have to stay alert, anticipate change, and be nimble enough to pivot on a dime when necessary. We take great pride in our ability to adapt as necessary in this crazy industry and overcome any potential wrench that gets thrown our way.
Warren Bobrow: Do you work with food scientists or chefs? Who is your mentor or inspiration?
Ryan Crandall: Yes, we work with a talented, dedicated, and highly educated team of food scientists on the formulation of each of our respective brands, including Betty’s Eddies. When it comes to a mentor as it relates to a brand, Ben and Jerry’s is the one that resonates with me most. Even from their early days, from their branding and visual aesthetic to the artwork, packaging, and unique naming of products was something I found iconic. They truly had a flavor that could relate to any potential consumer, and that was something that really struck me. They created an ice cream brand that made consumers feel relatable. When it comes to a person who inspires me, it’s Steve Jobs, specifically for his unique approach to innovation and the technical genius empire he is responsible for.
Warren Bobrow: What is your passion?
Ryan Crandall: It’s simple; I like to help people. Fun fact about me: I originally wanted to be a doctor, and never in my dreams did I envision working in an industry that hears from patients who have turned to different Betty’s Eddies varieties to help with ailments. I’ve spoken with cancer patients, people going through grief, people who struggle with sleep and anxiety – the list goes on – and hearing how something I have put my soul into creating is making their days slightly better makes all of this worth it.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of MariMed, Inc.