Earlier this year, Hollywood-born ganja entrepreneur Henry Mark, 24, introduced Los Angeles to the Stoned Oven Gourmet Pizza, placing his frozen $10 pies in a handful of dispensaries.
Each six-inch personal pizza contains 250 mg of ethanol-extracted THC concentrate from an indica-dominant hybrid strain. The concentrate is made in Mendocino by an extraction company called The Earth's Harmony Essentials.
Now, word-of-mouth buzz in L.A. has allowed Mark to increase production from a few hundred pies a week made by hand in a small parlor to 2,000 to 3,000 a week made in a commercial kitchen.
Mark has been working in dispensaries since age 17, and sees this as his opportunity to strike out on his own.
"Everyone loves pizza," he says. He spent four months developing the recipes for his 5-Star Cheese, OG Pepperoni and Very Margarita Jane pizzas with a chef from the Soho House who is no longer involved in the project.
"You cannot taste one bit of marijuana in there. This pizza is really dangerous, because you can trick anyone!" he says.
His biggest concern has been the notorious inconsistency of marijuana edibles. Even within edible brands in L.A., a variety of factors might lead one brownie to get a regular pothead stoned for six hours, while another of the same label may barely affect that person.
Mark's advice is to eat a quarter of his pizza, drink some water, wait 30 minutes and then decide whether to try some more.
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Mark seems ready for the fast growth he's seen — he's developing wholesale plans, a franchise book, new packaging and a line of pizzas made from CBD-heavy strains — which alleviate physical pain and don't necessarily provide a traditional "high."
"We want to be able to get a deal with hospitals," Mark says. "We can [treat] cancer with pizzas!"