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When Aaron Morris cofounded Wyld in 2015, his cannabis edibles operation wasn’t that different from a family kitchen the night before a bake sale. Morris and his team set up shop in an old farmhouse in Tumalo, Oregon, down the road from an alpaca ranch. We already licensed the property to grow marijuana but the stove only had one working burner. Morris would boil the syrups in household pots while wearing four layers of gloves to avoid getting burned and combine the other ingredients with a handheld electric mixer, which would inevitably die every few days.
The first batches of THC-infused gummies tasted like “crayons,” says cofounder Chris Joseph. Some even grew mold. To improve the recipe, Morris used a technique he found on Reddit, but eventually sought the advice from a gelatin supplier and his gummies got better.
“I know nothing about food,” says Morris, a 31-year-old native Oregonian and the CEO of Wyld. “I know about the commercialization of food, but I’m still a terrible cook.”
Eventually, he perfected recipes for Wyld’s first two flavors—marionberry and raspberry. Every morning from now on, Morris and some hired line cooks would crank out another 1,500 gummies. The third cofounder, Rene Kaza, who had quit his job as a firefighter to join the company, would fill his Honda Civic with their confections three times a week and drive three hours to Portland to deliver shipments to dispensaries Wyld cbd .
Today, Wyld is America’s hottest edibles company. It produces the nation’s bestselling cannabis gummies—a high-end candy made with real fruit, including huckleberry, peach and pomegranate. Each package of Wyld, which costs about $20, contains ten gummies with a combined 100mg of THC. This year, the company expects to bring in $65 million in revenue, up from $25 million in 2019. Each month for the last year, Wyld has outsold every edibles brand in the country. The company’s monthly sales have topped $12 million—roughly 800,000 packages of gummies—and Wyld projects $130 million in revenue by 2021, or a fitting 420% increase since 2019. Wyld cbd Gummies
“We just blew up,” says Morris. “The gummies keep selling, so we keep making more.”
In Nevada, Morris built Wyld’s facilities in trailers on a Native American reservation for $200,000 and a royalty fee. He sent three employees from HQ in a van, and hired a local sales rep. Within 45 days, Wyld became Nevada’s best-selling edible.
Next, Morris sent seven employees in three vans with $400,000 in cash to open its California operation in a defunct prison co-owned by a cannabis company and Damian Marley. (Wyld now has its own facility in Sacramento.)
In March 2020, Colorado approved Wyld’s cannabis license and the company opened its $750,000 facility with nine employees.
The last part of Morris’ plan is to diversify its product line. The company now sells THC-infused chocolates and it launched a national CBD line of seltzer and gummies (we can sell the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid across state lines if derived from hemp). Once cannabis is legalized federally, Wyld will start massive expansion. “There’s no reason a craft company cannot become a conglomerate,” Morris says.
Despite his grand ambitions, Morris doesn’t consider Wyld a company so much as a “social and psychological experiment.” He doesn’t offer equity packages and overpays his warehouse workers and underpays his executives. The experiment, he says, is to see if he can build the “Anheuser-Busch of edibles” and capture 30% market share by hiring “rebels and misfits.”
Morris, who prefers to smoke joints over eating his own gummies, often gives off a Bernie Bro philosopher vibe. Over the phone late one night, he says that if America is home to the most billionaires, the country should also have universal healthcare and offer free college tuition.
Despite his ideas on wealth inequality, perhaps Morris’ most defining personality trait is a fierce competitiveness and a desire to be the best in his field. “We’re a bunch of hellhounds determined to win,” he says. “My team can conquer the world. We’re young and hungry—it’s middle fingers in the air. Tell me I can’t.”