The Professional Manufacturing Confectioners Association will host a symposium this fall covering all aspects of developing cannabis-infused candy and snacks.

Set for Nov. 5-6 at the Embassy Suites Riverfront Promenade in Sacramento, Calif., the two-day event will touch on several different topics, including market research, pharmacology of cannabinoids, flavors and terpenes, ingredient supply chain, product formulation, dosing and dispensing, product manufacturing, food safety and legislation and regulation.

The symposium, moderated by Adrian Timms of Atimms Consulting, LLC, will feature more than 15 speakers from companies and organizations including Bell Flavors & Fragrances, the National Confectioners Association, Sorse Technology and Fantasy Candies Chocolate Factory, among others.

Though PMCA historically has worked with traditional candy makers, the organization’s board of directors voted in October 2018 to accept membership applications from companies that produce cannabis-infused products. 

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The schedule of speakers includes:

Tuesday, Nov. 5

Brian SterlingBrian Sterling, SCS Consulting
Cannabis in Foods – The Consumer View
With products as diverse as gummies, pizza, chewing gum, sauces, health drinks, and body lotions, we first need to understand consumer perceptions of cannabis and infused products. This segment will take a broad look at consumer attitudes and perceptions and set the stage for discussion of edibles infused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or cannabidiol (CBD).


Linda GilbertLinda Gilbert, EcoFocus Worldwide
Who is Buying Cannabis in Candies, Chocolates & Snacks?
This session will examine who is buying candies, chocolates, or other edibles infused with CBD and/or THC, based on a nationally representative survey of 4,000 US adults in 2019. It will compare infused buyers to category buyers overall, and focus on demographic, lifestyle, and attitudinal similarities and differences. It will provide thought leadership on trends and their implications for confection and snack brands.


Lawrence BlumeLawrence Blume, RTI International
Pharmacology, Physiology and Safety of Ingested Cannabinoids
This presentation will focus on the importance of cannabinoid physiology and pharmacology, as it sets the stage for dosing, onset and duration of effect, safety, and labeling of products.



Joan HarveyJoan Harvey, Bell Flavors & Fragrances
Flavors & Terpenes
Confectioners working with cannabinoid extracts want great tasting products, but there are flavor challenges that need to be overcome. Attendees will learn about the chemistry and terminology of cannabinoids and their flavor terpenes. They’ll also get an understanding of the flavor changes associated with certain confectionery applications and ingredient interactions.


Seth Wong, TEQ LabsSeth Wong
Analytical Testing – Certification & Testing Lab Perspective
This session will provide a detailed overview of the cannabis industry from a third-party analytical laboratory perspective on technology, methods, quality control and assurance programs, state rules and regulations, as well as economic factors and the impact of these facets on industry and its implications for a confection company.


Quinn ShiskinQuinn Shiskin, Valens Agritech
Navigating the Supply Chain – Perspective of Growers, Extractors & Active Suppliers
Learning why and which process to choose for your product formulation is a major challenge. This talk will give attendees a common understanding of the difference between extraction techniques and how to select the correct method and resin product for your active ingredient.


Scott RieflerScott Riefler, SōRSE Technology
CBD & Other Cannabinoids as Ingredients for Confection, Challenges & Solutions
This session will help demystify CBD grade selection based on application needs and how extracts are converted into workable food ingredients suitable for large scale consumer products that are consistent in product integrity and offer a terrific sensory and culinary experience.


Derick RousseauDérick Rousseau, PhD, Ryerson University
Dosing & Dispensing Technology
Tackling the incorporation of cannabinoid actives in common foods requires an understanding of the technological arsenal available to existing and new players in the marketplace. In this presentation, approaches to adding cannabinoids to common food forms are discussed, with a particular focus placed on emulsions and their inclusion in liquid, semi-solid and solid foods.


Tony PrangeTony Prange, Baker Perkins
Starchless Technology in Edible Production
The presentation will cover the issues and solutions for accurate control of piece weights and addition of functional additives, for pectin and gelatin based gummies/ jellies. The issues around the dosing of additives into syrups, in conjunction with depositor weight control set up will be examined and the technical solutions that are available to manufacture consistent infused products.


Wednesday, Nov. 6

Michelle Frame, Victus Ars Inc.
Basics of Candy Formulating
Michelle Frame founded Victus Ars, Inc., a confectionery consulting business in Chicago, in June 2014 after more than 20 years at candy (and related) companies. A variety of benchtop confectionery equipment allows the Victus Ars team to develop a wide range of prototype samples for clients. Frame will cover the basics of candy making for those new to the industry.


Carolina MitchellCarolina Mitchell, Ciencia Labs
Product Manufacturing – Gummies & Kindred Products
This presentation will address the chemical composition of the most common cannabinoids, the interactions with hydrogels and carbohydrates, and how to manage the physicochemical properties of cannabinoids to improve the taste of edibles. Furthermore, it will examine the problems involved with product development, homogenization, testing and the methodologies applied to overcome these issues.


Joel FinkJoel Fink, Fantasy Candies Chocolate Factory
Product Manufacturing – Chocolate Cannabis Infusion
This course will be addressing the challenges of producing the perfect cannabis infused chocolates, from taste to test. How to determine the best cannabis product in order accomplish desired results including complete homogenization and taste of the finished chocolate edibles. 


F ToaderFabian Toader, Swift’s Brands
Product Manufacturing – Premium Chocolate, Mints & Panned
The infused confectionery creator that seeks to achieve mid-scale production of sophisticated products is faced with many questions. Beginning with the strategy of addressing a “refined confectionery” market segment, Swift’s Brands has developed techniques in several product areas such as hard candy, chocolate truffles, the art and science of cannabis chocolate panning, and tablet press.


Javier Bastidas

Chad FinkelsteinJavier A. Bastidas, Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Matzger & Melnick LLP
Chad Finkelstein, Dale & Lessmann, LLP

U.S. and Canadian Legislative Pathways
The regulation of the manufacture, distribution and sale of cannabis products can be a minefield. There is a patchwork of state permissions and restrictions, all under the outright federal prohibition of commercializing the industry. With the eyes of the cannabis industry on Canada, there are many lessons to be learned one year into legalization. Looking at the U.S., we will explore the opportunities for commercial food producers to participate in the cannabis economy and what to expect.


Debra MillerDebra Miller, The National Confectioners Association
Regulatory Perspective
Miller is the senior v.p. of scientific & regulatory affairs for the National Confectioners Association. She is responsible for technical leadership on labeling, food safety and other food regulations and serves as staff lead for NCA’s Chocolate Council. She’ll offer insight into the regulatory concerns associated with cannabis-based confectionery products.


Francis BoreroFrancis J. Boero Ph.D., Gavenum LLP
Social Responsibility & Industry Next Steps
The discussion will review historical cannabis use as well as the latest epidemiological research on young adult and child exposure to regulated cannabis.