Cannabis and cookies go hand-in-hand. After all, the origins of cannabis edibles are closely tied to cannabis-infused brownies. So it’s only natural that cookies continue as a core cannabis edible offering for consumers in medically and recreationally legal U.S. states.
Big Pete’s Treats, founded in 2010 in Santa Cruz, CA, has a long history of serving California’s legal medical cannabis market, as well as recreational customers since full legalization in the state. The company is run today by CEO Pete Feurtado, Jr., son of “Big Pete” Feurtado, the company’s founder—someone who was part of the very early days of medical cannabis in California, going back to 1979. Big Pete’s Treats is a “family business with Santa Cruz soul.”
Pete, Sr., also known as “Big Pete,” began his personal cannabis journey in 1979 when he made his first batch of cannabis-infused treats. The following year, he began college in Hawaii, where he continued to develop his cultivation and butter-making techniques while taking in the best waves the Big Island has to offer. After finishing college, Big Pete returned to Santa Cruz to start a family.
Big Pete’s Treats still uses cannabutter in its cookie formulas to provide a full-spectrum cannabis experience for its consumers. The Big Pete’s Treats lineup (core and seasonal) includes the following varieties, available at more than 350 dispensaries in California:
- Chocolate Chip
- Cinnamon & Sugar
- Double Chocolate
- Peanut Butter
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
- Birthday Cake, released in 2020 to celebrate the company’s 10-year anniversary
- Insane Churro, designed for hip hop artist and cannabis connoisseur B Real, aka “Dr. Greenthumb”
- Holiday Sugar
- Strawberry (organic, vegan, and gluten-free)
- Vanilla Almond (organic, vegan, and gluten-free)
We recently reached out to Pete, Jr. for an update on his new organic, vegan, and gluten-free product offerings.
Douglas J. Peckenpaugh: Why are baked goods a desirable vehicle for cannabinoids like THC and CBD?
Pete Feurtado, Jr.: It’s all about the butter. The fat in the butter allows for easy absorption of cannabinoids. All of our cookies are made the old-fashioned way, with high-quality butter cooked with locally grown cannabis. This results in a quality cannabis baked good and a great experience.
DJP: What are the advantages of using cannabutter in infused baked goods?
PF: Cannabutter is the original way to make edibles. Humans have been eating butter for thousands of years. Cannabutter and canna coconut oil are truly full-spectrum. I like the comparison of a joint versus a vape. Cannabutter edibles will be more like a joint, and distillate-made edibles will be more like a vape pen. I also believe the body has an easier time digesting cannabutter products versus a product made with distillate.
DJP: What’s new in the Big Pete’s Treats lineup these days?
PF: We just launched an organic, vegan, gluten-free coconut macaroon cookie, available in Vanilla Almond and Strawberry flavors. These taste great, and are soft and chewy. We make them with coconut oil, using the same process as our cannabutter.
DJP: What does the cannabis bakery sector need to grow?
PF: We need to continue to innovate and educate about the benefits of cannabutter versus distillate. We truly believe edibles made with cannabutter and coconut oil are the highest-quality edibles on the market and provide the best experience.
For more on Big Pete’s Treats, see “How Big Pete’s Treats Weathered California’s Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization."