David Klein revolutionized the candy industry with his invention of the Jelly Belly jelly beans in 1976. Four decades later, he’s re-creating them — this time, infusing them with cannabidiol to create CBD jelly beans.
The miniature, gourmet beans are piece of Americana, thanks especially to Ronald Reagan. The 40th president of the U.S. fell in love with Jelly Belly beans after he started snacking on them as a way to help him quit smoking. His affection for the candies grew. He ordered cases of them (60 per month); always had a jar nearby, and even sent some to outer space on the Challenger in 1983.
Now Reagan’s favorite treats are, ironically, being infused with CBD.
Klein, a candy inventor from Los Angeles, can remember the moment he conceptualized the Jelly Belly; it was 8:15 p.m. on a Thursday evening, and he was watching an episode of “Happy Days.”
It wasn’t long before his dream of creating the “Rolls Royce of jelly beans” came to fruition.
Klein has been in the candy business for 45 years and counting. “I love candy,” he told Cannabis Aficionado. “Not a day goes by where not only do I eat candy in some form, but I think about new candy ideas.”
Klein recently became aware of the benefits of CBD, he explained, “And I said to myself, ‘is anybody doing a jelly bean with CBD?’”
“I could not find any,” he continued. But he did see was an opportunity with CBD jelly beans to do what he does best: create candy, and help people.
Altruism is ingrained in Klein’s blood. While his saccharine confectionaries have captured our hearts (and stomachs), he is recognized most for his benevolent nature.
Klein details his experience creating and losing the rights to the Jelly Belly brand in the 2011 documentary, “Candyman: The David Klein Story.”
Klein created Jelly Bellys with “an investment of $800, no credit cards,” he said. “[…] When it first came out, nobody wanted it.”
In 1980, he sold his rights to Jelly Belly. In 2001, the Herman Goelitz Candy Co. changed its name to the Jelly Belly Company. The company continues to rake in $190 million in net profits annually.
Though he’s called it the worst mistake of his life, the experience didn’t hinder Klein’s love for candy or his need to spread sweetness.
Now, the King of Jelly Beans is officially back in the bean business.
His company, Spectrum Confections, produces CBD-infused jelly beans, which come in 38 different flavors.
“Toasted marshmallow, pina colada, strawberry cheesecake… which is one of my favorites,” Klein continued. Other flavors will include cinnamon, spicy licorice, and mango.
“Our mango tastes more like mango than mango does,” he said.
“[…] The jelly bean is perfect for the proper dosage [of CBD],” Klein continues, “we are putting 10 ml in each [bean]. If people want a small dose, they eat one. If they want 20 ml, they can eat two,” and so on. “They can decide what their proper dosage is.”
This is not Klein’s first venture back into jelly beans. “Jelly beans and I go way back,” he quipped. He continues to create new flavors almost constantly. In 2016 he embarked on a mission to create a line of “Original Coffee House Jelly Beans,” and in 2011, a gourmet beans called “David’s Signature Beyond Gourmet Jelly Beans.”
Spectrum Confection’s CBD jelly beans will also come in sugar-free varieties – a welcoming alternative to the vast amount of sugary, junky infused goods on the market today.
Spectrum Confections’ inventory features an assortment of sweet, sour and sugar-free jelly beans. Selections include: Sour Cherry Goosebumps, Sweet and Spice and Everything Nice drops, and a CBD 7-day pack.
Candies will not include THC, as the company is focused on creating CBD-only varieties for now. The patent-pending recipe will include fruit juice, said Klein, “We are trying to make it so that it can be as healthy as possible.”
He doesn’t want to make any health claims, but is confident he’s creating a product “that will help the world.”
Despite his history with the iconic Jelly Belly, Klein remains slightly dazed that — nearly 40 years down the line — he’s creating a cannabis-infused version of his most famous creation. He believes legalization is on the horizon, adding, “About two years from now, everybody is going to laugh at how long it took to get there.”
In the meantime, keep a lookout for Spectrum Confection’s gourmet CBD jelly beans, or order your own at SpectrumConfections.com.