UK confectionery expert helps produce legal cannabis gum in US

UK confectionery expert Andy Baxendale has been recruited by a US firm to develop a range of legal cannabis-based chewing gum, responding to a notable surge in demand for sweets infused with the drug.

Baxendale, who is a Confectionery Production editorial board member,  began advising San Diego-based SD Realty, a well established real estate firm, last June, and has just returned from a week-long trip to California to get production underway.

Known as ‘The Sweet Consultant’, he is the technical director of Sweetdreams confectionery in the UK, and has 25 years’ experience in the confectionery business. Later this year, he will be putting his sector knowledge to use as a speaker at this year’s World Confectionery Conference being held in Brussels on September 11.

He said: “The company wants to launch a new side to the business, so initially I advised on the kind of production equipment and raw materials they needed to buy as well as putting some recipes together.

“We then progressed to producing samples and now full production with a view to a launch in the next couple of weeks.

Andy, who is a former product development manager for Chewits in the UK, said: “There is a different attitude to cannabis in much of America as well as a recognition of its health benefits.

“The range of products that are available is astounding, and there is growing evidence that it really can promote good general health in addition to the host of other positive effects.”

With extensive knowledge of regulation and legislation in the industry, he has advised firms on everything from recipes to staff training and enhanced production techniques. He was one of the stars of the hit BBC 2 confectionery show The Sweet Makers.

In addition, he is currently working to set up a National Academy of sweets to teach a new generation the art of confectionery production and development.

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