Equipped with just $50 and a pizzelle press, Shawn Smith used his culinary knowledge, technical skills, and passion to revolutionize edibles. Shawn always dreamt of being a sailor and a chef. At age 17, he became a sailor in the US Navy. After the Navy, he became a chef through a multi-year apprenticeship at the Coach House in Oklahoma City under mentor Chef Kurt Fleischfresser. Shawn then moved to California, where he held high-ranking roles in many notable Michelin Star restaurants. Shawn became interested in edibles after reading about Mickey Martin and shifted his culinary passion towards this new interest. His first creation was a stroopwaffle, and from there he added cannabis to anything and everything.
A natural problem solver, Shawn set his sights on something that had yet to be accomplished: a cannabis tablet. He knew it could change the way people medicated. In what was a high-dose market, tablets could be a low-dose option that allowed individuals to consume as much or as little as they’d like. Using his extensive culinary background, he persevered and became the first person to successfully add THC into a tablet. Shawn started his first edibles business, Edible Ideas, in 2009, and went on to co-found Trokie and Stokes Confections, before co-founding and launching VIVE in 2017.
Shawn still considers himself a student of cannabis infusion, and he enjoys teaching others what he knows. So, what’s his go-to? One-to-one Ginger Peach—it’s a perfect ratio of CBD and THC that is manageable and effective. The flavor pairing is ideal, too, with a bit of spiciness from the gingerols and a hint of tartness.