Creator of Jelly Belly Just Launched CBD Jelly Beans
David Klein, creator of the iconic Jelly Belly confectionary, is entering the cannabis industry with his newest sweet treat — CBD jelly beans.
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.
Published: March 17, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News