From Wall Street money manager to “Pot Slow Cooker” inventor to multi-faceted plant-innovator, Garyn Angel has stories to tell and advice to give. Ten years ago, Garyn launched the Magical Butter Machine for consumer DIY extracts. Since then, Magical continues to gain global recognition while Garyn looks ahead to what comes next.
Here we sit with Garyn to discuss the Magical Butter Machine, global cannabis domination, and the future of every healing botanical compound from delta-8 THC and terpenes to flavonoids, and psychedelic mushrooms.
ES: Why the shift from money manager to cannapreneuer?
GA: It’s fun to make money, but money isn’t very inspiring. I’m inspired to solve problems, and I had a friend with Crohn's disease who needed help. My friend needed a way to ingest cannabis and make consistent edibles at home.
That's how I came to invent the Magical Butter Machine, which launched the day before cannabis became legalized in Colorado and Washington state in 2012.
ES: It seems like you timed the Magical Butter Machine launch perfectly.
GA: Timing is part of the equation, but you have to have the right product mix, too. We've been the tip of the spear in both of those categories in developing products promptly and making sure that they're best-in-class or only-in-class products.
The Magical Butter Machine was designed to be as potent of an extract as you can get. It's a dispensary quality extract in the comfort of your own home.
ES: Does the increased access to legal cannabis reduce the demand for your DIY product?
GA: The DIY model has never been hotter, and it's because there is more access. People who buy flower very quickly want to move into edibles or another form factor.
The challenge is that it's incredibly costly to purchase edibles and concentrates at a dispensary. Our machine enables people to consume edibles at an affordable price.
ES: What have you been most surprised about since launching the Magical Butter machine?
GA: The sheer number of customers we have. Magical has 400,000 customers, and we operate in 17 countries. So we’re probably one of the largest cannabis brands globally, yet we don't touch the plant.
I don’t think the biggest cannabis brand even exists yet. Take Florida, for instance. There are 400,000 cannabis patients in this state alone.
The issue preventing companies like Magical from growing further is fractured legislation.
ES: When legislation is no longer an issue, what’s your plan to become the most significant cannabis brand worldwide?
GA: We've developed a plan that's the Trojan horse and allows us to scale the world, accumulate customers, and then offer them services and waterfalled products–even THC products–once legislation moves forward. We have all of these products ready to go, turn-key, for when L Day (legalization day), as I like to call it, occurs.
Magical is ready to go with a massive catalog of infused products and finished goods whenever L Day happens. But we won't cross the line until the regulatory framework is crystal clear in all 50 states.
ES: All 50 states, huh? You're playing the long game. I like it.
GA: I think life is about how long you can hold your breath, and I'm pretty good at holding my breath for a while. Whoever holds their breath the longest usually wins.
ES: Switching gears a little, tell me what you're most excited about right now regarding medical research?
GA: I'm most excited about how the public has embraced plant-derived compounds as a public health solution. Just look at the research on cannabis for Crohn's disease, Dravet syndrome, and cancer. Many people don’t respond to traditional Crohn’s disease treatment, but cannabis has been an on/off switch for Crohn’s side effects and helps keep people in remission.
Beyond cannabis, I’m also excited about the growing support for psychedelics and mushrooms for mental health. Thankfully the patient sample sizes are growing, and we've got better protocols for the people in different disease categories to take control of their healthcare and their life.
ES: Is Magical involved in sponsoring research for psychedelic and cannabis-based therapies?
GA: At USF, we have the Botanical Medical Research, which has been established to study plant-derived compounds and make more affordable solutions available to patients–both at the high end, like nanotechnologies, and at the simple end of things like mushrooms. Mushroom molecules are adaptogens, and they seem to work well without much of a drug delivery system.
The Magical brand is a big believer in magical mushrooms for long-term health and wellness, specifically related to mental health. We’re also interested in functional mushrooms like reishi, lion's mane, turkey tail, and fungi in general. They're all unexplored magical plant-derived compounds that show promise in pharmaceutical applications.
ES: Wow, that's incredible. When Magical’s mushroom products are ready for prime time, would you test with ACS?
GA: Of course. The thing that I really enjoy about ACS is how the tip of the spear the company is on testing standards, not only the way you're approaching it with samples and preparations but as you're also out there looking for new molecules to service the industry. I think that's a great accomplishment, and I'm so happy to hear that you might be considering psychedelics.
ES: Do you have plans to create Delta-8 products as well? What are your thoughts on this THC compound and its legal fate?
GA: Delta-8 is an incredibly interesting molecule–perhaps the most exciting thing that we have going on in this space. It shows tremendous promise for clinical research. Delta-8 blended with unique terpene profiles is a scalable way to bring cannabinoids to the masses at a much more affordable price than Delta-9 THC. We've formulated a lot of Delta 8 products with different terpene profiles, and they're incredible.
I think Delta-8 has as much promise as Delta 9 in the marketplace. Sure, we've seen states like Colorado ban Delta 8, but I think that is more of an effort to keep the stronghold on taxation than a concern for the stability of the product. As long companies are using a qualified testing lab, like ACS, I'm very comfortable with Delta-8 end products.
ES: In terms of personal preferences, what are some of your favorite strains and cannabis products?
GA: I'm a pretty traditional guy. I like Blue Dream, Sour Diesel, and Durban Poison.
More so than strains, though, I like finished products. My favorite finished product is a salad dressing.
I'm a big believer that cannabis is meant to be ingested, not smoked, and I think it has a much more beneficial, long-term effect on the body when consumed in that manner.
ES: When cannabis is legal, do you think infusion restaurants and bars will begin popping up to serve the masses?
GA: I don’t think the federal government is going to be open to cannabis restaurants. But I think they're going to be open towards condiments or stick packs that are infused. And I believe these condiments will be given at the table with the patron’s preferred dose of Magical Butter or a stick pack of a Magical Extract that consumers add to their beverage.
Consumers need to be in control of their dosage, or they might accidentally consume too much. Cannabis infusions, unlike alcohol, do not have a distinct flavor. So, if somebody were to order a glass of wine, they’d know they were drinking an intoxicating substance. With cannabis, it's pretty easy to mask the taste and easy to overeat.
But suppose the consumer were to have a little infused ketchup packet or a small piece of Magical Butter. In that case, they’d be responsible for applying the intoxicating substance onto their food and controlling their effects. That releases restaurants from liability, and I believe that’s the future of cannabis restaurants.
When that time comes, Magical will be ready.
ES: How do you think Delta-10 THC fits into the conversation about future cannabis innovation?
GA: Delta-10 THC is fascinating. I love the product. Incredibly, we are in this position in the state of Florida, which has been one of the more difficult states in the nation with THC, yet our government fully accepts Delta-8 and Delta-10.
Compared to other states like Colorado, which has a very mature industry, Florida has some of the most bullish and open laws for Delta-8 and Delta-10 in the country. Florida wants the industry to develop.
ES: When will flavonoids get their big break?
GA: I think flavonoids and terpenes are the hidden gems of Pharmacopoeia. However, because of how the FDA mandates molecules to prove themselves in clinical trials, these compounds have never received a fair shake to determine the physiological response for different diseases and mood states.
When you look at their ability to improve the mind and mood, it's one of the most exciting and compelling topics in the space today. We do a lot of work with terpenes and flavonoids at Magical Brands.
ES: Do you foresee terpenes products dominating the market in the short term?
GA: I think terpenes energy drinks could be the next hottest trend, especially for health-conscious consumers. That would be next-level because you're not getting all the sugar and the caffeine, and some of the other undesirable compounds you get from traditional energy drinks.
If consumers can feel an energetic response without those ingredients, they’ll be in better shape long term. I’m confident terpenes-based energy drinks will be part of the market, and consumers can look for those products from Magical soon.
ES: I have a million more questions, but perhaps we should end here. What would you like to tell ACS readers before you sign off?
GA: Let's go with what inspires me. What inspires me is helping people.
My last name is Angel, and it's not a cliché thing. I feel like I was put on this Earth to help people with their health, wealth, and happiness.
Every single day, I practice elevating people in those three areas. I'm so thankful for the community that supports us. Those who believe in a "Together we win" attitude where you are trying to give someone more value than you charge add depth to relationships.
For any readers involved in ACS’s blog, I think the number one spot for you to start is how you can help people? The easiest way to help yourself is to help other people simply, and that's the opportunity with cannabinoids and plant-derived compounds.