Stuck in lockdown with our own (occasionally lacking) company, few things would have improved the mood like Stoney Slice pizza — a new range of nine-inch personal pizzas dosed with between 30 and 100 milligrams of cannabis.
That was essentially the thinking behind the brand, as explained to us by head chef and Black cannapreneur Kashka Hopkinson. Here, we talk to Hopkinson about “Stoney sauce,” their signature infused-cannabis olive oil, and what the future holds for them.
InsideHook: Last month, we talked to the people behind the first Black woman-owned cannabis retail space in LA. Tell us about your journey through cannabis. Did it also involve retail at one point?
Kashka Hopkinson: I started working in the industry in 2018, when things were becoming super-commercial, super-legal in California. I [saw] what people bought and what people enjoyed — but everything was based on what things looked like, and not, particularly, how the products were. [I saw] what was missing as opposed to what was actually there, which gave me an idea: There had to be some sort of more enjoyable, edible experience besides a gummy or a drink.
I started working from there. In 2020, when everything happened, it gave me the opportunity to give people something to look forward to — it was a time when you were kind of stuck with whoever you were stuck with at that time, or by yourself.
Why cannabis pizza?
Everybody loves pizza. It’s like fast-food comfort food. It’s something that’s shareable and easily customizable, so you can enjoy it whether you’re vegan, you love meat, you don’t like dairy, all that — it’s very social. We wanted something that you and your friends could crowd around a table, get a couple of pizzas, and have a good night — very similar to having a couple of glasses of wine or smoking a joint. We want to have the same experience.
Tell us a bit about the pizzas you offer and the dosages folks can get on their pies.
Right now, we have eight pizzas on the menu — seven traditional ones and one dessert pizza.
I wanted to have something on the menu for every group of friends. If there are four people in a room, everyone should be able to have a pizza of their choice.
Your dessert pizza is a tasty adventure of a chocolate, marshmallow dream on a pie. How’d you decide on doing that?
In doing research, in Europe, they have a bunch of pizza trucks everywhere. They operate just like we have taco trucks. They always offer a dessert pizza, which is something I never saw here.
What are the dosages folks can choose from on their pizzas?
Dosage wise, it goes from your beginner to your more advanced — so you have a 30, 60, or 100 milligram [pizza].
When I ate your pizzas, I didn’t taste cannabis. What are you doing to incorporate cannabis into your pizzas so that it feels and tastes accessible without being overdone?
We do it as close to a Neapolitan-style pizza as possible. We use only [cannabis-infused] extra-virgin olive oil, and that’s added to our sauces before your pizza is made for you. There’s no other infusion of any other part of the pizza, which is why you don’t taste it — we’re not using a distillate or a ready-made oil. We do all that stuff in house, and so the taste is very, very minimal because of how it’s infused. We take actual flower cannabis and turn it into infused olive oil, which is very, very different from an edible that you get in a store because those are made with a sort of distillate.
How fresh are your ingredients? How often are you infusing your oils?
We make batches of [the infused olive oils] weekly so that is already a million times fresher than whatever else you’re gonna get in the store — stores don’t get the brand-new product weekly. We infuse oil every week. Our pizzas have no preservatives, and the sauce is made fresh. The dough is made every week.
How much do your pizzas cost? How do they compare with other ways to consume cannabis on the market?
Price-wise, we’re pretty much priced along what an edible would be in a store for that type of experience. So essentially, we’re $25 to $55 in price point, up to 100 milligrams. One hundred milligrams for $55 is a pretty reasonable price.
What’s the future for Stoney Slice?
We don’t want to be a place where you have to wait in line for hours and hours. We don’t want to just be the most popular place to go smoke weed and eat pizza — that’s not the goal. The goal is to have something that people can experience literally everywhere they want it: Portland, Miami, Vegas, wherever. We want it to be in your house.
We want to be the go-to edible. Like, you sit at home on a Friday night, and you’re like, Hey, I need some Stoney Slice — we want to be that name. We want to be the experience that you choose after a hard day or for a date night.
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