Meet the Makers: Behind the Scenes With Portland’s Cutting-Edge Edibles Producers

Carrie and Jody Solomon, Leif Goods

The full lineup of Leif Goods infused chocolate bars: CBD Chocolate Bar with Black Diamond Flake Sea Salt, Mint Hibiscus, Classic Double Chocolate bar, Peanut Butter & Jelly dusted with dried strawberry powder, Limited Edition Sesame Harissa bar dusted with harissa seasoning and the New Mexican chocolate bar with roasted pepitas. (Oriana Koren for Leafly)

Leif Goods has been carving a space for themselves in the culinary cannabis industry since 2014, when the brand began operating in the medical cannabis realm before adult-use cannabis was a reality in Oregon. Leif is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Jody and Carrie Solomon, who were on the cusp of the booming edible scene back when they first began learning how to make truffles. “We taught ourselves how to make chocolate,” Jody recalls. “We could see legalization getting ready to happen, so we taught ourselves how to make chocolate bars and then it kind of just took off.”

Both artists, Carrie used her graphic design expertise while Jody brought his photography skills to their business. Accustomed to teaching themselves new skills, they leaped together into the edible market, and with that leap they brought along respected friends in the Portland culinary scene to augment the quality and flavors of their chocolates.

One of Leif’s most popular medicated bars is topped with ground hibiscus flower sourced from local teasan, The Jasmine Pearl Tea Company. Leif Goods is focused on creating high-end, food-focused edible chocolate goods while highlighting the culinary talent found in the Portland food scene via collaborations with local coffee roasters, chefs, and others. (Oriana Koren for Leafly)

Leif has positioned itself as a foodie-friendly edibles company, attracting fence straddlers who have long been curious about edible cannabis.

“We want to celebrate the awesome food in this town,” Jody tells me. Their first chocolate bar, which contained coffee beans, biscotti bits, and cannabis, was widely popular in the medical market before cannabis became fully legal in Oregon. The Solomons are both huge fans of chocolate personally, and their research includes eating a lot of high-quality chocolate to decipher flavor profiles they like—not a bad gig. From there, ideation sessions often lead into a discussion of which of their favorite culinary makers could be good to incorporate into their bars as additional flavors to complement the cacao beans used.

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For the espresso-biscotti bar, “We tried different local coffees in the bar so we found the one that really worked well—Ristretto Roasters. They roast their beans until they caramelize so once pulverized that sweetness comes out instead of tasting like a bitter coffee,” says Jody. “There’s a local bakery here called Roman Candle and they make the most amazing biscotti so we’re like, ‘Why don’t we use the best biscotti we can get? And the best coffee we can get? And put it in our bar?’”

Layflat of all the Leif Goods edible bars. Co-owner Carrie Solomon is principal designer at Leif Goods and uses clean but bright branding to elevate the idea of what a cannabis edible can look and taste like. (Oriana Koren for Leafly)

This focus on being food-first (instead of milligram-first) accounts for a big portion of Leif’s success. With a dedication to conscientious sourcing and whole ingredients, Leif has positioned itself as a foodie-friendly edibles company, attracting fence straddlers who have long been curious about edible cannabis but for a time weren’t compelled by the products on the market.

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The recent influx of visitors to Oregon, thanks both to legal cannabis and high-profile events like the total solar eclipse, have brought international interest to Portland’s cannabis scene and the makers within it. The popularity of Leif’s bars can also be attributed to their balanced THC to CBD ratio: When the cannabinoid levels are precise and consistent, edibles become much more manageable, with CBD keeping the effects of THC in check to ensure a balanced and thoroughly modern edibles experience. This ensures that newcomers and old hats alike enjoy their Leif experience every time.

Infused chocolate bars at Leif Goods’ kitchen in Northeast Portland. (Oriana Koren for Leafly)

Headquarters: Overlook in North Portland

Years working with cannabis: 4

Signature product: Mint Hibiscus Chocolate Bar

Favorite strain: Anything super-high in CBD: Harlequin, ACDC, etc.

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