This post is sponsored by Binske.

Think about the best culinary experience you’ve ever had. Was it completely handmade, organic, and sourced from a single origin? Imagine that experience infused with top-shelf cannabis. Now we’re talking Binske, the “Whole Foods” of cannabis.

Binske is the first truly gourmet, culinary-centric cannabis brand. Founder Jacob Pasternack looked at the cannabis industry and asked, “What’s the marketplace missing? What gap can we fill?” He noticed that edibles, especially chocolate and gummies, were very popular, but there were no all-natural, high-end options. Nothing worth eating for the taste alone. So he gathered the top minds in the culinary world and cannabis industry to create Binske.

Binske’s first four chocolate bars were recently released, created with all organic ingredients and the finest fair trade cacao. Two of the chocolates, “Earth” (70% pure cacao) and “Wind” (47% cacao with hazelnuts), are created with Peruvian Nacional Cocoa, deemed the “rarest chocolate in the world” by the New York Times because it was thought to be extinct from 1901 to 2008. Recently rediscovered in an obscure valley on the Marañón River in northern Peru, some of the beans are white because of a mutation that only happens when trees are undisturbed for hundreds of years. These white beans produce an intense chocolate aroma and mellow richness without the typical bitterness of cocoa, making it a unique and delicious experience.

The other two chocolate bars, “Fire” (75% cacao) and “Water” (65% cacao with raspberries) are made with Honduran Oro Maya Cacao, believed by the Mayans to contain the “spirit of the gods”. These beans are known for their intriguing bursts of citrus, molasses, sharp stone fruit, and banana. It’s slightly tannic with vibrant pops of flavor and a drying finish.
All four chocolates are “single origin” bean-to-bar meaning you’ll be able to experience the taste sensation and aromatic character that reflects the soil, climate, and environment of individual farms in Peru and Honduras. Much like single origin coffee or wine, the “terroir” effect makes all the difference to a connoisseur.

Binske chocolates are truly artisanal because once the cocoa beans are harvested and fermented, the chocolates are handmade and tempered without the cheap, corporate process known as “compound coating” that most other cannabis candy companies employ. Compound chocolate is basically a low-cost alternative to real chocolate and is made from a combination of cocoa, vegetable oil, sweeteners, emulsifiers, stabilizers and preservatives. It does not need to be tempered and is better for coating candy, like M&Ms, or making cake frosting. Binske, on the other hand, is a “couverture”—or real—chocolate, tempered and created by a professional chocolatier. Plus, the ingredients list is simple: raw organic cacao, organic cacao butter, and organic cane sugar.

Binske also recently released its first two fruit leathers, a delicious and all-natural alternative to gummy-bear-style products. “Earth” is a strawberry fruit leather made from organic strawberries sourced from France, the birthplace of the garden strawberry. “Wind” is made from organic Granny Smith Apples sourced from Australia, the original cultivar of the Granny Smith back in 1868. These all-natural treats don’t use any preservatives or GMOs—look at the simplicity of their ingredients list: organic fruit, organic cane sugar, and organic lemon juice.

In addition to gourmet sweets, Binske has also released other cannabis infused gourmet products, including extra virgin olive oil and honey. Their extra virgin olive oil is sourced from an organic olive farm in Northern California. They’ve created four signature flavors: traditional, garlic, chipotle, and lemon, which are all rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and natural anti-inflammatory compounds.

Binske has release a “varietal honey” as well, which means the sticky sweetness is gathered from a single type of blossom. This is important because much like the “terroir” effect for cacao, honey reflects the flavor and sugar composition of the flower’s nectar. Nectar can have different flavor profiles, so keeping the source single origin ensures the highest quality flavor and texture from the blossom crop. Their four flavors: plain, clover, wildflower, and orange blossom, are unprocessed, unfiltered, and have a minimum of 80% pollen, keeping it pure and simple.

Binske products are crafted with intense attention to detail, so it’s no surprise the cannabis they use in their edibles is totally vertically integrated. That means they grow all their own flower and make their own concentrate, or distillate. Their flower is grown using only organic soil and nutrients in a state of the art cultivation facility they developed from scratch. They even developed their own strains of cannabis which have tested as high as 35% THC from a state-certified lab.

Then, they make their own cannabis distillate in their on-site extraction lab. Their distillate is unique because it has absolutely no cannabis taste and is over 80% THC, the purest form of THC oil on the market. This allows the flavor profile of their fair trade ingredients to shine, while still being potent. They do this by distilling the food grade oil longer than most companies, until most of the fats, lipids, and chlorophyll have dissolved.

Their grower and chemist are absolute experts in their fields and are able to customize the flower and the extract, from flavor to high, giving the cannabis in Binske products an edge in the overcrowded edibles market. The cannabis distillate created in the extraction lab then goes straight to their kitchen where it’s mixed and handmade with top shelf ingredients to create the truly luxury cannabis products the marketplace was lacking. 

Not only does Binske use the finest ingredients, dankest buds, and employ the most talented professionals, they also give back to the communities they work with. The co-ops formed by indigenous cacao farmers in Latin America donate a portion of profits to help improve the local communities. The farmers vote on how to best use the money; so far they’ve built a school and an orphanage.

“Binske, where luxury and cannabis come together”—where gourmet food meets organic flower, and where the cannabis industry steps up and helps the communities that are making it so successful. Binske may be the first of its kind, but I hope they’re not the last!

RELATED: Is Cannabis Chocolate the Ultimate Edible?

For all of HIGH TIMES’ edibles coverage, click here.

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