When Sam Rose dreamt up his business plan in 2016 – a CBD ice cream wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. At the time – the young entrepreneur thought he’d open the next weed dispensary to bloom in Oregon. But after switching his major in college from finance to entrepreneurship his junior year and facing rejection from an investor – he quickly realized ice cream was his calling. Rose now owns one of the first CBD-infused ice creams to hit the market – and it’s being made right here in the Mile High City.
In 2014, history was made when Amendment 64 was passed in Colorado – legalizing recreational marijuana statewide. It wasn’t until shortly after that CBD became a hot commodity – opening new doors for Cannabinoid use. To this day, local restaurants are infusing burgers and baristas are amplifying espresso drinks alike. CBD is even being promoted for health and wellness benefits. Despite Denver’s love of ice cream, no one has been serving up scoops of CBD until Rosebud Ice Cream came to town.
“Friends and I were smoking and my friend was just like, ‘Dude – why don’t you just start like a THC ice cream company in Denver?’ He was joking – but I took that very seriously and immediately went out and bought an ice cream machine,” Rose said.
Determined – Rose spent the next few years making homemade ice cream in his kitchen. Although he had never made the frozen treat before he did everything he could to get it just right — including working in professional kitchens after moving to Denver in July 2016. During his three years of experimentation, Rose spent a lot of time getting to know more about cannabis. But after considering the medicinal benefits and the widespread availability of CBD, he revamped his plan.
Rosebud’s CBD-infused Ice Cream was born shortly after he won the Colorado Golden Gloves boxing tournament and his girlfriend dumped him. A pivotal moment that would soon lead to success for the frozen treat connoisseur’s business.
“I love ice cream. It makes me a lot happier when I eat it. And I know that it has that power for others as well,” said Rose. Over 50 stores – including Whole Foods, Alfalfa’s and Leever’s Locavore – were carrying Rosebud Ice Cream not even a year later.
This past year Rosebud entered Boulder’s Shark-Tank style competition – Naturally Boulder Pitch Slam & Autumn Awards. Although Rosebud didn’t win in 2020 – Rose anticipates returning next year. Gruvi and Hoplark – non-alcoholic beverage brands – swept the competition the past two years. “Next year you’ll see Rosebud present itself as the world’s first non-alcoholic ice cream,” Rose joked.
In addition to flavors like Fancy A** Vanilla and OG Dreamsicle – all pints are made with all-natural ingredients. Including chunks of organic Newman O’s in Rosebud’s refreshingly chill pint of Midnight Mint.
“My whole view of ice cream is that it’s not a meal [or] something you need to eat in your diet. It’s not like, wake up, eat your bowl of ice cream, go to work – you know? For me it’s an experience. And I want to just make sure that I’m giving people the best ice cream experience possible and that’s where the CBD comes in – it takes, you know, ‘chilling out’ to the next level, as I see it,” explained Rose.
As of December 23, 2020 – Rosebud Ice Cream can be ordered through Door Dash. And from now until January 31 – 20% of all apparel sales will go to Food for Thought Denver – a non-profit organization working to end childhood hunger.
For more information on Rosebud Ice Cream and where to find it in a store near you – go here.