One of Oregon’s Finest’s most popular vendors (if the number of likes anytime we post their product photos on Instagram is any indication) is Sour Bhotz, creators of tasty medicated gummies. We talked with Orlando, the mastermind (along with his fiancée Laura) behind the edibles, to get the story behind how and why they launched their business and what led to their personal lifestyle successes.

Orlando comes from the food industry of New York and developed arthritis from life as a butcher. But that’s not why he began using cannabis. Even though Orlando presents with focused, smoldering calm, he says it wasn’t always quite like this. He describes himself as high energy – a reflection of his New York state of mind, which at times could make it hard to chill out and focus. He also struggled with sleep issues. But even this is not what initially brought him to cannabis.

As a youth, Orlando discovered cannabis as a networking thing – in the vast potpourri of NYC culture, it brought many different people together that had similar things in common: music, a lifestyle desire for unity, interest in discovery, style, the desire to be free, creativity, and a certain rogue way of life. “Cannabis,” he says, “allows you to connect with certain special people. You pull a joint out and it brings people together.”

He soon realized that cannabis brought his amped-up, sometimes chaotic/ADD energy to a calm, balanced laser point focus. And once he experienced these considerable benefits, he felt he had to be a part of sharing it with the world. This drive soon brought him to Oregon, mecca for the cannabis medical and recreational lifestyle. His early connections in the industry came through High Times Magazine, where he connected with Oregonians and was a judge in the 2013 Cannabis Cup for concentrates. This experience led to Orlando later being featured in High Time’s October 2014 issue, which helped to put his name on the cannabis edibles map.

Upon moving here in 2014, he realized that high-end food in Portland was just as good as in NYC but at half the price. For a foodie, this was a dream come true. He also dug that the common voice seemed to be heard and respected. Although he recognized that Portland is not the most culturally diverse place in the world, he saw that it IS possibly the most lifestyle diverse place in the world.

Soon the concept for Sour Bhotz came to be, through his connections in the food industry and the further development of an existing knack for retail and marketing. When making his edible creations, cannabis is looked at as a key, base ingredient – much like sugar is to cereal. Once he developed his gummy formula, he started with coin-style gummies to dial in the taste and potency level. Then he added the sour aspect, which everyone loved. The next challenge was to figure out the right cannabis dose level, since everyone has different tolerance levels. First experimenting with an animal mold, he found he could control dosages by knowing how much was in each part of the animal. Eat the head, get a higher dose. Eat a limb, get a lower one. They used this idea, but ultimately with a robot shape. And what’s not cool about that?

Orlando and Laura have big things on the horizon, having just opened a new kitchen in North Portland’s Industrial district. Next up for this duo is a line of gummies containing CBD, and a whole new line of products still in development. We’d tell you what they are, but we’re sworn to secrecy.

Come on down to Oregon’s Finest to pick up some Bhotz, or visit their website to find out more about their medibles: