Written by Heidi Keyes
I was introduced to the Hippie Chicks brand several years ago, when I was gifted some of their “Minty” 25 milligram CBD chocolates by a friend. If you’re a cannabis user in Arizona, you’ve likely already been entranced by the brightly-colored packaging and beautiful designs of Hippie Chicks edibles. If you’ve had the pleasure of trying them yourself, you’ll know that they are not only visually appealing, but incredibly delicious, high quality, and consistently-dosed. I spoke with CEO and Co-Founder Carmen Toma, who told me the story of Hippie Chicks, her life, and how the two became intertwined to create one of Arizona’s favorite infused chocolate companies.
Carmen Toma started Hippie Chicks with her business partner 8 years ago. She was a medical esthetician, and her partner (who is primarily behind the scenes) is a biochemist and chiropractor. They were working with patients to formulate a scar cream for breast cancer survivors. In speaking with medical cannabis users, and also due to issues with Carmen’s own health, they started to recognize the need for high quality edibles with consistent dosing. Edibles seemed to be the best option for medical cannabis use, as they are long lasting and effective in calming nausea.
Carmen went to several different dispensaries and tried many different products, but she found it difficult to find one that was consistent and frankly, actually tasted good. She and her business partner both loved chocolate and found it to be the perfect conductor for first their CBD and then THC products. Hippie Chicks started their CBD product line 8 years ago, and broke into the legal THC market in Arizona at the end of 2019, right before COVID hit. While lockdowns and limited access did create some challenges for them, they were fortunate enough to be ahead of the game, and able to provide legal THC edibles for all of us while we were stuck at home, bored and doing puzzles and learning to make sourdough bread.
Carmen was born in Juarez, Mexico and adopted when she was 3. She then grew up in El Paso, Texas, and has always lived in a border town. Being a Latina and the influence of her culture is a large part of Hippie Chicks’ products, especially their seasonal edibles like their “Spicey” chocolate, which is only available from September 15th-October 15th for National Hispanic Heritage Month. What sets Hippie Chicks apart from other edibles brands is that they are female-owned, and celebrate strong women that use cannabis, by featuring them on their products and telling their story.
Each bar is named after and based on women Carmen has met, and who has an inspirational story about cannabis and their love of the healing plant. They have even hosted contests for women to be on their box as a limited edition flavor. Each flavor includes a gorgeous artist rendition of the woman as well. In getting to know Carmen and Hippie Chicks products, I have a true sense of how genuine she is, how important culture and community are to her, and how dedicated they are to creating high quality products. They’re a small but mighty company of real people, honoring legal cannabis in a bright and beautiful way.
Being a Hispanic woman in the industry has not always been easy for Carmen, and while thechallenges have been many, she said that she has always felt very welcomed. Surrounding herself with an amazing group of female entrepreneurs has been empowering, and has encouraged her to have the power to speak up and find her own voice in a typically very male-dominated industry. Said Carmen, “cannabis has always been surrounded with a negative stigma in the media when I was growing up. Their story never quite made sense to me, as I remember hearing stories of my abuelita using a special plant she grew to help her arthritis pain. We need more positive energy in the media to promote the healing properties of our plant. How amazing to be a Latina female running a Cannabis edibles company… I’m so honored to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, and bring a flavor that reminds me of home, sipping hot chocolate with family and friends.”
Hippie Chicks is still a small business that was started from scratch, moxy, and dedication, but they are now in 25 dispensaries throughout Arizona. From seeing a small idea come to fruition, to being named the CEO and acting as the face of the company, it has truly been an incredible journey for Hippie Chicks. From their CBD and THC chocolates, to their pet CBD, tinctures, pain creams, gummies, and skin care (all made with CBD isolate), all of their products are made with pride and care. They are a tribute to Carmen and the women of cannabis that keep the industry going, and continue to work towards national legalization. Pick up one of their seasonal treats (like the Spicey bar!) today… you won’t regret it!