Fast Five Q&A: Janet Matula, CMO of Gelato

janet metula

Developing a brand identity is crucial for any company. When you go to a dispensary, you aren’t just buying weed—you’re aligning yourself with a product that feels right for your personality, values, and goals.

Janet Matula understands this notion. As the chief marketing officer at Gelato, she’s helped develop a fun and lighthearted personality that resonates with consumers. A former health food industry executive, Matula has seen how a business’s character can influence how they perform in the world. She used this experience to her advantage when she entered cannabis, advising operators to be original and put their ethos on full display. 

Matula answered GreenState’s Fast Five questions, sharing how she got into the cannabis space, what the Gelato brand is all about, and where they’re heading next.

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GreenState: How did your journey in cannabis begin?

Janet Matula: I was a partner in a health food manufacturing enterprise, and in 2007, we could see the start of the recession. Health food is expensive, and so I chose to leave and start a new adventure.  I took my knowledge of packaging, formulations, and mainstream branding to cannabis. At the time, cannabis edibles were green crispy rice squares in zip-lock baggies.  Gross. 

I started to pursue opportunities in the cannabis space, only to be stopped by an attorney friend. I then had the chance to invest in the first licensed cannabis retail store in Southern California. That lasted about 18 months, but I had learned a lot and started consulting. Boom! I met George Sadler. The rest is history, as I have been working for him for eight years.

GS: What are your favorite ways to consume? 

JM: I am a flower or vape gal, but I only imbibe in the evenings when it is time to relax. 

GS: Gelato provides a wide range of products on the cannabis market. How do you select your strains?  

JM: Well, that is a problem. There’s so much to choose from! At Gelato, we refer to our strains as flavors. They are delightful and taste as delicious as they sound. Blueberry Cobbler, Cream Brûlée, are favorites among customers.

GS: Who is the Gelato brand for? What is the brand ethos?  

JM: The owners, George and Cody Sadler, wanted the brand to be fun, familiar, and very approachable. I think that they have achieved that goal. Bright, bold packaging with flavored strains that are easily enjoyed appeal to the masses. We wanted to create edibles that do not have a cannabis aftertaste but instead are delicious and tempt you to eat more. 

Gelato’s Last Bites have been a huge hit. They’re based on the “last bite” of an ice cream cone that’s filled with chocolate. Each of Gelato’s Last Bites is dosed at 10mg THC and is the kind of product that really captures what we’re all about. The statement on our website says it all: “A step into normalcy. Forget about what cannabis was. Enjoy what cannabis is. Fun, Welcoming, Enjoyable.”

GS: What’s ahead this year for Gelato?  

JM: We have just launched Gelato Spring Water, and Gelato will launch tequila this summer.  It will be an exciting year for sure as our cannabis sales in California and Michigan continue to soar.

Janet Matula has played a significant role in the development, launch, and daily operations of Gelato Canna Co., one of California’s fastest-growing cannabis brands. As a C-suite executive, Janet’s involvement at the company is not limited to one particular role. Since launching Gelato in March 2022, Janet has been in charge of compliance for three separate facilities, overseen Gelato’s graphics department, and managed product development of over 100 SKUs. Her work in the cannabis industry has helped pave the way for other female executives thanks to her fierce leadership style and knack for fostering young talent. 

The answers given by Q&A subjects do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GreenState. The subject is solely responsible for the views stated in this piece.

rachelle gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist, Emerald Cup judge, Budist critic, and editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter