Woman seeks to revitalize hometown with cannabis edibles


New Jersey native Tara ‘Misu’ Sargente has been a force in the cannabis industry for over a decade. Her journey took off when she created a wildly successful line of DIY pot brownie mixes under the Blazin’ Bakery brand, now stocked in Spencer’s Gift stores across three countries. To perfect her craft, she headed out west, learning commercial cannabis extraction techniques in legal cannabis markets. 

Her hard work and dedication also played a pivotal role in shaping legalization efforts in New Jersey, particularly in supporting small business owners. Today, she is a fully licensed NJ cannabis manufacturer under her new venture, Alchemy Green. Launching this summer, Alchemy Green will focus on creating one-of-a-kind cannabis edibles in the Garden State.

Doing good by doing well

Sargente chose to build her manufacturing facility in her hometown of South River, NJ, where she grew up smoking cannabis and tinkering with pot brownie recipes and extraction methods. Her motivation to bring revenue back to her hometown stems from the area’s need for rebuilding after two major hurricanes (Ida and Irene) decimated the town, and five family members, including hers, lost their homes. 

tara sargente
Tara Sargente, founder of Blazin’ Baking and Green Alchemy

According to Sargente, FEMA only supported part of rebuilding efforts because they were focused on tourist revenue-generating areas along the NJ shoreline, leaving South River run down. By locating her business there, Sargente ensures that five percent of Alchemy Green’s tax revenue will directly benefit the community as defined by NJ cannabis laws.

Innovating craft products using all the plant’s benefits

Sargente champions a rosin extraction, a solventless method of manufacturing that preserves the plant’s natural compounds, including terpenes believed to enhance the effects of THC. These and other cannabinoids work in unison to create an entourage effect that is considered to be more effective in alleviating insomnia, anxiety, pain, and inflammation in the body.

While many cannabis products in the market rely on distillates—concentrated forms of THC obtained through solvent extraction—Sargente remains steadfast in her preference for solventless methods. Despite the potential cost-effectiveness of working with distillates, she believes that reconstructing compounds post-extraction fails to capture the holistic benefits of the plant.

As Sargente prepares to launch into the marketplace with gummies, chocolates, and vape carts, she can’t wait to unleash her creativity like she has in the past with creations such as cannabis-infused cotton candy served on blinking LED glow sticks or infused butter for clambakes, to name a few she has tried. 

“We should certainly be inspired by what other states are innovating because they have the knowledge base and the progress, but it’s also about creating things unique to the NJ market, and our experience here is what excites me,” she remarked, emphasizing the importance of local identity.

green alchemy
A selection of Blazin’ Bakery products.

Working with local craft farmers to create strain-based products

Sargente’s future plans include pairing her edible flavors with specific cannabis strains to create unique flavors and effect profiles, drawing inspiration from the world of food and wine pairing. 

“I’m interested in making an excellent product that can target an effect on consumers more than if I put distillate in a gummy edible, and that requires good relationships with talented growers,” she said.

By bridging the gap between cultivation and consumption, Sargente seeks to redefine the cannabis experience by offering consumers strain-specific products to cater to their unique needs.

Spearheading a cannabis hub in South River

Sargente’s home base, the little-known town of South River, NJ, is rapidly evolving into a burgeoning cannabis microcosm, with its local leaders fully embracing the industry’s potential. Sargente’s manufacturing facility, Alchemy Green, is at the core of this transformation. 

Sharing a floor with Grasse, an established cannabis manufacturer hailing from Oregon, they plan to infuse the New Jersey marketplace with cutting-edge innovative products. Beneath their shared roof, a cultivator operates on one floor, and just one block away, a sprawling 30,000-square-foot cultivation facility further solidifies South River’s position as a trailblazer in cannabis cultivation and production.

Opening doors for cannabis entrepreneurs

Alchemy Green will produce Blazin’ Bakery products, as well as some established out-of-state brands. However, with a commitment to inclusivity and opportunity, Sargente also wants to provide a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs who may have faced barriers to entry into the cannabis industry. 

“I’m passionate about giving an opportunity to people who couldn’t get their own license, didn’t have the time or the money, but still would love to bring a product to market,” she declared.

Sargente is also thinking of others as she raises funds on a crowdfunding investment site called MainVest, one of the few platforms offering financial support to this burgeoning industry. However, MainVest faces potential legal backlash due to federal regulations surrounding the cannabis industry and is contemplating eliminating cannabis-related businesses from the platform because of its risk. 

Sargente hopes that if she can surpass her funding goals, MainVest will reconsider supporting the cannabis industry and realize the public appetite for investing in cannabis businesses. 

“If I can blow it out of the water (by a lot!), MainVest may reconsider, and the opportunity will still exist for people after I’m through,” she said.

Sargente is not just doing well in cannabis but also doing good for her community and beyond. Her drive and vision for the New Jersey cannabis market are undeniable, and she’s determined to make a positive difference.

This article was submitted by a guest contributor to GreenState. The author is solely responsible for its content.

Pam Chmiel is a contract marketer, publicist, podcast host, and a published writer specializing in the cannabis industry. She is based in Manhattan, NY.