About

Our Story

Next Level Edibles is an edible cannabis company dedicated to providing our customers with great tasting products made from quality ingredients. To understand how we came into existence, it is important to understand the story of our founders; Cartier and Anthony Jenkins.

Cartier Jenkins (co-founder)

Walking into Cartier’s man-cave is like walking into many other man-caves: large screen television, surround-sound speaker system, leather recliner for the owner, and a sofa for the guests. Sitting for a moment you can’t help noticing one complete wall is dedicated the U.S. Army. Camouflage Hats, United States flags, and posters professing “Land Of the Free” adorn the wall. One hat in particular stands out from the rest. It reads “OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM – VETERAN.” He will happily tell anyone who asks, “I’m retired US Army, 37 th Engineer Battalion, 20 th Engineer Brigade.” And the wall shows how proud he truly is to repeat those words. A local Californian, Cartier attended Pittsburgh high, where he played basketball and met his first love, his future wife Jenny Nachampone. “I joined the Army for many reasons, but it was mostly to take care of Jenny and Cartier Jr.” Upon returning from active duty and retiring in Brentwood, Cartier began to suffer the effects of PTSD. “Nightmares, hyper-arousal, and anxiety. I’m home from war. I want to be playing with my kids, not dealing with symptoms of PTSD.” His doctors prescribed several different medications that all helped some, but had a variety of side effects. “I tried cannabis and it alleviated all my issues and there were no side effects. It helps me to live a more normal life. When I was overseas I dreamed of being home with my family and playing with my two boys. PTSD and the [side] effects of the other medicines were robbing me what I worked for. Using cannabis-infused products by Next Level help me to get back and live that dream.”

 

Anthony Jenkins (co-founder)

In 2006, after a particularly trying part of my life, a doctor prescribed me with anti-depressants: Fluoxetine for daily use, and Xanax for attacks. I was told that the Fluoxetine would make me feel better and not to stop taking it once the feeling started. So, I began taking the pill. I’ve never liked taking pills. For the first week, I didn’t really notice a difference. I still felt anxious, guilty, and had an overall feeling of hopelessness. And then the second week began and things began to change. Those feelings of depression began to fade. They were slowly replaced with what would best be described as an emotionless shell. (Weight gain) Although I was happy my feelings of depression had subsided, I no longer felt like me. Against the suggestions of my doctor, I stopped taking fluoxetine cold turkey.” They say quitting anti-depressants cold turkey is worse because… But I couldn’t cold turkey is worse because… But I couldn’t go on not feeling. Just like when I began taking Fluoxetine, for the first few weeks I didn’t notice a difference. Then slowly those feelings returned. This time I began to relieve those feelings with marijuana. Yes, I had used it before, experimentation in high school, and parties in college. But that was more to make video games more fun or seeing how much pizza we could eat. But this was different. I tried using a small amount in the morning and noticed how it warded off the feelings through the day. And I didn’t ever feel void like did with the antidepressants. There was no weight gain. The were only two major issues: smell and the ½ life. As a business professional, I couldn’t come to work smelling like a joint. The relief from symptoms only lasted an hour and smoking during breaks/lunch was not an option. Doing some research, I found out that the effects of edibles last 3 – 5 times longer than inhaling and obvious eating a cookie wouldn’t leave a distinct order on my suit. I was vaguely familiar with the process and had made a batch for a party in college. But that batch tasted horrible. This time I put in my degree to use and put in some serious research. I spent months looking up how to make the most potent THC butter possible. I learned several things; quality product, surface area, decarboxylation, hydrogenated, and time being the most important. After a few trial and error batches, I was able to create something epic. This special process cocoa canna butter was then incorporated to cupcakes I was creating for my award winning bakery Elaine’s Confections. I got the notion to turn Elaine’s signature, Maroon-Velvet Cupcake into an edible. I had a feeling I was onto something but needed a second opinion. I need an opinion of someone I could trust to give me an honest opinion, who wasn’t a sweets person but did utilize marijuana. Nyles Scott came by, took one bite of the cupcake, and before swallowing his first bite said “Sell this!” Same mouthful, two bites later “Sell this sh** NOW!” That wasn’t really what I was thinking at the time, as the product was more for personal use. I would take the frosting-less cupcake to work have a small bite before I walked in, and break off a small amount at lunch. My clothes didn’t smell and the 2 bites was strong enough to last through my 9-hour shift. It was exactly what I needed. And one day, using my mom’s perfected oatmeal raisin cookies recipe, I gave a few to my brother Cartier and his symptoms subsided.  Next Level was created.

 

“Our products are made for people much like ourselves, people who want to retake control of their life, feel without the detriment of numerous side effects. Don’t take our word for it. Find our products and try for yourself.”  – The Next Level Edibles Team