Jon Schwartz 0:01
Think that when people go into like a cannabis shop and they’re smelling different stuff or when they get attracted to a certain culture bar, it’s just like that internal guide that pulls you there. So I think it’s important for people to go to what they’re pulled towards, like if you go and you see something that’s really fruity and like it’s attracting you and like, you stick your nose in it, you keep smelling it and you want to keep smelling it. That’s probably a good one for you. And if there’s others that are like really gassy, gassy, gassy, or like really stinky, stinky, thinking cheesy, some people like that will turn some people off and others just really want to keep smelling it. What is the expression of the plant through the terpenes and all of the other compounds that are in the plant? It’s just like we said before, the minor cannabinoids mixing with terpenes, all these different things. So when you talk about like the entourage effect, the entourage effect, meaning that all of the different natural elements of the plant are important for the effect of terpenes being one of them and one of the most important because it’s like that initial first reaction like that’s what pulls you in. That’s your nose.
You’re listening to two B one B podcast for cannabis marketers, where your host Shayda Torabi and her guests are trailblazing the path to marketing educating and professionalizing cannabis light one up and listen up. Here’s your host Shayda Torabi,
Shayda Torabi 1:30
Hello friends and welcome back to another episode of The To be blunt podcast. My name is Shayda Torabi and I’m your host for this cannabis journey. I want to bring something up to your attention is specially if you are in the state of Texas. We are in the middle of some wild wild shit right now. I know I talk a lot about Delta eight. And unfortunately Delta eight is being threatened along with a few other cannabinoids. In particular some of the THC tetrahydrocannabinol is relating to the psychoactive experience that someone may or may not have when consuming these products. I was at the Capitol yesterday. So by the time this episode airs, it will now be a few days removed. Things will probably be completely different by the time this episode airs. But just to orient you with kind of some of the things that are going on here in Texas. We were at the Capitol on May 18. There is a House Bill 3948. That is a hemp bill and it has a lot of really great things that you know, we will see the evolution of hemp in the state of Texas, specific to growing and agriculture and other applications of hemp. But as the bill passed from the house to the Senate, some substitutions were incorporated and those substitutions specifically attack cannabinoids, like Delta eight and delta 10. These cannabinoids under this substitution have been identified as psychotropic and as such, Texas doesn’t want them legal. And so this is a part of our legislative process. And unfortunately, this is how bills become laws. And so we are currently going through that process. And the way things netted out yesterday was it was unanimously passed with the bill with those substitutions included. And the bill is supposed to go to the Senate floor for an update. The quick of this is there is a potential a very real potential for delta eight and delta 10 and other isomerization of cannabinoids to be banned in the state of Texas for manufacturing, extraction, retail sale, etc. And I just think that it’s you know, a conversation worth having not only is that a big chunk of my business, delta eight products, but I know that it is a very hot product in the market today. Not because we don’t have a legal Delta nine market. I do believe that’s an aspect of the conversation. But really, truly, I believe that consumers genuinely are finding benefit with these other cannabinoids and as a brand as a marketer, my intention, my job, my role is to bring those products as safely as possible to market. Now my concern with this that Senator Perry, who is the chairman of this committee that was reviewing it in the Senate, he basically had already made up his mind while the discussions were going on. I did submit a written testimonial I wasn’t able to be there in person just because of the timing of how they moved everything around. But I watched it on the computer and he had already made up his mind, which is really sad because we live in a day and age where it’s really easy to write prescriptions. It’s really easy to Texas just passed into law to go alcohol which I know a lot of Texans are excited about but just like for frame of reference, like those things are okay and appropriate. But cannabis and cannabinoids that people are finding relief with in lieu of traditional medication and you know, treatments is illegal and becoming even more illegal and so it’s obviously very problematic. So, again, I don’t really have a segment update. I don’t really know where this is exactly going to trend. All I can do is just kind of share some of the things that I’m coming across that I think should be put on your radar. So if you are listening to this, and there’s still time to reach out to your senators to reach out to you know, anybody who is in the political like chain of command and being able to make an impact in this conversation, please contact me on social media and I’d be more than happy to connect you to resources that can empower you to have that conversation as best as possible because it requires all of us to help make a change by speaking up and using our voice. So thanks for always letting me share you know what’s going on here in my home state. If you’re not in Texas, wow, what a crazy wild ride Texans are embarking on. And if you are in Texas, you know, let’s band together and figure this out together. But let’s talk about my guests. My guest today for the episode is Jonathan Schwartz. He is an executive sales rep for bovada. bovada is the original terpene Shield, they protect the aroma, flavor and effects that you love about cannabis, you might have seen them their little, you know two way humidity control packs like literally the size of like a two by two little square, you drop it in your cannabis container, and it helps provide a longevity to that flowering product. They originally started out kind of as a cigar brand to help you know cigars stay more intact, but have quickly found a massive market opportunity in the cannabis space. Originally kind of from a consumer perspective. Now you’re obviously seeing different avenues open up for them as a brand because flower you know, if you’re a grower, you’re growing the flower, you want to preserve the flower while you’re storing it. So these packs can go in those flowers that you’re trying to help keep and preserve before it goes to sell. It’s going into the retailers as the the retailers are trying to store and preserve the flour and obviously also ultimately to the end consumer. But bovada has a tagline. They’re all about saving the terps. And so aside from learning about the bovada brand journey, which Jonathan is going to walk us through, we also talk about terpenes and get a really good understanding of just how cannabis has evolved and how as the industry evolves, we will evolve by creating products that help support and create longevity for our cannabis consumption. So without further ado, I’m going to just welcome Jonathan to the show. And this is a super long intro, but I appreciate you guys hanging tight. And welcome Jonathan. Let’s dive right in.
Unknown Speaker 7:07
My name is Jonathan Schwartz. I work for bovada I’ve been in the cannabis industry since 2014. I come from sales and marketing, not from cultivation background, and I’m an entrepreneur. So that’s how I got into cannabis. In 2014 I co found a brand called Cali gold in Berkeley, California and we sold two on the prop 215 to medical dispensaries throughout the state. Over 100 dispensaries in California we started the business with about $30,000 investment we made strain specific or cultivars specific chocolates. Oh gee Cush, chocolates, direct Sour Diesel, we had an AC DC which was high CBD, like a 10 to one or a 20 to one CBD to THC content. We’ve been made a thca isolate chocolate back in 2015. So we’re always focused on the medicinal benefits of the plants, and how our patients were using them. I personally spent almost a decade in Colombia, South America so after the mortgage crisis, I was actually in the industry. I was in real estate and mortgages in the 2000s and in 2008, I decided to leave the US so I grabbed my backpack and I started heading south. After a long journey. I actually ended up meeting my my partner, my business partner for Cali gold, in Guatemala, Guatemala, and this place called Lago artikelen. He came became one of my best friends and we launched Cali gold together in 2014. But from 2008 until that point I was living in, in Colombia and South America. I was in hospitality, I owned four different hostels, a couple different restaurants a bar, so I developed those and operated them so a lot of focus on hospitality. Also, while I was there, did a lot of plant medicine, modify wasco ceremonies, yeah, hate ceremonies, but had this opportunity to get into the cannabis industry in 2014. With this my partner and we had created this great product in Cali gold is South American high quality chocolates infused with a high quality, full spectrum, cannabis oil. And we started selling and like I said, My experience was in sales and marketing and branding. So I was a pretty integral on like, developing the brand and the packaging and, and setting up the sale theme and hiring people. But I was living in Colombia at that point because I was still running my businesses and developing stuff in South America. So I had this opportunity to get come back to the US and to get into the cannabis industry. But this same friend I actually was telling him from 2008 or early 2009 when I met him that we should be in cannabis and I wanted to move to California to find a farm. I was actually trying to get into cannabis from that entire time from 2009 until 2014 when he gave me the opportunity to invest into co found the company with him. So from 2014 to 2017, I would travel back and forth from South America to California to Berkeley, work on raising capital, helping figure out marketing sales, train sales team go out there actually knock on doors, knock in dispensaries open up accounts, working with people, we were able to scale that business from that small investment to over a million dollars in sales in our second full year business.
Unknown Speaker 10:27
And we were like I said earlier, we were selling over 100 dispensaries throughout the state. As early as 2015. I think we started looking for an investments in 2016, California passed legalization for 2018. So we started looking for financial partners and for real estate and how we’re going to acquire a license, we were able to type a building in Santa Rosa to do manufacturing. And we started looking for partners to actually pay for that building, which we did, and figure out how we were going to do licensing and how to scale the business because as you know, somebody msos and big money was coming into California. So we were kind of a little nervous going in without the right finances going up against the competition. We were raising capital and ultimately we were acquired while we were raising money. A Canadian holding cannabis company wanted to acquire Cali gold and they wanted to bring us on to help them scale the business didn’t really work out great for me, I only lasted for a month with that company because I had some different opinions with the people who acquired us in terms of the future of the company in the industry. So I moved on after a month. But I was I was able to liquidate all my stock and move on from that experience, they actually did end up destroying the brand like I had anticipated and, and the company blew through like somewhere around 30 $40 million. So I my partner ended up actually buying back the brand recently. So he’ll be relaunching Cali golden California, you’ll see that again, it’s really the highest quality edibles I’ve ever had. So really excited for him to go back and do that. But since early 2019, I looked at the opportunities in the space and and because there was so many issues with licensing and brands and all that stuff, I was really interested to see how I can take my experience and, and help another company. And I just thought there was a great opportunity in ancillary businesses because it’s like the picks and the axes of the gold rush. The pigs in the axes were guys making them and selling them probably making more money than the ones who were looking for gold. We know that and if you’ve seen if you watch the cannabis industry over the last decade, I’m sure anyone who’s paying attention knows that all the lawyers made lots of money of the consultants made lots of money that people were selling lights made tons of money. And it’s been really difficult for the actual cannabis operators with all the regulations and the licensing and the taxes. It’s certainly harder. So I saw this opportunity with bovada. Two week humidity control, I got an opportunity to join them in sales and help them build out their business here in Southern California. So I took it, I’ve been with them since early 2019. My role is a sales and business development here in Southern California. I’ve also been pretty active on LinkedIn and connecting with people like yourself, and creating content and doing stuff and I’m here to participate serve the plants or the community, any way that I can help out any way that I can and do my job as we go along.
Shayda Torabi 13:27
I think this interview is going to be really fun, you have a tremendous background and you’d hit a few key points that I hope that we can touch on in the short time that I have you for this episode. But first kind of highlighting ancillary businesses. I love that you brought that up because, you know, again, it’s just to frame I always like to kind of frame things up for my audience to kind of connect the dots for them. There’s many ways to be in cannabis and you highlighted the lawyers, the people who are doing supporting aspects to the industry lights like even your present company bovada were there two way humidity packs which obviously definitely want to get into because I think that that is super fascinating and i’m i’ve we personally use bovada at our brand research CBD so we know the brand, we love the brand, but ancillary businesses is just such I think an anomaly. Everybody gets, you know, Gaga eyes over I want to work in cannabis, they want to touch the plant. And not that there aren’t problems with ancillary businesses, especially lately I’ve come to learn like I have a friend she actually did an episode previously on the podcast. Her name is Lauren, she’s with Cush cards, so she sells cannabis greeting cards does not do anything other than puts pictures of the plant on her cards. She got kicked off of tik tok a month ago, had over like a million followers. And so I think there’s a little bit of this. If you’re an ancillary, you’re safe, but I think it’s you’re safer maybe there’s definitely still risk and ancillary for sure. I know that people who are using and trying to be creative with different words and terms to get around social media. It’s not, you know, explicitly just for those of us that are touching the plant or transacting the plant, but certainly when it comes to payment merchants and processing and being on certain platforms and doing e commerce and all those things about actually transacting and taking people’s money, the closer you are to the plant, the more difficult it is. So,
Unknown Speaker 15:20
sure, I mean, if you’re even if you’re an ancillary business, and your clients are growers, so you’re receiving money from growers and banking is still, you know, it’s not as much of an issue, but there’s always risks. There’s, it’s a, it’s an emerging market. And I think in any emerging market, like, it’s just the definition is that there’s gonna be so much change, and you have to be willing to, like, accept change on a continual basis, and just stay ahead of it. But yeah, every every business, I think, spends more money than than they would in other more established industries, you spend so much money testing the waters to see this to see that paying a lawyer, if you’re trying to get licensing and a certain, you know, they change the laws, they change the packaging requirements, like every time they change the packaging requirements, you have to get a redesigned packaging, you have to reprint everything. You know, there’s so many there’s so many things going on. But it’s definitely easier to run an ancillary business, in my opinion, then a plant touching business.
Shayda Torabi 16:15
Yes, I agree completely. And I just appreciate you highlighting that because again, I think it’s a topic that doesn’t always get highlighted. And so kind of With that said, bovada is an ancillary business from my understanding, like essentially, it’s a humidity pack for the layman, you know, kind of term listening out there. It’s it’s a humidity pack that essentially preserves and can help preserve the moisture in the flower. And I’m going to say flour, both in tobacco and cannabis, essentially the plant matter. And so my understanding is COVID originally started out with like a cigar. If you think of like cigar humidifiers, right. And so kind of that application of, it’s literally like a little pack. It’s like a little square that you put in your box, you put in your jar, whatever. And it’s supposed to help keep that plant flower. Juicy is maybe the word I’ll use. But lately I’ve seen obviously, when we were talking, y’all have transitioned into the cannabis market very heavily, kind of help us understand, in your words, what bovada is, and maybe your observation of when they transition because they’re still very much in the cigar industry, which is a huge tobacco industry, huge industry still, but obviously cannabis is, is is growing, we’re pretty big deal. So just, you know, kind of smart marketing opportunity.
Unknown Speaker 17:31
Yeah. So I’ll give you the backstory. Since it’s not my company, I’ll do my best to be as accurate as possible. But bovid it was created in 1997. by Bob Betsy, doctors, sorry, Tim swell and shine nuts. And he’s the CEO and Tim swells Executive Vice President and Bob se is full of knowledge. He came from General Mills, and they had this they wanted to solve this problem to protect cigars. Like they were making the PC, they had this idea to make a human door. And then it led to why because cigars aren’t staying fresh. How do we keep them fresh. And they brought these these experts in packaging, Dr. Sorry. And Bob se went worked with General Mills. And I don’t remember reductive sorry it was from But Bob as he talks about he used to work on like problems like how to keep Wheaties fresh, until they got to breakfast time to the consumer from like that perfect crisp or something like that. So he’s a packaging expert. And they came up with this the they solve the problem on how to how to maintain the relative humidity for cigars in a container. And it was the salt and water solution. So basically, all it is is salt and water. But it’s the membrane of the packaging where the real where the real design and the technology came in how to figure out how to emit the moisture without getting wet or ruining the cigars. Once again, it came with this product that was called committed pack for a while. And it was purely for high end cigars. At some point in the 2000s. They had some success convincing high end tobacco cigar manufacturers to start packaging with boba because the problem was they were rolling these cigars beautiful cigars and Dominican Republic or somewhere else. And they were shipping them off to distributors around the world. And through that process. Even though eventually got to humidor the cigar was was drying out or it wasn’t stable humidity level. So it wouldn’t be the same quality as when it left the factory. So is this purely created for the cigar industry but around 2007 2008 I think they became aware that people started using them for cannabis. I think there was probably like an uptick in sales around humble and this was a this was a startup that took them a long time to like reach like significant numbers. So they were like doing it doing it doing it working hard, working hard, working hard, but not really seeing like all of these huge results. They put in a lot of time and effort in like building the brand and making sure that the manufacturing was right and like link The foundation to build like a big business for the future. But the real great opportunity came when they realized that people were using them for cannabis because the cigar market is limited. And it’s not really a growth sector. It’s not tobacco in regular tobacco, they use chemicals in cigarettes, etc. to keep the tobacco fresh, putting like a high end cigar, you want to keep these natural oils and flavors in the cigar. So bovada actually, it is a packet, it’s salt in water inside the packet, it’s two way they created real two way humidity. There were products in the market that would pull out the moisture, you know, for food or beef jerky or like a destacan. Before that, but there was nothing that went two ways. So what COVID does the technology is that we figure out what the relative humidity we want each plant like tobacco, for example, we have different skews. One is 69%. And then up from there, because tobacco likes more moisture. So that 69% you put the you put your cigar in a human aura container and the bow but it will maintain that relative humidity. If it’s there’s too much moisture in a place like Columbia or in in the Amazon or in Florida, it’s really humid. So what the bullet actually does there is it’s pulling humidity out of the container. It prevents it from mold because over a certain level each plant would be at risk of growing mold if there’s too much moisture. So when they started to work on the cannabis plant, they realized around 2012 that the ideally cannabis plant wants to lower relative humidity than tobacco. And they determined that that level was between 55 and 65%. Back in the day, if you’ve been in cannabis for a long time or you’ve smoked it, people used to use orange peels and these these tortillas to keep cannabis fresh. That’s not good for your cannabis because you’re you’re introducing mold and all these other things into the plant. And it’s not accurate whatsoever. And it’s definitely only one way it’s not like able to actually regulate it. So this is like a solution to like a real serious problem in cannabis. It was a serious problem in cigars because back in the day, people were using humanoids in their houses and like adding water and adjusting the the humidity levels for their human doors. But it was a pain in the butt. Instead, they’re able to use the humidity pack bovada two way humidity control, throw it in there human or set it and forget it, you have to worry about it. And it was it’s an exact number. So if it says 69% it will maintain the humidity level within that container. It’s 69%. So when they started to do work on cannabis, they determined 62% 58% would be the perfect levels for cannabis for the cannabis plant to be stored
Unknown Speaker 22:43
at those humidity levels and above 65% would be relative humidity is where you would be in danger of mold in cannabis below 55% is considered to be too dry. So started creating these cannabis skews. And like you said before like a great marketing opportunity. No, it’s the fact the future of bovine aids cannabis. So since 2012, or 13, you know, as all of these markets started to become legalized, as all of these growers around the world that were selling in the traditional or unlicensed market started coming out of the shadows like the opportunity just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. He started growing hemp smokable hemp around the world. That’s a great opportunity for us. All of these new states that are becoming licensed all of these these new licensed producers msos all over the country all over the world. Those are all new markets for boaters, so like the future is huge as opportunity everywhere. legalization is happening around the world. And as legalization happens around the world and all these new markets open up COVID and wants to be there with growers, brands and distributors, packagers who want to be everywhere that flower is present. Because what we actually found out was that it’s actually doing more than we even realize, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard but people started to say that they thought bogus feels that terps the terpenes a couple years ago when I started working here and everyone was elbow it feels it tears Bovis kills the terps so we were forced to like really study what’s actually happening like we know they were maintaining the relative humidity but what else is happening? So we found out through science, we have our own research r&d department, and we work with a lot of outside lab testing companies etc. to figure out what’s going on. So we determined that boba creates a monolayer which is a micro thin layer of water around the flower. It keeps the flower hydrating So a couple things are going on for keeping the trichome hydrated. If there is no boba in the packaging, there’s going to be no micro thin terpene Shield we call it layers around the water. The cannabis in most markets will start to dry and as the plant starts to dry and as the dry comb loses moisture, it starts to die off. As the trichome dies off, it goes from like standing up straight and full of moisture to like to breaking down and drying out. And then ultimately, you’ll see Keef on the bottom of a bag or powder, right? That’s broken, dry comb that’s fallen down now onto the bottom of the bag. So healthy dry comb is full of moisture. And what the bovada does by creating that model where those terpenes and other and other compounds are preserved inside the flower, so when somebody says that Bovis feels the terps, what they’re saying is that when you stick your nose in a jar, that does not have bow, but if you get a big nose, or a big bag, like a pound of weed, and you stick your head into it, you’ll get that notice it right, because all those terpenes what’s happening is, once the cannabis is cultivated, it’s dried, it starts off gassing right away. It starts off gassing terpenes immediately. So bovada entering the boat in the microfine layer, terpene Shield maintains those terpenes inside the flower. So like when somebody smells the package with bourbon in it, they’re not going to get as big of a notice it. And the reason why is because the terpenes are still in the flower, as opposed to in the headspace, as opposed to in the bag or in the jar or whatever you’re smelling. Now with boba. Yes, you’re not going to get as big of a nose hit. Like if you’re shopping and you want to smell it. And that’s what we’re attracted to. Right. But once you grind it, the terpenes are unlocked. And most importantly, once you use it, once you experience it, once you want to smoke it, the terpenes and flavonoids, the flavor is still there. So bovard is preserving the terpenes, the flavor all of it, not only are we preserving the terpenes. But we’re saving money. Like if you cultivated a pound of cannabis, or let’s say 1000 pounds a month. Let’s say you read commercial grow, and you’re doing 1000 pounds a month. We’ve noticed this depends on what market you’re in what the humidity levels are. But my personal experience here is in California, and somewhere between 10 and 30 grams of moisture, what are we in difference from the pound the unit that was stored with above it versus the one that’s stored without the boba. So the retail price of one of those packets like five bucks, I mean, our wholesale play price is like three bucks, 20 grams, at five bucks, a gram is $100. You know, there’s somewhere between 50 to $100 in every pound that can be found, if you’re storing your cannabis with bovada. So you’re saving money because you’re the moisture and then there’s more weight. If you’re growing commercially and you want to sell bulk, there’s gonna be more weight, you’re gonna get more money, you’re gonna see, you’re gonna see that in margins, you know, margins, once you get into building the business, big margins are important. So 5% here and there, it means a lot. So you’re saving money and you’re preserving the terpenes you’re ensuring the quality, it’s like, if you’re going a Sour Diesel, and it’s got a certain terpene profile, you want to make sure that it’s the same every time. It’s a perishable item, like it’s almost crazy that there’s no other product, they were raising this cannabis plant, we have been forever. I mean, it was so bad that when I grew up, we were smoking brick weed that was just compressed and full of seeds and dried out and it didn’t really matter. But now we know and it’s like oh my God, look at these look that flavor, you want to preserve the flavor. That’s what it is. Imagine having $100 bottle of wine, and like throwing it out in the heat, right, you wouldn’t do that, you will want to make sure that you preserve it the right way in the right temperature. Same thing with cannabis, you got to preserve it. And the only way to do that, that I know of is bovada. Everything else is just the intent to imitating what we’re doing. But we have patents on the technology. So nothing else is the same.
Shayda Torabi 28:35
That was such good information. I think you really articulated what the science kind of is behind it, as well as obviously like the history of bovada. And as a marketer, I’m just always fascinated, like, how did we get here, right? And so you highlighted kind of, you know, what my generation probably is more standard use to the orange peel, you know, you want to preserve this flour you get and I guess again to kind of highlight for people listening, you know, it is the difference between when you get fresh flour or flour that has been dried out. It changes the integrity and only of the field but also of the effects. And so from a marketing perspective, I love that you shared the story of people saying that y’all were stealing the terps because now you’ve come out with a campaign all around saving the terps. And so obviously it’s very in line with kind of both the research and science that you’re backing up to actually help them educate. This is a savings This is a savings whether you’re growing and you’re distributing whether you’re the end consumer and you just want to preserve that eight that you just bought. It just shows that the more information and access to this kind of knowledge around the plant, the more that we can better preserve it and understand it.
quick break to say thank you to restart CBD for sponsoring this podcast, restart. CBD is a brand my sisters and I founded in our My hometown in Austin, Texas, we operate a retail location as well as an e commerce store and you can browse our wide range of CBD products at restart CBD calm. Again, thank you to restart for allowing me the time and resources to put on to be blunt. I hope you’ll check them out for your CBD needs. Let’s go back to the episode. Kind of in that vein, y’all are the turf experts. What are terpenes? Why do we want to preserve them or save them? I know before we started recording, we were talking about indicus ativa hybrid how personally as marketing and as marketers, those are limited. I don’t want to say they’re outrightly horrible, because I think that you know, from a consumer perspective, consumers, I want to help consumers understand things. And so if they feel more comfortable referencing something as an indika, I want to take that information and help them you know, spin it to maybe talk about, well, you like this as an IndyCar because it has, you know, maybe myrcene in it as a terpene or it has maybe a cannabinoid specific to CBG and delta nine that is giving you more of a sedated effect, but Terp expert You know what, what are terpenes? And why do we want to save them
Unknown Speaker 31:11
are beings of the organic compounds that create aromas in plants. And it’s not just cannabis plants, cannabis plants just happen to have lots of terpenes lots of sense. It’s the smell the aroma, it’s like aroma therapy. aroma therapy is based on all of these different scents like lavender and frankincense and all these other things that people associate that that create a different effect. So we know that aroma therapy works, or we believe people do at least because they’re buying so much of it, that certain terpenes affect your mood. One scent might make you feel energized, and another scent might make you feel relaxed. That’s why I say like Frankincense is really good for anxiety. If you put it in your hands and you smell it, the all you’re doing is inhaling that and you you are you’re going to have less anxiety and relax. And then another terpene like I said like that fruity scent, the lemon scent is like automatically wakes you up and makes you feel rejuvenated. So that’s why it’s so so important. And that’s why it’s so important to preserve them. I’m sure that you know when vape carts are made, they extract cannabis and they use distillate and then they add a lot of a lot of times add back terpenes to give it a certain flavor. Some of those terpenes are botanical terpenes, they come from all plants, and some of them are are cannabis derived terpenes. And then the day that can be the same terpenes limonene is in the hemp and also cannabis and also in other plants. So you can derive it from anywhere. They’re so important. So like if you sold those terpenes to a vape manufacturer, and if you’ve calculated the weight, based on weight terpenes are more expensive than all the other compounds, right? So obviously, there’s something that important, because they’re that expensive. I like to just bring it back to like the basics, like what most people really need to know, I don’t think that there’s enough science yet on all of the terpenes, unfortunately and how they affect us. I think if we look to places like Israel, they are actually testing botanical terpenes and are and what those effects are. And I think we’re getting closer, but we don’t know yet. But I think it’s a really personal thing. I think that when people go into like a cannabis shop and they’re smelling different stuff, or when they get attracted to a certain color bar, it’s just like that internal guide that pulls you there. So I think it’s important for people to go to what they’re pulled towards. Like if you go and you see something that’s really fruity and like it’s attracting you and like you stick your nose in it, you keep smelling it and you want to keep smelling it. That’s probably a good one for you. And if there’s others that are like really gassy, gassy, gassy, or like really stinky, stinky, thinking cheesy, some people like that will turn some people off, and others just really want to keep smelling it. What is the expression of the plant through the terpenes and all of the other compounds that are in the plant. It’s just like we said before, the minor cannabinoids mixing with terpenes, all these different things. So when you talk about like the entourage effect, the entourage effect, meaning that all of the different natural elements of the plant are important for the effect of terpenes being one of them. And one of the most important because it’s like that initial first reaction like that’s what pulls you in. That’s your nose, your nose, nose, they say, Well, I guess your nose doesn’t know. It really
Shayda Torabi 34:18
does. I’m glad you brought that up too. Because I think just from our own experience with our retail shop, obviously there’s now different ways to present these products to consumers. I’ve seen different contraptions, you know, it puts the flour in a jar and it has a little light that hits it or it’s you know, got a little smell cap on it. So you can lift it in, you can smell it. And so we started getting into some of that type of, I guess, like productization to present those products to our consumers, because you really start to break down. I mean, a consumer comes in and they’re telling you, oh, well, I want something to make me feel more relaxed or I want something to help maybe make me maybe feel more creative. And that’s where then I think, you know, the marketers have taken the science and saying hey, we’ll these topics are present. And when we consume these products, we feel this certain way. So we’re going to categorize this as an indika. More into couches I like to highlight versus a TiVo, which is more daytime. And so I think scent has been a really key piece that we’ve observed as well to connect to the consumer. Like, I can sit here and I can talk to you this is this terpene, this is that terpene. This is this particular strain. But like you highlight it, when you smell it. And that’s the key thing, when you smell it, your own body’s biochemistry is going to work fundamentally different than the person next to you. It’s why we can both eat the same edible and have different effects smoke the same strain and have different effects. And so I think as we can continue to do more education and research on these particular aspects of the plant, as well as these cannabinoids and terpenes, in our own bodies, we’re getting closer to understanding I think, very clearly that it is still a unique experience to the end consumer. And so, yeah, your nose does know, if you like smelling something, like I, for example, I do love the way gasoline smells, I love it. I just think it’s super intriguing to me. And I like the heaviness of it, versus my dad, he’s always like, this smells so rank and so disgusting. And so you can just tell even by scent that we obviously have different, you know, personalities and different preferences. So therefore, you know, when you’re consuming these products that are so heavily influenced by this particular terpene, or combination of terpenes it obviously influences the ultimate effect. And so, yeah, I think a big takeaway for marketers, ultimately presenting products to consumers is just getting that consumer to be as curious as possible to try different products and seeing how it makes them feel.
Unknown Speaker 36:46
Yeah, you have to be careful with marketers, right?
Shayda Torabi 36:49
We do. We’re Spin Doctors, we spin everything, I’ll be the first marketer to admit when I see an ad, if it is well marketed to me, of course, I click it. I know it’s an ad, but it spoke to me and I want to respond. And so I think good marketing is that subtlety of you don’t obviously realize you’re being marketed to because it’s hitting you at the right moment, the right time. You know, it’s just like the right combination of things. And another point I talk about a lot too is just as marketers, we don’t pay attention as people. So as a marketer, I think there’s always this demand this drive to like recreate the wheel. And especially in cannabis, you keep seeing people who are coming out with different cannabinoids are coming out with different ratios, different delivery methods, different types of ways to consume inhalers versus like, you know, strips that you put on your tongue in it dissolves. I’m not saying those are bad products, I’m just highlighting. At the end of the day, you’re trying to sell this cannabis and you want the consumer to be met with it at the right time, right place. And so that’s where that magic comes from marketing. It’s just how do you communicate to the end consumer, hey, try this product, see how it works in your body, and then kind of make decisions from there. So that’s where I think education it’s it’s obviously talked a lot about in the cannabis industry, but I think it is really imperative. Like for example, I used to bring up to when I am a marketer in cannabis versus let’s say, a marketer in the cereal industry, when you kind of brought up General Mills. I don’t have to explain to someone what cereal is, I might have to say why Froot Loops is better than Wheat Thins fruity, maybe versus a little bit more healthy depending on which cereal you pick, but most people understand cereal versus cannabis. I can’t really talk about CBD versus CBG because everyone just thinks is weed and it’s gonna get them high. And now I have to break down Well, this is what cannabis is, this is what have versus marijuana is and you have to have that educational conversation. And so there’s just like another piece in that puzzle that I’m seeing the industry is evolving more towards having, but there’s still so much mystery around it at the end of the day.
Unknown Speaker 39:01
It’s really so expensive to the education part. It’s like, you know, that’s the I think that’s the problem and say, Hey, educating consumers on a new product and industry it’s challenging, always. Amen. So
Shayda Torabi 39:12
let me ask you this now just in terms of like preserving flour, so we kind of highlighted the product using bovada as the example is applicable to a grower who’s let’s say maybe growing 1000 pounds a month and they want to preserve that flour as well as you sell direct to consumer i as i can go to a dispensary. I can buy boveda packs. I can go to your website, I can put it in my you know a ounce jar, whatever I have. I am a little bit curious from your perspective if you can answer this when people are growing flower. So kind of like how the flower gets from the field to the shelf right when people are growing flour. It’s not you grew flour last week and then that fresh flour is coming straight to the shop. And then I have a week before that flour dries out. To preserve it to make sure it stays how I bought it. I mean, most flower it there’s a drying process. For my understanding, sometimes flower is stored for months, like multiple months before it is, you know, brought to the consumer, I think
Unknown Speaker 40:14
they’re still selling hemp from 2019. Right. So
Shayda Torabi 40:17
when you get into that there’s preservation of it. And so I’m wondering kind of, you know, from your experience, both previously and presently, in your role, kind of what does that look like? Like, help me understand how long is the timeline between the flower leaving the farm to it potentially hitting a retail shelf? Because there is that preservation versus then when the consumer purchases the product, then I now have to preserve it again. And it seems like you’re kind of keeping moisture in or moisture is leaving or depending on what you’re storing it in, you know, vacuum sealed packs versus glass versus amber jars, keeping it out of sun. Like there’s just there’s so many variations. And yeah, I think so I’m curious.
Unknown Speaker 41:00
Well, that is a huge challenge for us, because we have to educate the entire industry on what’s exactly happening, like, you know, old school growers who have been doing something for 20 or 30 years, it’s hard for them to listen to people who aren’t growers, or haven’t been haven’t had that much experience. And for them to get them to change their ways because they use all of these different methods over year over years to preserve their cannabis. But the reality is like you’re you’re building a business for one thing. The same, you can’t use the same same strategies that you did for a smaller grow, whether it’s a couple 100 200 pounds versus 10s of 1000s of pounds. You need to figure out scalability so we say cure to consumption with boba. So what’s going on? Is that the cannabis farmers farming and then the cure is so important. I’m not a cultivator. So I don’t I’m not speaking from a cultivator expert, don’t listen to me, I’m just telling you what I know what people have passed on, you’re growing and then you’re drying it and curing it. So at that point, you can drop in the boat but uh, but once you once you clip the plants and you start drying it, that’s when terpenes and start off gassing compounds start off gassing that’s just going to happen naturally. Before you would see cultivators, you know, try and keep it dark, and dry, and cool. And the right humidity levels, all these things prevent drying and color changing those different things. So
Unknown Speaker 42:30
from if you’re talking about like your customers, for example, from smokable, hemp perspective, maybe most of that stuff is grown outdoors. So comes down during harvest season, October, November, whatever. And it’s being stored until it can be sold, whether it’s sold bulk wholesale to brokers, distributors throughout the country where there’s smoke shops on the east coast. Think about how long it will be sitting on a truck to get from California, Oregon, to Georgia or to Florida, all the different temperatures. Who’s shipping it? What are the conditions of the truck? How long is it going to take to get there? And then from that point, how long will it take to get onto it can be it’s different everywhere. How long will it take to get jarred up onto retail shelves and then get to the consumer? It could be months it could be one month it could be three months. It could be six months, it could be year. I mean, I know I’ve seen from like I said the end of 2019 like oversupply of of Hampton smokable hemp sitting there for long periods of time. So boba is like insurance especially for like that market because you can literally grow a huge and they can grow hundreds we know hunt 500 acres different than cannabis, 500 acres of hemp smokable hemp, hundreds 10s of hundreds of 1000s of pounds of smokable hemp you can literally drop Bovis in it, set it and forget it, and not even worry about it until you have to come back and sell it. There’s a huge difference if you’re talking about like cannabis is a different supply chain in California is different than other states, I’ll speak to California, you have vertically integrated companies that have somewhere between one and 20 acres of grow. Or maybe it’s an indoor grow, maybe it’s even less than that. Maybe it’s just the quarter acre, or maybe it’s just 10,000 square feet. And it’s a high end boutique. They’re growing, they’re drying, they’re curing. And then at that point, they could be selling it to a distributor or a brand who’s going to or a co Packer who’s going to package it up and then distributed. But no matter what it has to get tested, so usually goes to the distributor, they have to get it quarantine, they have to test it. It could take a week or two weeks to get it tested in quarantine, and then it gets distributed throughout their network. There’s a huge demand right now. And even though everyone in California thought that there was gonna be an oversupply of flour that that actually never happened yet or hasn’t happened yet. So demand has been really outpaced Supply still. So product isn’t necessarily sitting for that long, especially like bulk wholesale. But there’s still a challenge for brands to get on the shelves in dispensaries, because there are so many brands out there. So it could be sitting on dispensary shelf for a month or something like that. So if I buy if I buy flour all the time here in California and I test the water activity levels, to see like how fresh it is. And I’ll check the package date and the cultivation date. It’s usually somewhere between one and three months from the time it was cultivated till the time that I actually get it into my hands. So if there’s no bourbon in it, there’s not in the same condition as when it leaves the farm. So when it gets to the consumer, that’s the part that we have to really educate people on is like this supply chain. If this didn’t exist before, there was a supply chain and the traditional market but it was like grower to distributor, and boom. And that was it to the to the consumer. Now it’s all these other pieces of the puzzle, a little bit more complicated. So it’s insurance.
Shayda Torabi 46:01
Now I appreciate that, because I think you also highlighted something that I wasn’t I wasn’t aware of but I appreciated the way you framed it highlighting Yes, ham because it’s federally legal can be shipped around. And using Texas as a small example. We were legal, but we didn’t have the ability to legally grow it. So for the beginning of our market, we had to get it from out of state. And so yes, you are sourcing from primarily for us. It’s Oregon or Washington. And so yeah, it’s got to ship to us, the climate is changing. There’s a lot of different variables versus if you’re in a legal state. And because of the way that the laws are written, because it’s not federally legal. Again, this is more for the listeners, I know you and I know this, but because it’s not federally legal, you can’t cross state lines. And so therefore nobody is really growing flower in Florida that is being shipped to California or vice versa.
Unknown Speaker 46:54
Well, that’s actually I would say you’re right, but also not true because the traditional marketing California is still 75% of the total market.
Shayda Torabi 47:02
Well, are you speaking about the black market? Well, I say traditional. Okay, so I agree with you there. I’m speaking just above you know, the fold speaking, if you’re growing in the legal market, you are technically only distributing in the legal market in your state. But yes, the illicit market?
Unknown Speaker 47:20
Well, it’s more complicated than that even because I will tell you that many licensed producers, licensed growers, cultivators, brands, may be selling out of state as well. And that’s obviously not legal. But I think, because of like the the infrastructure because of taxes because of how hard they make it needed to make money. companies may have been forced to do that. And then I will also say, Yes, you’re right legal market, but the black market, like you say, traditional market, like we say, is still bigger than the licensed market. You’re right. So $12 billion in sales in California, about eight of those unlicensed Yeah, I believe that go into New York, go into Florida, go into other places. So there is that going on? It is being shipped somehow, someway, here, right. So and that’s just it. That’s just part of the market.
Shayda Torabi 48:17
Yes. No. snitches here, just observations around the dynamics of Yes, what again, I always like to highlight, you know, being just a consumer who’s like, Oh, I want weed. You know, if I’m in Texas, oh, it’s technically illegal versus Oh, I’m in California, I can legally walk into a dispensary. Then there is the sub level then yes, of the illicit market or the gray market, depending on you know, what aspect of the industry you’re in. And, yes, it’s a lot to be considerate of, especially when you have all these different variables hitting the consumer from New cannabinoids to how products are even manufactured. There’s just a lot of discrepancies and things that people should be curious and continue to educate themselves about to ultimately get to the truth that is best for them. But from your perspective, in the purpose of this conversation, it was very helpful to understand a little bit about that supply chain because that is I think, something that we don’t really have a lot of understanding about. Again, I think consumers just assume you grew this last week and then you cut it down and now you put it in a jar and you’re selling it to me and it’s not obviously that straight and narrow. There’s a little bit more you know, dynamic pieces, especially if you’re in hemp where most of the flour is coming from out of state you have to think about whether you’re growing it how you’re preserving it to if you’re a brand, how you’re packaging it, how you’re presenting it. So like for us, for example, at a retail level, we started packaging certain quantities for our consumers with boba in it. Yeah, and I’ve seen other brands start to do that as well. kind of getting the consumer to already adopted but also from an insurance like I like that user, we’re an insurance perspective from our perspective saying we want to make sure that we’re selling you something that is tasty and smells nice and looks good because we’ve all bought you know, I mean, you’ve brought up bricks you know earlier like I’ve definitely bought some really dank, you know, not dogs, probably a bad word some, you know, gnarly schwag where it’s just really, really just yeah chunky and swaggy I know there’s like no other words to describe it otherwise it just it doesn’t really smell good. Doesn’t look appetizing. You’re not like Wow, that looks appealing. I can’t wait to go light that up.
Unknown Speaker 50:41
Imagine if it didn’t have any THC in it. And the hemp and then also it’s dry and flavor was like really mad at that point. What’s what is the point
Shayda Torabi 50:50
that is part of like the experience for a cannabis consumer. I mean, I am a smoker. First and foremost, I prefer to smoke cannabis. I mean, I definitely have adopted vaping. And I love edibles. But like I’m tried and true. I love the flower. I love sticking my face in a jar, I love being able to smell it smell the different terps just get that kind of experience. And so yeah, you totally want that consumer to have that experience to and they’re coming in and they’re asking, you know, what’s the difference between Bubba Kush versus Hawaiian haze? Well, this is what the paper says, but ultimately hear smell the difference, smell these two different strains, and you decide based on what your nose is telling you, which one, you know, kind of want to start smoking or pursue. So it’s just all very fascinating, interesting information.
Unknown Speaker 51:36
From a brand perspective, if you’re adding boveda pack into into the packaging for your consumers, then they are going to get a because most of the market isn’t doing that majority of the markets not doing that. So I think that you’re gonna have a product, I know that you’re gonna have a product that’s superior to the other brands that are doing that so and the consumer is getting a flower like like you see, no that’s has the right humidity levels, and it’s chirpy, it’s got the it’s got all those aromas, and it’s still so I believe that you’re doing the right thing.
Shayda Torabi 52:03
Just trying to do the best we can by the consumer, I just I think that there’s a lot that, you know, obviously the industry is navigating and fighting and it seems like you and I are you know very similar in that regard of I just I grew up with cannabis I didn’t get especially in Texas, I didn’t have a lot of preference. And so I just kind of took what I got it. And now that you’re seeing this plant be brought into the light, you can start to critique and refine that experience both purchasing and looking at different products as well as how those products actually make you feel and obviously, saving the terps understanding terpenes understanding terpenes in relationship to cannabinoids understanding terpenes cannabinoids flavonoids in relationship to your body is where consumers will have you know, the best experience, I believe with the cannabis plant. Agreed? Is there anything final that you’d like to leave the listeners with?
Unknown Speaker 52:58
No, I don’t know, I am blown away of marketers, people who are starting new in the industry. And you’ve said people like that? Well, like I was saying earlier, just there’s so many different ways to get into the industry, um, different companies that you can start different ideas. You’ve talked about different delivery methods. But the one thing that I know is that everything will change a lot. Always. So just be very flexible and open, willing to change every single day, even if you like, don’t get your mind set on anything, just because that’s just the way I’ve experienced it so far. So be flexible, agile, great change open for new things, new ideas, and, and yeah, whatever I can do personally, let me know reach out, feel free to reach out. Follow me on LinkedIn.
Shayda Torabi 53:52
I love love love talking about these things. It was really cool to learn more about bovada. They’re a brand that I’ve really appreciated being educated by. So I think you know, sometimes you guys ask me a lot of questions around how do I get educated? I get educated because I follow these brands who are disrupting the conversation by presenting education in new and unique way to the consumer and bovada does just that. So I’m really appreciative that Jonathan not only shared us about the bovada story, but also I learned so much about terpenes and preserving those terpenes and just some of the intricacies that are involved with the cannabis plant, specifically the flower. So I hope whether you are a grower, a retailer, a processor, this was informative and helpful for you. As always, y’all know that I really love to just educate and be a resource for learning in this industry. And if you’ve got any benefit from this episode, please reach out slide into the DMS give me a high five on the internet. And most importantly, go Leave me a five star review on iTunes. I would greatly appreciate it and your contribution and comments will help someone else find this show And find some value and what we’re talking about. So I’ll catch you guys next week on another new episode. I’m sure we’ll have more updates on Texas’s ban against Delta eight and delta 10. And in the meantime, like I said, find me on the internet. I’m more than happy to have quick conversations with y’all online. So take it easy. Catch you next week with another episode and talk to y’all later. Bye.
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