Jake King on LinkedIn: "Aged to perfection" are words that are almost never heard in the cannabis… (2024)

Jake King

Cannabis Industry Executive - Over 15 Years of Experience in Driving Growth & Innovation

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"Aged to perfection" are words that are almost never heard in the cannabis industry.Pat LaFrieda's "The Art of Butchery" presents aging as an art form, showcasing the dry-aging process and the timeline of how beef matures over 28, 45, and 60 days.Macallan Whiskey's "Six Pillars" ad campaign highlights the importance of oak casks and the years required to develop complexity.Cannabis product marketing, by comparison, is more often than not reduced to THC as a commodity.Flower is treated like a raw material crop, even when it's not, much like grapes processed into wine or dehydrated into raisins.“It’s like someone spent an entire growing season making these amazing grapes and then tossed them into a toilet tank to make prison wine,” Jake Browne is quoted as saying in a Men's Journal article describing the potential process pitfalls.Aged weed doesn't have to mean dry, crumbly, or stale weed.Aging as a product-defining process can be much more meaningful and powerful.Craft processes use time, environment, temperature, humidity, light, and air flow to their advantage. Oak casks for whiskey, and cold, humid airflow for meat.What's the cannabis equivalent?The focus doesn't have to be solely on dehydration, rapid redistribution of moisture content, and quickly bringing the product to market.There is little nuance, no process showcasing, and hardly any focus on the often-overlooked aspect that significantly enhances the quality and appeal of the final product.Has the curing process and the science involved been explored to their limits?How does curing define your products and their marketing?

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Lizandro Salazar V

President & Co-Founder, ArcataXInc.

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Thank you. Just starting this conversation is enough to make my day. People are confusing fresh picked farmers market produce with something more like coffee, chocolate, wine, whiskey, mezcal or tobacco.

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  • Jake King

    Cannabis Industry Executive - Over 15 Years of Experience in Driving Growth & Innovation

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    Yesterday, I turned around while working in my garage and, to my surprise, saw a young lady, probably in her late 70s to early 80s, standing in the shade underneath the entrance overhang. She was in obvious need of some basic assistance. It wasn’t quite 10 o’clock in the morning yet, and the temperature was still well below 80 degrees, but the beginning effects of the heat had clearly already taken hold during her short morning neighborhood walk.Be careful out there.The delayed onset effects of heat can sneak up on you, no matter your age or level of fitness.At work, heat will test your manufacturing resilience in ways few other things can.It will question your systems’ capacities, efficiencies, and redundancies.It can define your relationships with your employees based on how you manage their care.It may also unintentionally reveal the weakest link in your manufacturing chain.You’ve never been so thankful for splurging on BTUs you thought you’d never need, extra backup units, or expanded amperage.Heat can be disastrous for so many crucial yet sensitive processes:• Root zone and plant health• Flower drying and curing conditions• Extraction limitations• Infused products, e.g., chocolate tempering, gummy cooling, baking precision, hom*ogenization and stability, ingredient viscosity and physical characteristics• Product storage and transportation• Increased human error• Workplace safety concernsAnd its effects don’t necessarily unfold in a linear fashion, either.Prolonged exposure can exponentially increase the associated risk, quickly compounding negative short- and long-term effects.This can especially be the case for extreme, unexpected conditions that may not have been fully anticipated due to their highly improbable nature.Extreme heat risk management for manufacturing is in some ways the equivalent of infrastructure planning for the 100-year storm.Having everything running smoothly during those times of potential turmoil has a special kind of satisfaction attached to it.For those of you in operations, battling the heat, trying to make it all work as flawlessly as possible… Respect. Stay cool out there.

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  • Jake King

    Cannabis Industry Executive - Over 15 Years of Experience in Driving Growth & Innovation

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    Why are so many industry leaders bothered by pesticide contaminated products, but not by hemp-derived THC products?Both are produced by operators who work with the distinct understanding that their manufacturing methodologies could easily result in contaminated products.If you don’t believe me, ask yourself:How do hemp brands distinguish between naturally produced THC v. THC produced from CBD via chemical synthesis, when sourcing for their products?The honor system?!Oh, that’s right, I forgot. Everyone is just using mother liquor, right? Nothing to see here, just turning waste into gold for pennies. But any claim to this type of chromatography scale is too preposterous to entertain, even in hypothetical scenarios.The biomass and equipment scale needed to sustain hundreds of kilos of THC from CBD processing waste defies any reasonable or financial logic when it can be produced synthetically for much cheaper. But really, how do brands determine what methodology was used to produce their sourced THC, and does it result in a reliably safe ingredient? What’s actually in your product beyond the detected cannabinoids? Does anyone else find it disheartening that no one outside of analytical testing has an answer for this?And for all the hemp-derived THC CPG brands out there:Can anyone produce independent COAs that analyze foreign substances beyond basic environmental contamination controls?NMRs? Just one, even to confirm the process?Is it not extremely worrisome for consumers that these companies often have no idea about the true nature of the ingredients they’re selling?I know there are ethical cannabinoid manufacturers out there that truly care about active ingredient purity and safety.It’s amazing they’re still able to operate in this type of competitive landscape. But for every one of them, there’s one hundred backyard chemists trying to replicate Future4200 blog formulas.How does an industry address such supply chain naivety issues?It’s as if people don’t want to ask the question, let alone think about it. The fact that chemically synthesized compounds aren’t as inherently safe to manufacture as purified natural ones, especially in completely unregulated environments, upsets a lot of people in the industry.They see the word cannabinoid and automatically think natural and plant-based, when it’s anything but.I wish cannabinoid chemical synthesis was highly regulated so we could see safe, pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoid products responsibly available to the public.But that’s not the reality of the situation, and the don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy of ingredient sourcing is pushing the entire industry in the wrong direction.How long can this can go on without some serious product scrutiny and honest hemp industry introspection?If you find yourself upset by potential pesticide contamination but not this, where do you draw the boundaries of your acceptable product contamination limits?

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  • Jake King

    Cannabis Industry Executive - Over 15 Years of Experience in Driving Growth & Innovation

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    This week was the first time my neighbor has asked me anything about cannabis in years, even though he knows I work in the industry."Am I just too old for weed?" he asked at one point (he's in his early 50s).It was by far the longest conversation we've ever had, and easily the most intense.The LA Times testing fraud article came as pretty shocking news for the casual consumer.It had him questioning who to trust, and whether the industry as a whole is compromised by product safety issues.He's not wrong to feel that way.He was seemingly so concerned about the edibles he eats once a week that he officially got in trouble for being late to start family dinner.His reaction led me to believe anecdotally that this concern is more widespread, extending beyond just industry professionals.Why?Ethics matter. When they've been misrepresented or violated, people feel cheated and betrayed.My last post was in part about how to avoid some of the consequences of poor risk management practices.But there are so many difficult-to-measure external benefits to including quality management systems that go above-and-beyond regulatory requirements.Brands and retailers have a significant strategic opportunity here to establish and strengthen consumer trust.The public's view of regulation as the ultimate product safety authority is cracked.Investigative journalism, consumer class actions, and anti-competition lawsuits could widen the gap.When all is said and done, it's the responsibility of brands and retailers to fill that gap if they want to differentiate themselves from their competition.Manufacturers discarding products that don't meet their standards is nothing to hide; it should be applauded.Retailers independently testing suppliers through multiple labs and filtering out compromised products have a marketing advantage, rather than just being some backroom, hidden safety process.Vertical integration, coupled with transparent product provenance, can offer powerful customer reassurances that independent manufacturers cannot.Uncompromising safety protocols are the ultimate product benefit.Nothing else matters if a product isn't safe.Consumers value brands that prioritize their safety over almost everything else.A 2021 survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center found that 82% of Americans consider a company's commitment to ensuring the safety of its products and services a top factor in their decision to buy from them.The Edelman Trust Barometer 2022 survey found that 68% of respondents globally believe it is a brand's responsibility to protect people from misleading information, and 60% say they will avoid brands that they do not trust.I hope more brands and retailers seize this opportunity for ethical differentiation and show consumers that their money ensures product safety, not just the product itself.

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  • Jake King

    Cannabis Industry Executive - Over 15 Years of Experience in Driving Growth & Innovation

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    Cannabis retailers… hey, you!I heard some of you may be lacking in that whole trust thing lately with products on your shelves and maybe you want to do something about it before someone else includes you in what they're doing about it.Translation: you don't want to get sued for product liability issues! And if you do, you want as much defensibility as possible.Who knows, you may also just want to do the right thing to make sure your consumers' health isn't compromised!Ok, where to start:1. Don’t just grab products off the shelves and drop them off at random labs to have tested!2. Talk to your IP attorney, who will refer you to a Products Liability (PL) attorney they work with.3. Construct a Quality Management System (QMS) with your PL attorney.4. Guaranteed, this is fairly uncharted territory for them. CPG + Cannabis Manufacturing + Regulated Cannabis Retail hasn't existed for all too long and requires unique regulatory navigation. This means managing the relationships between Cannabis, Corporate, IP, and PL attorneys to address product-specific and overlapping PL interests.5. QMS will include mystery shopping auditing for chemical analysis at its core.6. Go check out my previous article on mystery shopping audits!Mystery shopping points to bring up with your attorneys:1. How to limit potential bias. Hiring an outside party is the best option. Random and confidential in-store audits and lab engagements. Comprehensive independent record-keeping and documentation. Secure handling protocols (potential for unpackaging under strict conditions for blind testing without brand recognition).2. Round robin and proficiency testing. Use multiple labs for the same product. Science relies on group consensus. Identify discrepancies between labs and ensure consistency. Randomize lab selection if possible.3. Statistical significance matters, especially when it comes to ingredient contamination and batch sizing (e.g. multiple infused SKUs with common active ingredient batching). How many do you need to test?4. Supplier and manufacturer tracking. Compromised ingredients are usually not isolated incidents.5. Multi-retailer organizations: Audit coordination between individual stores6. Independent retailers: Coordinate with fellow retailers where possible. Minimize costs by grouping with non-competing stores (outside of immediate geographic location) to test statewide brands.7. Adjust product supplier agreements to strategize appropriate indemnity/limited liability clause revisions based on increased product liability concerns.8. Adjust product supplier agreements to formalize the removal process for failed products. 9. Employ an active customer communication system to notify potentially affected individuals of product contamination concerns.10. Additional internal protocols for inventory management modifications to accommodate removed products.11. Internal reporting system protocols. Record-keeping for state regulatory agencies.

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  • Jake King

    Cannabis Industry Executive - Over 15 Years of Experience in Driving Growth & Innovation

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    Hello folks 👋 Back on LinkedIn here after a while away. I doubt you would be, but if you’re curious about what a newsfeed for a cannabis industry professional looks like after a hiatus:✅ Photos of Canadian executives threatening each other via shirtless bathroom mirror selfies✅ Contentious THCa loophole debates✅ Reclassification impact statements✅ Cannabinoid infographics✅ Florida hemp regulation✅ AI is taking over✅ Emerging scientific studies that may or may not be flawed ✅ Cannabis v. alcohol use ✅ Michigan outpacing cratering Colorado and struggling California marketsSeems about right.Good to be back, hope I didn’t miss anything.

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  • Jake King

    Cannabis Industry Executive - Over 15 Years of Experience in Driving Growth & Innovation

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    What happened to CA AB 45, banning synthetic cannabinoids in the adult-use market in 2021?9.1.111920(f): ‘“Industrial hemp” has the same meaning as in Section 11018.5. “Industrial hemp” does not include cannabinoids produced through chemical synthesis.’Am I missing something here? Some update from DHS?Because it doesn’t seem to affect the supply chain decisions being made by brands.If it is against regulations, I’m confused where people think all the CBN products are being supplied from?There were a few CA CBN brands and manufacturers producing it via physical methods (heat, aging, etc.) pre-2018.Almost every edible brand today has a “sleep” product with CBN in it, not to mention the inhalable products that proliferate the market.There wasn’t a sudden shift in THC degradation technology and manufacturing.Yet, it seems like most brands have been utilizing synthetically manufactured ingredients and bringing them into the regulated supply chain with little to no recourse. Can anyone connect the dots for me?

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  • Jake King

    Cannabis Industry Executive - Over 15 Years of Experience in Driving Growth & Innovation

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    In La Mesa, the city next to where I live in San Diego County, they enforce a water and food ban at dispensaries.You cannot freely provide water for customers in 90+ degree heat waiting outside in line.The area is patrolled often to enforce the ban, with several retailers being concentrated in a few commercial areas making it easier. I’ve searched through all the documentation with the city trying to locate any information regarding their policy, but can’t find anything.I’m guessing they’re finding inspiration from Georgia’s voting laws, but how is this allowed in California?I’ve never seen this before, or at least being actively enforced.Does anyone else deal with this type of absurd law enforcement behavior when it comes to free water for seniors, etc. at retailers?Or something similar?I’m interested in learning more about other consumer-focused retaliatory and punitive measures local authorities are taking in response to cannabis retailers legally opening in areas they seemingly aren’t wanted.

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  • Jake King

    Cannabis Industry Executive - Over 15 Years of Experience in Driving Growth & Innovation

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    Apple and Single Malt Scotch have at least one thing in common that cannabis vapor products almost universally lack.Expectations for experience.The cannabis equivalent to drinking expensive Scotch from a plastic bottle through a used straw?$30 < live resin and rosin cartridges used with < $10 random voltage batteriesThey're both unintended and incredibly compromised overall experiences, but still effectively accomplish their fundamental psychotropic functions.Batteries are too often an afterthought, when they should be at the core of each brand's vaping experience.Variable Voltage ≠ Precision VoltageWithout precise control over the temperature and voltage of a vaporization product, it often creates an overheated and soured, or burnt, foul flavor.It ends up as a game of chance played with your throat and lungs.The means of consumption is far less crucial to its overall experience—so why don't you see this sort of common deviation with people enjoying Scotch?How important is it for a brand to manage and control the user experience for their product?What easily incorporated options are available for cannabis vape brands to improve their users' experiences?

    Powering Vapor User Experiences: Battery Problems Jake King on LinkedIn
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  • Jake King

    Cannabis Industry Executive - Over 15 Years of Experience in Driving Growth & Innovation

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    If you want to build an industry of good actors, you have to legitimize their existence.Otherwise, bad actors and bad products prevail. (Source: Alcohol Prohibition)With that in mind, what are the predicted outcomes from federal regulation for cannabis and all cannabinoid derivatives?This topic has been covered and hypothesized in countless ways already, in one form or another. I'm not sure, though, if any single piece of content has addressed as many points as possible, even if only briefly.Regardless, I’ve been casually building a list of the effects legalization would foreseeably have, and thought there may be unique insights I may have subtly or boldly missed.1. Increase in federal tax dollars. For regulation, research, treatment, public education, employment training programs, manufacturing oversight, etc.2. Reduction of alcohol related incidents. 3. Legitimization of the public health argument for banning all synthetics for recreational use (i.e. products manufactured by usage of acetylation, acids, chemical reactants, etc. for non-pharmaceutical purposes). 4. Improved accountability infrastructure re: minimizing potential distribution to children.5. Reduction of cannabis associated crime.6. Stoppage of cannabis related arrests and release of existing prisoners (over time, and some states will balk). 7. Better defined and more predictable internal market dynamics, for better or worse. 8. Consumer economic, quality, and safety benefits.9. Increased industry-wide productivity and efficiency.10. Market expansion opportunity for craft producers and manufacturing consolidation for MSOs.11. Trade union incorporation and development of industry employment standards. 12. Proliferation of peer review and product development research.13. Industry-wide capital investment influx—rapid extant expansion, major new stakeholders, eCommerce retailers, etc.14. Exponential increase in marketing and cultural engagement activity through all forms of media.15. Overwhelming celebrity involvement surge. 16. Market entry by mainstream CPG players (P&G, J&J, etc.), pharmaceutical companies, big Ag, retailers, and national distributors.17. Intellectual property protection utilization and enforcement. 18. Increased use of legal system for conflict resolution.19. Increased legislative lobbying and intermixing of corporate and government interests.20. Starting point for global legalization transition legitimacy.*For teen use and general addiction rates, data will have to more readily define current and predict future trends.What would you change?

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Jake King on LinkedIn: &quot;Aged to perfection&quot; are words that are almost never heard in the cannabis… (31)

Jake King on LinkedIn: &quot;Aged to perfection&quot; are words that are almost never heard in the cannabis… (32)

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Jake King on LinkedIn: &quot;Aged to perfection&quot; are words that are almost never heard in the cannabis… (2024)

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