Wunsch: Different extract methods will result in different quality in vape cartridges. A lot of players are racing for the cheapest product with artificial flavorings that are saturating the vape cartridge market. For us, we’re differentiating on the total opposite side of the market in that we’re all extracted in-house, we’re sourcing the highest tier material at a higher cost, and thus making really quality outputs.
Young: It’s a crowded playing field. As in any type of industry where you’re manufacturing something, there are a lot of people who make the same thing. We could be either the least expensive out there – which we figured would be a crowded space once you bring in national players – or be one of the few focused on top quality inputs and products. That’s really the process that Leon has developed.
” We have a slow-growth model where we don’t want to get worse when we get faster.
Wunsch: It’s a combination of high quality inputs and optimizing the extraction process. 1% is a large difference in quality to both the processors and the patients. We have a culture of paying attention to all the small details and making adjustments based on those findings. It’s a true scientific process. We have a slow-growth model where we don’t want to get worse when we get faster.
There are so many inexperienced players in the space because the barriers to entry were so low. Anyone with $2,500 that lived in Oklahoma could get a license, but that didn’t mean you would do well. I think there are a lot of people who are just checking the boxes and getting the job done, but not creating the best product.
GCV: How big is your operation?
Wunsch: We have about 2,000 sqft in the lab and 3 part-time employees, and I am the only full-time employee. In the next quarter we’ll probably have another full-time employee, but the team is less than five right now. But it honestly doesn’t take a lot of people. While the extractors are running we can do something else, and we can stack the flow with timers and all of these things to get the most out of every hour. We don’t need to monitor the extractor – it’s a set it and forget it machine and it makes adjustments in real time.
” We want this to be slow, dial in each product and have it be the best it could possibly be.
Young: Our thought is, in any business you need to find the right employees. It’s not yet like the tech industry where there’s a pool of employees. Part of our slow-growth mindset is to train people along the way to do every task in the most efficient way possible in regards to the space and resources we’re have. It’s the same reason we only have three products right now instead of blasting out with ten full product lines. We want this to be slow, dial in each product and have it be the best it could possibly be.
I think we’ll employ five to ten people over time, but we thought this would be the best thing to do since we’re learning as we go, too. There’s a lot to manage. All the record-keeping that you have to do, the different type of insurance, and so there’s a lot to do to make sure that we’re doing everything correctly and above board while keeping the quality that we want.
We applied for our license as soon as the state launched its program, but we were in a holding pattern for a year with the city of Tulsa. While we’ve had our license for a long time, we’ve really just been creating products since February.