From preroll flights to new collaborations to double-barrel vape pens …
While we’re always basically traversing this vast commonwealth to visit grows and dispensaries to ascertain what is hot on the product horizon, that task was made much easier at the Bay State’s first Flower Expo, held for cannabis industry folks at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield this week. As CEO Jason Bello told us ahead of the trade show, he set out to make it “a one-stop shop,” where buyers and sellers and cannabis media people can “see more dispensaries in two days than [you’d otherwise] probably see in a whole year.”
We also have a symphony of prerolls to report back on as well as interviews with more than a dozen companies producing some of the best green and most exciting products. In the meantime, here are 10 loose trends we spotted between bong hits (and we also dumped our photo roll here).
Flights and Bundles
On one hand, there’s nothing new about multipacks. On the other hand, we are seeing increasingly clever approaches that would have been inconceivable back in the medical-only days when most products of all names and strains looked the same. One standout is the Doob Cube from No.9 Collection. A sleek black brick stuffed with 14 full-gram prerolls, it makes for a fantastic house-warming present or weekend activity, with a flight featuring four rotating cultivars spanning the indica-sativa gamut and likely including the Raspberry Parfait they’ve perfected.
New Shades Of Whitelabeling
For those unfamiliar with the term, whitelabeling is basically when one company produces and manufactures a product and then slaps the name of another brand on the package. There’s nothing nefarious about it, rather it’s business as usual (and if you look closely at the label, you can always trace it back to the origin). But now we’re seeing more brands that basically curate product lines by partnering with different cultivators on specific drops, and putting the names of all the parties involved in big bold letters on the packaging, rather than just in fine print. We’re especially impressed with Fourteen Counties Craft Cannabis, who aim to ultimately co-brand with growers statewide from Berkshire to Barnstable County. (Check out our interview with them here).
Local Celebrity Products
Big-name celeb lines can be cool, but we really love seeing more local creatives intersect with the industry. One killer collaboration we learned about comes from the Uxbridge-based Regenerative, which linked with the Marshfield reggae rock band the Elovaters for their Defy Gravity preroll. In a slightly similar approach, the team at Highsman tailors its sports and wellness-angled strain names for each of the six states they are in, like Gelatti Edelmintz in Mass.
More Top-Shelf Gummies
Lovers of elite gummies are in luck, with new all-natural bites showing up regularly and more companies using hash rosin with rocking results. The big news this week is the launch of Pax gummies, with the former all-tech outfit inching yet another step into product development via Heirloom Peach, Wild Strawberry, and Summer Mango vegan and gluten-free goodness free of all artificial stuff.
Plus An Emerging Middle Tier Of Gummy
While the top shelf is filling up, and the bottom is going for as low as five-dollars for 100mg (we have a piece on that phenomenon coming out soon, wowsers), some companies are also now seeking a middle ground. Think something in the $15 to $20 range with some artificial additives but nothing that’s going to knot up your tummy too badly. This is just something that people mentioned in passing, but we’ll be sure to explore it further if the trend develops.
Live Resin and Rosin Pens
This one is obvious and has shown up in other trend roundups we’ve done, but it’s nevertheless worth mentioning that there have never been so many glorious live concentrate carts on the market. There are too many to mention, but in the next few days we look forward to fiddling with a Double Krush Live Resin disposable from Nature’s Heritage and a Critical Neville Haze cart from Fine Fettle.
The Zenco Flow looks like a simple water glass, but really it’s the best invention since the flying skateboard. This “automatic filling, instant heat-up, dishwasher safe glass” is compatible with most 510 thread cartridges or can be used with ground flower or concentrates. Most importantly, it’s a rare gimmicky crowd pleaser that you’ll nonetheless use again and again.
This isn’t really a trend since it’s not happening in Mass yet (that we know of at least), but there is definitely chatter about the potential of processing cannabis using R134a as a solvent. Already being done in California, the method is reportedly useful for capturing the full flavor and punch of the plant. Even with its relative low cost and efficiency though, tetrafluoroethane won’t be replacing butane, ethanol, or CO2 in Mass or anyplace else soon due to minimal research on safety to date and various federal, state, and local hydrofluorocarbon regulations that could make widespread adoption difficult. Still, people are talking, and with the exponential pace that things move in this industry, new trends can take hold overnight if there’s enough will and demand.
Double Barrel Action
What’s better than pulling on one vape cartridge at a time? You guessed it—pulling on a pair. There are a few of these contraptions coming out, and while there are slight differences between them they’re all quite holster-worthy. Cookies has a dual-chamber vape dropping that will allow you to switch between strains, while we also spotted something called the Blend Pen by Commonwealth Alternative Care that allows you to toggle or blend two simultaneously. Just imagine the possibilities.
More Social Consumption
At this point, readers who don’t work in the industry are probably wondering how it was possible for this kind of event to go down, with cultivators and dispensaries handing out samples. The answer is that the Cannabis Control Commission sanctioned the Flower Expo on account of it being controlled, almost exclusively for licensed stakeholders, and feasible under existing gifting laws. I’ll also add that it was more of a professional environment than a party. The point is, it was a step in a mature direction, and a useful demonstration of successful moderation for state regulators to cite in writing rules that govern social consumption.