Processors can have LACY all to themselves with a five-year $300,000 licensing agreement and royalty program. Ongoing support, scientific development, marketing, access to trademarks, and consulting is all in included.

Vapes are Getting Smaller

When you already have a wallet and smartphone in your pocket, it feels like a hassle to carry around a vape pen as well. Los Angeles-based TMA Labs is the inventor of the Roach 1, billed as the smallest fully disposable vape cartridge in the world. With a height of less than 48 millimeters, it’s hard to argue.

“It’s supposed to be fun, and if it gets taken away at the club … whatever.” says CBDO and Cofounder Mark Hoashi. “Your weekender who comes to Vegas for a show doesn’t need $80 worth of weed. They just want to buy .3 grams and be done with it.” 

TMA Labs customizes cartridge shells based on design, color, shape and texture, which are especially attractive to brands looking to promote themselves. “If you want to make it look like you’re smoking out of a Christmas tree, we can do that too,” says Hoashi.

Cannabis with a Suntan

Studies have shown that in greenhouse settings, UVB exposure to plants can increase THC content by 30%. That information was shared by Emil Breza, co-founder and president of AgricUltra Advancements, a company that develops equipment to manipulate UVA and UVB rays in growhouses.

“It’s your secret and no one is going to know how you did it … No one can replicate it because only you know the recipe.”

Emil Breza, Co-Founder and President of AgricUltra Advancements

“We know this works because plants grown in very high altitudes, which get exposure to more UVA and UVB, tend to have higher THC concentrations,” says Breza.

The discovery isn’t new, but the affordability and advancement of LED technology is, opening the door for cannabis growers looking to create premium THC-enhanced versions of familiar strains. AgricUltra’s most advanced product is a high-performance four-channel light fixture, which can be customized for indoor conditions. Fine-tune the lights and discover the sweet spot.

“You can have a tailored cannabis profile that only your grow has,” explains Breza. “It’s your secret and no one is going to know how you did it. And if they want it, they have to come to you. No one can replicate it because only you know the recipe.”

High-Tech Cocktails

Major Market Trends: MJBizCon and the Future of Cannabis 1
(Courtesy of MJ Biz Con)

Kalvara just hit the shelves and is currently available in Las Vegas dispensaries, including partner Exhale. The product is advertised as the first cannabis cocktail, which is more-or-less accurate if you’re looking under the “ready-to-drink” category. “There’s a couple of other drinks on the market, but none with our technology,” says Nevada Brand Manager Tyson Burkett.

Each 2 oz. serving comes with 10mg of THC that’s suspended in nitrogen and instantly infused with the drink once the cap is turned. “It’s called sonic emulsification — that’s how we break the oil down,” explains Burkett. “That way, you don’t have to metabolize it. As soon as (the THC) hits your mouth, it’s applied orally.”

Kalvara comes in a citrus flavor, doesn’t have to be refrigerated, and appears to have an indefinite shelf life. The THC dosage is precise, making the product more consistent and reliable than say, your typical edible.

Grow Houses that Grow Vertically

The phrase “time is money” can apply to virtually any business. Well, space is money too. That’s why vertical hydroponic farming is becoming more attractive to grow and harvest operations.

“We sell turnkey systems for the cannabis side of things,” says Eric Levesque, co-owner and sales manager of ZipGrow. “We’ve been getting approximately 450-675 grams per square foot, compared to the industry average of 39.”

The company’s commercial vertical farming towers tend to be around eight feet high with enough room for 12 plants. After three weeks as a seedling, about an ounce-and-a-half can be harvested from each plant with a quick five-week turnaround.

“We were talking to a customer who is looking to get a 15,000-square foot building for a license he just got for 1,500 plants,” says Levesque. “We would be able to grow 2,400 plants in 500 square feet of growing area. So we’re really minimizing that space and we’re saving water.”

Feeling the Freeze

If you don’t have $300,000 laying around for LACY, freeze-drying is an option for extraction on a smaller scale. The process is already widely used for food and pharmaceuticals, but is now being discovered for cannabis—with results in a quick 24 hours.

“The marijuana industry is like the brave new world … There are a million ways to do things.”

Dan Neville, CEO of Harvest Right

“If you don’t use freeze-drying, you have to use [an alternative] drying process that takes seven days,” says Dan Neville, CEO of Harvest Right. “And during that process, you’re using heat, which destroys the material. You’re also letting mold, microbes and things like that grow. It compromises the product.”

Harvest Right produces freeze-drying equipment specifically designed for the cannabis industry. The units are “smart,” just press a button and you’ll hear a beep when it’s done. The company produces four models, ranging in price from $2,000 to $10,000, but can customize larger sizes.

“The marijuana industry is like the brave new world,” adds Neville. “There are a million ways to do things.”