Breaking down cannabis stigma was a huge reason behind Daikoku. So obviously, Stigma Grow caught my attention with their name. Then they won my heart with fantastic products. Best part? They’re a family-owned, Alberta grown craft cultivator.
Mimi Mentions: Dude, I am loud. So these audio clips have been edited so that the volume is pretty equalized throughout the clip (read: I lowered my own volume by 20 decibels or so). That being said, I’m new at audio stuff so it might sound a bit off. Thanks for understanding!
Hello Travis! Tell me about what you do at Stigma… and what is Stigma [Grow]!
So I am the founder, and president of Stigma Grow. We’re also a publicly-traded company under Cannadabis Canada. That’s a pubco that houses several of our arms or our initiatives that we’ve taken in the past three or four years now. Our main business is Stigma Grow. Yeah, that’s what we want to talk about today and get some education and some information on our hands!
Absolutely! And that’s one of the things that, as an Edmonton retailer, is really cool: you guys are grown in Alberta. So can you tell me what it’s like growing weed in Alberta?
Haha! Well. It’s a lot different than making oil in Alberta, I guess (Mimi laughs). Like we’re all used to! We really had to play catch up, here in Alberta because whenfelt that we started this venture 5 years ago, Alberta was a main hub for cannabis activities but it wasn’t really produced here. We wanted to change that going forward, and I think we placed ourselves really well in doing so. Not so much in the growing, but in the concentrate space.
Well yeah, and that’s kind of why I laughed when you said it was different than oil. Because you guys are very unique! Let’s start with your concentrates, cause that’s what you talked about. And one of your concentrates, one of my favourite concentrates that you produce, is your SHATTER. Because your shatter is the first shatter that I have seen in [the regulated market in] Alberta that is actually produced as a sheet. Now the thing about your shatter is that it doesn’t list terpenes. Why is that?
We’ve gone over our representations of our concentrates, and we really focus on terpenes in the other forms – in our live resin, in our badders. We really try to preserve them in those formats. When you get into shatter, and when you produce it in a sheet, you don’t get to save any of those tasty terpenes. You can save a lot of them, but not all of them. So we focused on saving the terpenes in our other products because we could and we can. You’ve probably noticed that our badders are maybe not as dry as other people’s badders are (M: No, there’s nice terp juice that’s nice and golden.) It is! And that’s where we really like that terpene flavour in a lot of our badders and our caviars going forward. And our shatter, we really wanted it to be a truly shelf-stable, tasty as it possibly can, you know call it “legacy market shatter” – you know? We produce it to the original… we produce it in the original…. the same fashion that everyone’s been doing it, upcoming 10 years, and we just brought it to market, as it should be. Priced accordingly, as it should be. And I think that’s our claim to fame on the Dab bods shatter: it really is a true representation of what should be in the market today.
“Terpenes do not survive the purification process involved in producing that glasslike BHO shatter consistency. If you find a shatter with high terpenes, they were likely added back in post-production.”Chad Hason, Stigma Grow
Which leads me to the Dab Bods question. Stigma hasn’t always been sold… Rather I should say: Products that are transformed by Stigma haven’t always been sold under “Stigma”. And now we’re seeing Dab Bods come into the market. And I always have to be careful when I say “Dab bods” to make sure I don’t accidentally say “Dad bods” because every single time I see the name, that’s what I think. And you actually have a reason for doing it that way.
We do! We wanted to develop a brand that was approachable. Something that was unique to what we developped at the price point and the product represented really well. Everyone ask Dad what he’s doing, and he’ll tell you. And that’s what our marketing team came up with and it really resonated with customers. With a quality you could trust, and trust long term, without having that price point in there. You’re still guessing “Should I buy it from the illicit market? Or should I be buying from the legal market?” And we’ve taken that guesswork out of it with an approachable brand. And we look forward to expanding that brand and doing so much more with it. So look forward to seeing more from it!
“They’re both unassumingly strong and reliable. They both appreciate a good deal and believe that high-quality doesn’t have to be flashy. And when it comes to trying or learning about something new – who better to hear about it from than your dad? And in both cases, being a little overweight is a good thing!”Chad Hason, Stigma Grow
That is so cool. And going back to how you create your concentrates. Something that Stigma does, that I haven’t seen anyone else do, is you choose to extract using Butane. So can you tell us a little bit more about your BHO and your process, and why you chose butane as opposed to the more, I guess pervasive CO2 extraction?
We’ve chosen Hydrocarbon extraction process simply for the fact that we’re able to preserve a lot of the other cannabinoids in our products. We really, when we go into the live resin category, that’s the only true way of doing it. (You can process live resin in other ways.) We keep a lot of the terpene profiles intact, we keep a lot of the cannabinoids that as much as we possibly can. When we produce it in our live resin vape carts, we’re not mixing or changing any of the format, or using MCT oil or any other carriers. We’re producing a true live resin product in a vape cart style that has no additives, no cutting agents. And we’re able to do that through our butane system. Well, butane/propane mix. All the other systems we’ve tried, we weren’t able to get that level of quality that we strive towards, that we wanted. So we felt this was the best direction to go.
So we’ve done a lot of extensive testing, products, units, extraction methodology. And we’ve spent quite a few years doing that! And we’ve come up with a product that we feel really what was being consumed currently in the legacy market. We just wanted to transfer that over to the legal market and make happy customers! We don’t want to have to try to get everyone trying something new every five minutes. If there are people happy with what they’ve got, and we can bring it to them at a reasonable price that’s all we’re looking to do. This market exists today, you know? It’s not something that’s new. We just need to make sure that customers are educated on the products that are on the legal market and we’re making products that they want to see. That’s what we’re all about. It’s not up to me, and what I want to consume. It’s about what the consumer wants to have in their pockets.
“It provides some of the purest and most potent products, and provides us with an amazing playground in which to flex our creative muscles.”Stigma Grow, Chad Hason
And just to clarify for everybody who may not be aware of BHO processes, even though butane is used, the final product is completely free of all hydrocarbons, correct?
*We laugh ruefully* Yes, it is.
(I know it’s a silly question! But it’s one of those things that we do need to get ahead of.)
No! It’s a great question. It’s something that Health Canada has regulated. We have our own internal regulations far supersede anything Health Canada has set out there for residuals limits. We produce a safe product. At the end of the day, we make sure my family would consume it, I would consume it, um. You know anybody that I know, friends and close personal friends. We push the product. That’s something that we’ve always been concerned about, the health and safety the consumer and the people around us. Our Quality control team is one of the best in the world and we feel very strongly about that. So when we see residual solvents of 5000 PPM allowed in Health Canada regulations, we kind of giggle and laugh cause you know, maybe that’s a little high. We strive to be below 100 PPM. (That’s amazing. So PPM being Parts per Million?) Parts per Million, yes. And we succeed at that! It’s not an unachievable goal.
And let’s be honest, that’s why your shatter looks the way it does.
That is the why! It’s a good quality product, yes, it really is. And it’s the reason why we weren’t first to market on the shatter. We made sure we had everything figured out for commercial products. It’s not always just as easy as saying “We’ll just make that in quantities of ten.” When you’re doing it in small batches, it’s quite easy to control. When you’re doing it on a commercial scale, you really have to step up the game all around to make sure that the safety of that product is there.
For sure. And one big thing – I mean, it’s literally your name – what you’re trying to do is crush the stigma around cannabis. Why is that so important for you?
It’s, you know, it’s very important in Alberta, we feel, as an Alberta producer and a born and raised Albertan. We found, and we always see negativities around cannabis use. You know, long-time oil patch people here, you know, we really see the negativity or the stigma around cannabis use. When we started down this venture, we found so many opportunities and so many great people that we just want to make sure that that gets out and the stigma around cannabis goes away. We want to crush that stigma. And that’s where we thought that was the most unique name for our company to be able to try and do that. It worked out kind of well – it’s very unique – but we do feel strongly that, I think that Albertans are changing. I think the views on cannabis use in Alberta is changing. You’re not having to hide in the closet any more, hide from friends and family at a party to have a puff off a joint. (I mean, you say that, but I still feel kind of ‘illegal’ whenever I’m walking down a street smoking.) I think most people do, right? We definitely focused on some of the more discreet products. We didn’t, we’re not just a cultivator. We decided to have more discretion with some of the products. Ie. the vapes, the shatters, the caviars and live resins that you can use into a vape pen or vaporizer of your choice. And it has that illusion of being a discreet product. You’re still smoking, you’re still getting the same high, still the same quality. But you can step outside, have a puff off your vape pen and get some sleep at night. Or instead of consuming alcohol, you take a puff off your vape pen or your vaporizer and go and have a good, enjoyable night with the family or friends.
I absolutely agree. But the first product I encountered were the Craft Cannons, and the Craft Cannons Plus, and I really miss those. Just saying! Just putting that out there.
They’re coming back with a vengeance! (Since the Interview, Stigma has released their Craft Candles product!)
YES! That is AMAZING news! I didn’t think we’d get that!
They’re coming back with the same potency levels, coming in 8 packs. So look forward to seeing those in the near future.”
(whispering but forgetting she has a mic on): “omg yes!” (louder) I may or may not be more of a flower than a cart girl. That being said, you mention you grow and produce and you produce things that you would like to consume. Which brings me to of course the question of “What’s your favourite product that you guys make?”
Our…. that’s a real good mix between our live res vape pen in our Zweet Inzanity (Mimi: ?) and our caviar. Our caviar is probably my favourite.
That being said, we have some Tranquil Elephantizer flower that’s coming to market *Mimi’s sharp intake of breath* that will be in our pre-rolls that will be to die for. *Mimi gasps* It’s just been a long time bringing the plant to where we want it to be, to have it on a commercial scale but it is unbelievable. *Mimi forgets she has a mic on, whispering “omg”* It’s an amazing indica.
So that’s my top three, for sure.
And that segues really well to my last question for you. Cause you called the [Tranquil Elephantizer ← …that’s not what I say in the audio clip] – what’s your stance on calling a flower ‘Sativa’ or calling a flower ‘Indica’, whole… debate?
Ummmm. That’s a tricky one.
I know. I try.
I have several opinions on that, I guess, depending on who’s growing it and how it’s been growing. I know a lot of sativas that are grown to age, or to full age, can act like an indica. When… and vice versa, you can have an indica act like a sativa if you’re harvesting early or if you’re growing it in different fashions. So, we really play on the trichome colouration, and really watch the milky trichome. We try and harvest… all of our live resins get harvested when they’re clear, all our flower gets harvested with about 20% amber and the rest being between a 50/50 of full milk. That’s kind of where our growing style lies. But we’ve played all the way harvesting flower at full clear trichomes and all the way to full amber and.. Seen the different effects all the way through. So that’s a really touchy one. I would say that if you want a good indica feel you know, you’re looking for a little bit, possibly in your vape pens or that, you want it a little more on the amber side of things, where if you’re looking at no colour remediation in the live res and a little more Sativa feel, you’ll want something that’s a little more clear. Not always is that the case…
It’s a good rule of thumb! A little bit like how indica and sativa can be a rule of thumb effectively.
Yeah, yeah, Exactly. 100%.