Bridge West Consulting had an opportunity to speak with Josh Hindi, Owner of Dabble Extracts, an award winning cannabis concentrate company working with a wide variety of clients all over Colorado. They offer a selection of high quality pure concentrates for both medical and recreational marijuana. Dabble Extracts is always working to provide consumers with the most flavorful, most beautiful, and best tasting products on the market. We are proud to spotlight this cannabis entrepreneur!
How did you get the idea or concept for your business?
It was a long time ago! When I was in college in 2008 at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, I had a professor, Dr. Robert Melamede, Ph.D., who opened a publicly traded research firm based around cannabis. I attended a lot of his seminars, and I became really interested in the subject of cannabis.
In 2009, I started Caregiver Grow that eventually merged with a dispensary. This was in the early days of the cannabis industry. It didn’t end up working out, so I backed off the industry for a while. I actually ended up working for a large insurance company as a Claims Adjuster, but after a few years, I realized it wasn’t for me and decided to give cannabis another go. Around 2012 – 2013, I applied for my first medical cannabis license, and we got approved to open a marijuana infused products (MIP) facility.
What risks were involved with launching your business?
It was a risk to start a cannabis concentrate company during a time when extraction technologies barely existed. When I opened my facility, the initial goal for the team was to make edibles, but when we entered the scene with the edible lineup, patients responded, “Oh, you’re a Marijuana-Infused Product (MIP) facility and you’re making edibles, but are you guys making concentrates at all?” Wax and oil had just hit the scene, and dab rigs had just started to come out. Although heavy cannabis users were increasingly asking for concentrates, dabbing was pretty revolutionary at this time, even in Colorado and California. I started looking into how concentrates were made commercially, and it seemed incredibly dangerous. People were shoving cannabis into turkey basters, then flooding the basters full of butane, and pouring out what was essentially a giant ‘butane hash slurry.’ I knew there had to be a better way.
There were two closed loop extraction systems on the market at the time. However, since the concept of dabbing was so new, they weren’t being used to create cannabis concentrates. Regulators hadn’t even caught on to this aspect of the industry yet. I studied these systems and pushed to use them for cannabis, and they were the only viable technology I found that could really work to produce clean concentrates. I ended up working with my team to create and define our extraction processes on that equipment, even before it was mandated. Eventually, when closed loop extraction was mandated, we had a bit of a leg-up on the competition.
What different skillsets came into play to launch your business?
I was a business major in college, but once I got the business rolling, I knew the integral role that chemistry played. I was applying the principles of chemistry every single day. I ended up going back to school to retake college chemistry classes. I’m not a certified chemist, but understanding the science and applying it to the cannabis industry has helped immensely.
We leaned on our diverse business and chemical skills to narrow down and hone our extraction process. As an example, we evaluated different processes, such as the hydrocarbon process, from a deeper level. We understood that even though it makes a good product, it’s easy to leave hydrocarbons inside the product, and inhaling hydrocarbons is potentially dangerous for lung tissue, even at microscopic levels. Without our understanding of chemical processes and properties, we wouldn’t have ultimately landed on creating concentrates through a closed loop extraction system. Our quality level has driven us to success. Not only can a user taste the difference in our products due to our extraction methods, but our products have better effects on users in the long term.
What is unique about your business?
We got into the cannabis industry in the very early days, which gave us a unique perspective and propelled our strong drive to create top-of-the-line products for cannabis patients and recreational users. For example, when we first developed edibles, manufacturers and sellers weren’t dosing their products consistently, and there was no homogeneity testing. This meant that patients couldn’t count on getting the same effect every time. We were motivated to have products that people could consistently count on to treat their symptoms. Similarly, when we first started making concentrates, there was a lack of quality concentrates available and very little best practices or standard operating procedures. We were driven to produce the highest quality oil, wax, and shatter and therefore, we developed our own processes.
Years ago we applied for patents and this year we finally received the first process patent. At that time, the consumer base had limited access to cannabis education, and as a result many patients and customers were largely uneducated on quality cannabis. When I started the business, we were not only entering an untapped market, but also trying to educate our customers. We focused on the values of terpenes and cannabinoids, the risk of contaminated products (pesticides and heavy metals), and the effects of different methods of cannabis use on a person’s lymphatic system.
Dabble Extracts is also unique in that most of our team members have worked together for several years. Our leaders and staff members are all extremely motivated, and we share similar values, which likely contributes to their longevity with the business.
What advice would you give to a cannabis entrepreneur just starting out?
Make sure you have a solid business plan and that you’ve developed your niche.
Know where you want to go and be versatile. If you have your heart set on something, it might not always play out, so it’s vital to be able to pivot when necessary.
You always have to be prepared to overcome obstacles, as change is the only consistent aspect in the cannabis industry, and regulatory updates frequently roll out.
Above all else, listen to your clientele and their feedback.
How does Dabble Extracts get involved in the community?
We donate Thanksgiving meals each year to those in need in our local communities. We also run a Christmas fundraiser each year to provide toys to families. Dabble Extracts also participates in 420 clean-up days to help maintain our beautiful local community. One of our most memorable charitable events was following Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Our team brought supplies to those who had lost their homes. We really enjoy getting involved in philanthropic events, whether it’s locally based or far-reaching.
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
I’m a big reader. I just started re-reading. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” and I love reading The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. I’m also an avid comic book fan.
We Can Help.
If you own a cannabis business or are thinking about starting a cannabis business, we’d like to help. As a partnership of highly skilled and seasoned cannabis industry consultants and advisors, Bridge West Consulting is ready to guide you through this exciting and challenging landscape. Feel free to reach out to us anytime to schedule a consultation.