The Green Market Report recently interviewed Geoff Doran, Founder and CEO of Dogma Cannabis. This interview was condensed and edited for publication.
Green Market Report Executive Editor Debra Borchardt:
We recently were lucky enough to try the new Kief product from Dogma Cannabis and it was fairly impressive. I think a lot of people don’t quite get the whole Kief thing. So maybe you can walk me through the thought process on why you guys chose to include that product as a part of Dogma, and then do you see any kind of learning curve on that?
Dogma Founder/CEO Geoff Doran:
Yeah, a great question, because it’s one of those byproducts that was popular in the black market days. You would see just actual people selling just straight-up Kief. It’s kind of like leaves and trim back in the day, people used to just kind of throw that stuff away and it’s like, well, you’re throwing away dollars of products that can actually be still used. So in the early days, we would see these products flying off the shelf, and then when things became legal, you didn’t see it out there anymore. There are a couple of producers that have kind of included it into an infusion process of just infusing it with flower and boosting up the potency. What we wanted to do with King Kief is just how do we take a concept that’s out there, but how do we put an innovative spin on it that, can kind of set us apart from the rest of the pack.
So Kief kind of, it kept popping up and we want to do the infused flower pre-rolls but we thought, a good way to kind of make our mark in the industry is with an innovative way to kind of keep it stored. A way to keep it from smashing the flower in the actual package so that’s when the idea came up to keep the Kief in a separated unit that attaches to the lid of the cannabis flower jar. Trichomes are delicate and then you degrade the flower and when that happens, you’re smashing those trichomes and you lose potency and taste.
So it was really an aha moment. What if we keep this separate to keep it fresh? It’s a new product, an innovative spin on Kief that provides that option to the customer that kind of roll your own kind of thought process. We’ve really hit the ground running because now you have a product that you have someone that can say, okay, I’m going to go to this concert and I want kind of an easy night and so you can just smoke the flower. Then you can look at it a different way and say, it’s Friday and I want to get really stoned, so let’s add that Kief. Normally we try to average that out about 50% potency THC-wise. Then you can really bump up the night with whether you add it to a bowl, bong, your joints.
Green Market Report:
It definitely is almost turbocharging the cannabis if you will.
One hundred percent, it’s putting gasoline on the fire. It’s great. It’s what legacy consumers want because that’s what we’re really going for is people that are not brand new consumers, brand new consumers wouldn’t even necessarily know what Kief is. This is for somebody who sees it. Legacy’s the keyword. It’s the legacy consumer product for sure.
Green Market Report:
Well and I wouldn’t make the argument that it isn’t even just legacy, but I think it’s also market-driven, so like in a market that doesn’t have access to a lot of these products say in the Northeast, I think that there could be some kind of level of educating the consumer in some of these newer markets. I think Californians know what this is and where to go and buy it and such, but I think it’ll be interesting as hopefully, you branch out into other states that it might be a little bit of an educational learning curve for clients.
I feel like that’s the other way to onboard for any cannabis brand right now. You can’t just have the legacy consumers, right. You have to get new consumers and the only way to do that is by education. So I think the more we can educate people on just what even is Kief, get their excitement levels up, and then we can actually get new customers, potentially even new cannabis customers, and create new fans.
Green Market Report:
Geoff, what was the process that led you to have this idea to have the little cup. It almost feels like a little K cup with the cannabis container. I agree with you that it’s good to keep it separate exactly from what you said, choosing your level of buzz, if you will, once you had this aha moment of this separate container, how did you go through creating it? I mean, it seems like it’s such a unique design.
We looked at different sizes and had to kind of shave a little bit to make sure it fits into our specific vehicle, which is about a two-ounce bottle. So we had to make sure the cap, both the caps were going to be able to fit them. So I had to do a little bit of sizing on that to make sure it-
Then the next step was when the provisional patent came along. There’s a lot of copying going on in the cannabis industry, and so we’ve learned too many times that we’d better get this patent up. So we got the provisional patent, probably about five months ago. We’re wrapping up the last tidbits to get the official patent on the packaging because it is a little harder obviously to patent cannabis. We were able to get the patent for the packaging and so the idea is as we go into other markets, whether we’re in a market or not, we would like to offer this idea as a way to monetize the design.
When we roll into other states, we want to expose people to different ways of looking at that flower, and that this is our way of like, Hey, check this out. This is something new that you can do with the byproduct of cannabis and here’s Kief and then this is a product that we kind of joined the two. Not all states will be on board though, from a regulation standpoint, California considers Kief in the flower zones, so we’re able to kind of combine those two and the same package just has to have two separate COAs. So that’s the regulation side of it. So some states might not be on board with that.
We’ve got to be very cautious when we enter new markets and just their regulations on how they consider Kief, is it a concentrate, or do they consider it flower?
Green Market Report:
That is a good point. So what is your plan to kind of get the word out about Dogma’s Kief?
We have a two-prong approach. I’m actually heading up to Oakland right now. We want to introduce it from just our angle of reaching out and what I call micro-influencers, and so the reason I’m heading up to Oakland right now is to set up what we’re all kind of trying to go for right now as small brands and medium-size brands is direct to consumer setups. We want to kind of control that messaging about the Kief product and have that message with the consumer.
It is a budtender product, it’s budtender education too, what it is to get them excited because we know from just from data that so many decisions are made once you’re at the front door of a dispensary or that you can be swayed, like 70% of decisions can be swayed. If a budtender kind of pushes you in one direction. So Kief is going to be one of those things too, a lot of budtender education, anytime we’re in a store and we’ll take it one store at a time to make sure they really understand what it is, what’s going on with it. And then it’s something exciting that they can share, so when they’re pointing at all the different flower brands, they can say, oh, and there’s also this, which is not a novelty. This is the real deal, this is something special. This is a quality premium cannabis club with this added Kief, give them more to talk about, more selling points, budtender education.
Green Market Report:
What about Hall Flowers, do you see those styles of conferences as an important part of your outreach? Like I think Outside Lands in San Francisco that concert had a special cannabis section. Do you think that that’s going to be also kind of the future for cannabis brands to get to kind of go direct to the consumer?
Absolutely. That DTC from an event standpoint is crucial for us as well. Matt was kind of mentioning, like showing the budtenders and educating the budtenders, we have to do that wisely choosing these events though, because there’s thousands of them. But the style of Hall of Flowers is just perfect for us because we can, not only meet with the consumer and show them our innovative product but it’s really focused on a buyer level as well. So we can kind of educate the buyer on our product, our brand and in turn, really get our foot in the door and then they have already seen the product, seen the innovation and then can train their customers and their budtenders as well.
They always say word of mouth is the best in advertising. So we want to wow the customer with innovation. So they go tell a friend and tell 20 friends and get that word out about Dogma cannabis.
Green Market Report:
Of course, Dogma’s known for its charitable contributions to shelter dogs. Is that’s still a big part of the company?
Absolutely. Yeah. We’re trying to innovate that process of educating the consumer about who we are and what we stand for. That conscious consumer, and also conscious company, but we included on our products, whether it’s a baseball card that I think I sent to you, that baseball card is just another way to kind of hand out at the budtender level of, Hey, here’s some adopt little dogs, we’re constantly giving portions of our, revenue to medical needs for dogs. And so that may be a consumer has a pet that needs a medical procedure and we’re going to try to step in and help out.
That’s a great way to engage even the budtenders because we can let them all know too that we don’t have just one shelter we work with. We work with shelters in Palm Springs, up north, down here. If a budtender, has a local shelter they like, we’d be happy for that month to go with them. So we always offer that to each shop, if you have something you like, then that way the budtender at the store can literally say, oh, I’m actually helping this shelter down the street and kind of get them to be a team player with us. And we all are helping the dogs together.