As the July 1 regulations had most California cannabis companies scrambling to meet compliance standards for cannabis products, two companies implemented the best practices they had been planning since January 1 and are now dominating the California cannabis industry.
Headset, a real-time data source for the cannabis industry released their Insights Report where Caliva and Papa & Barkley are creeping up to the top, holding 50 top-10 rankings across the state of California.
Caliva is leading in the flower, pre-roll and vape categories, proudly showcasing information about the testing standards completed for phase II compliance in California. The San Jose based retailer offers some of the industry’s finest pre-rolls, including “House Doobies” and Dogwalkers, and Toasties, rolled into the Caliva Collection.
By passing the California cannabis standards that came into effect July 1, in regards to packaging, testing, labeling, using child- and tamper-proof technology, and using prominent wording on labeling, Caliva rose to the top.
“We started preparing for July 1 regulations in earnest by January 1st. It wasn’t easy,” says Dennis O’Malley, CEO of Caliva. “We cycled through a couple different testing labs until we felt confident we found the best.”
From the consumer perspective, it was the trust that customers feel in the Caliva experience. “Trust means providing a pristinely compliant product that does what it claims to do every time,” says O’Malley, “At Caliva, we are obsessed about delivering the products the consumers want in the manner and channel of where and how they would like to purchase.”
The Caliva Collection is an excellent example of the best practices in packaging, labeling, and engaging the customer experience.
Topical and Tincture Trailblazers
Papa & Barkley is dominating the California cannabis industry in the way of cannabis tinctures and topicals. Their strategies began early with an “all hands on deck” approach to the changing packaging and labeling regulations. In the ever-changing industry, they never see their job as complete, “We are currently working on flexible on-demand packaging systems in anticipation of more regulation changes,” says Kimberly Dillon, CMO.
Of their success in topicals, Dillon attributes ease of use and a demand for non-psychoactive products; “Topicals are an easy introduction to use as a wellness product,” Dillon says.
Providing products ranging from balms to patches, to body oils, to body soaks under the Releaf brand, Papa & Barkley provides clear labeling on both their products and on their website. Tinctures and capsules allow oral ingestion for those who are looking to use cannabis without smoking or vaping.
When Preparation Meets Opportunity
It required a strong investment to get cannabis products up to snuff for California’s regulations. “We did not predict the large impact that the July 1 regulations would have on the industry,” says Caliva’s O’Malley, “We took our lumps in Q1 of this year,” in preparation for the July 1 regulations.
For Papa & Berkley, the process is continuously evolving as they come out with new product lines and anticipate new regulation changes, demonstrating the need to be nimble in the industry.
Both companies are seeing new opportunities emerge and are working those into their strategies. “Products need to fit into consumers’ daily lives and for the vast majority of the new cannabis consumer, there needs to be micro-dosed options,” says O’Malley. Caliva plans to release products marketed as “fun for you”, “good for you”, and “relief for you” to help consumers get their best cannabis experience.
For Papa & Berkley, it’s all about helping people use tinctures and topicals to explore the vast array of products and medical cannabis therapies available to people. “Some portion of the [new user] cannabis cohort will graduate into other form factors and use cases,” says Dillon. The company plans to expand into new product lines under the Releaf brand, including Whole Plant CBD products that will allow those who aren’t in legal states to access the benefits of their award-winning products.
As new companies emerge, and existing companies merge to pool resources for compliance regulations that are ever-changing, Caliva and Papa & Berkley serve as excellent models of the way for cannabis product best practices in California and across the industry.