Cartridges and Craftsmanship
When a Cartridge is More Than Just a Cartridge.
It is known that I’m a ‘flower child’ am not the largest fan of cartridges. I am, however, fan of craftsmanship. Creating a high-quality cartridge takes a terpene-rich cannabis joined with the art and skill of masterful extractors. In the case of cartridges using Live Resin, there’s a very intense harvest in between.
My friends at 54 Green Acres teamed up with Chalice Farms, Tozmoz location (Tozmoz) to create four Elysium Fields Black Label Cartridges based on their award-winning cannabis. Instead of using distillate oil from trim, etc. the process used to create the Elysium Fields cartridges uses Live Resin, which requires an exacting process to preserve some of the most volatile terpenes and cannabinoids found in the live plant. Such an exacting process requires a high amount of commitment and investment for the farms.
Vin Deschamps, of 54 Green Acres Farm, was looking for someone to partner with who understood those processes intimately well. He didn’t want to entrust his organically-grown flower to just anyone. Vin and his team have spent years nurturing the soil, and ultimately the cannabis, at 54 Green Acres. Creating a good cartridge that preserves the taste of his flower was key to trying to branch out. It was also going to take finding the right company to work with.
“Partnerships are about win-win relationships, think marriage, and should be governed by core values; ours are integrity, fairness, and communication. I’ve spent time with the leadership at Chalice Farms as well as Joel [Klobas] at Tozmoz, now a part of Chalice Farms, and they have demonstrated that they share our core values.”
I had the chance to talk to Joel Klobas, co-founder of Tozmoz, about the Elysium Fields Black Label cartridge. “We try to deliver the best product using a hydrocarbon process. We work with the farms (our own and our exclusive partner farms) to create a process that retains as many terpenes as possible from the plant, and have been successful at retaining those that are the first to go during the dying process.”
Part of that terpene loss prevention takes place on-site during harvest. Vin’s team at 54 Green Acres set up a dis-assembly line for the plants to ensure the shortest time possible between the plant’s time in the ground and its new home in the freezer. Vin’s team members cut down and then bucked the cannabis (a process separates flower from stem and water leaves) before it was ultimately vacuum-sealed and placed in an on-site -10 degree freezer.
All of this in under one hour.
Refrigeration is key, and no one knows that better than Joel.
Before cannabis, Joel’s background was in commercial and industrial refrigeration. His passion for cannabis started his path into the industry with grow rooms over a decade ago. He eventually expanded into extraction as a way to deal with all of the trim produced by multiple indoor grows. Tozmoz was one of the first cannabis processors to be licensed in the state of Oregon. Joel has also worked closely with manufacturers, and his facility has worked with MRX to assist in development of some of their CO2 line.
For Joel, extraction is an extension of refrigeration and is an easier implementation of his commercial and industrial refrigeration experience. He has used his experience to ensure that as many of the terpenes are expressed in his extracts as possible. “The gassy terps are the first to leave, but understand how to work that delicate balance to maintain the most volatile terpenes.”
The diligence of the teams can be tasted most easily in the Green Dragon cartridge, which maintains the gassy notes of the 54 Green Acres favorite. In all, the partnership between 54 Green Acres, Tozmoz, and Chalice has brought 4 different cartridges to the Oregon Market: Green Dragon, Hindu Kush, Sundae Driver, and Huckleberry Diesel. The diligence and craftsmanship of the two teams pays off — the cartridges reflect the flavoring of the flower.
Vin believes that for small, craft-minded farms like 54 Green Acres, finding the appropriate partner to create extraction is an important facet of the business. He told me, “When you partner for success you need to think win-win. You need to know what motivates each partner because unplanned stuff happens; aligning on core values as we did with Chalice Farms will get you through most anything.”
Performance-wise the cartridges are great — no clogging or leaking, and the flavor stays stable throughout the cartridge experience. Each of the cartridges is reflective of the strains, and have pleasing effects without leaving an overly-oily aftertaste. Even the packaging is made with care — the terpenes are fully tested and listed on the side.
It’s clear how much everyone involved in the production of these cartridges loves what they do.
The thing I’ve learned for sure is: not all cartridges are made the same. If you’re in Oregon, stop by a Chalice store and give the Elysium Field cartridges that use 54 Green Acres flower a try. If you’re not, try and seek out craft, organic farms that form long-term partnerships with craft extractors!