When I first saw the Dart, a sleek, black vape no larger than a USB drive, I had to learn more.
My roommate had been brandishing his new vape around the house, and when I gave it a try, I could see why he liked it so much.
It was compact and discreet, and it hit smoothly and efficiently.
I noticed the words “Seed & Smith” on the side, and just a few emails and a week later I found myself walking into the Seed & Smith dispensary.
What at first might look like a basic dispensary turned out to be a fully vertically-integrated craft cannabis facility.
It’s indicative of the craft cannabis movement, which, similar to craft beer, is produced organically and lovingly.
I spent most of the day with Seed & Smith Community Outreach Director Robbie Wroblewski, who offered to take me on a tour of the facility.
I was surprised to find out this wasn’t a special insider tour, but rather something that anybody off the street can do – for free, at that.
Similar to the craft brewery experience, Seed & Smith is one of the few grow facilities that allows consumers an inside look into their operations.
“For a lot of us,” Wroblewski explained, “[cannabis] has been around for a long time, and we’re so used to it that we don’t realize that we have to have a good system to get this information out to the public. It was all born from that idea, that we wanted to make sure that people who were coming here got the right information. That way, we could turn them into informed citizens when they want to come and pick up some quality cannabis.”
Hence, Seed & Smith began offering tours.
While people in the industry might know the processes and the technology that go into producing cannabis, the newcomer is likely not so familiar.
But it isn’t just the amateurs who partake in these tours.
“Our typical patron of the tour is going to be somebody that is coming from out of state,” Wroblewski continued. “We’ve had a number of bachelor parties … We’ve had a number of home growers … Some people come out [to Colorado] and they haven’t smoked weed since the 60s and they’re really interested in it … And we even have connoisseurs that come in, and I tend to like that challenge of somebody who really knows the backdrop of what goes into making quality products.”
While Seed & Smith’s dedication to education is undoubtedly important, the company is much more than a tour service.
Their all-in-one facility grows both recreational and medical flower, processes cannabis oils and edibles, wholesales to dispensaries in Colorado, and sells directly to the consumer.
At Seed & Smith, you’ll find pretty much everything you’d find at your major craft brewery – besides a place to consume on-site, but even that might be on the horizon.
Wroblewski cites diverse perspectives as the key to Seed & Smith’s success.
“We have people in our company that don’t necessarily have a background in cannabis. They don’t necessarily even consume cannabis, so they are bringing in knowledge that comes from other industries that is only going to help us with our best practices, that’s only going to help us expand our frontier.”
While I spent the day with Wroblewski, it wasn’t long until our conversation shifted toward the Dart.
Like me, Wroblewski also fell in love with the Dart at first sight.
At a concert, a colleague of his revealed a prototype and he tried it out.
“It was a home run for me, immediately,” he expressed.
But they knew the vape market wouldn’t be easy to crack, with both plenty of competitors and the recent “vaping crisis.”
To combat this, the team set out to make the most high-quality product that they could.
“We wanted it to be discreet, easy to use. When you pack a bowl, all you do is flick your Bic and you’re good to go. I want it that easy. I don’t want to have to deal with temperatures. I don’t want to have to deal with apps and make it play music while I’m smoking,” Wroblewski explained.
But even more important than ease-of-use was the quality of the product.
“The last thing is the product that’s going in it. Distillate gets a pretty bad name because a lot of people in the past have used less than quality cannabis to make their distillate… Because of that, we started looking at our practices with our distillate… The terpenes in our distillate are all cannabis, and we only do our cannabis. We’ve already set our strict standards for what we’re putting into this device and then we’re only improving upon that.”
Seed & Smith’s strategy around the Dart echoes their wider philosophy.
From my experience, the company is built on two major pillars: making cannabis approachable and high-quality.
Really, it’s these aspects that have built the craft cannabis industry into what it is.
The passion for cannabis is emblematic in Wroblewski’s words.
“It’s been like watching something grow, watching a kid grow. Eight years ago, it was all basement mentality. We thought we had it all figured out when we were in our basements, growing in tents, trying to keep the stink down. There was no branding, there was no marketing. You either grew good cannabis and people talked about it, or you failed… And the one reason I got locked in [at Seed & Smith] was because of the foundation that they want to set with the community and their education. That was why I chose to come here… It’s been an amazing ride, and I’m excited to see what else we have in store for it.”