Leading Innovations in Cannabis Vaporizer Technology with Michael Brosgart, the President of ACTIVE™

In this episode of Roots to Risk, hosts Eric Schneider and Isaac Bock sit down with Michael Brosgart, President of Active, formerly Advanced Vapor Devices (AVD).

Michael shares insights into the company’s evolution, their focus on operational efficiency and strategic growth, and the cutting-edge innovations in cannabis vaporizer technology.

Learn how Active is setting industry standards with their commitment to quality, reliability, and customer experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis professional or new to the industry, this episode offers valuable perspectives on the future of cannabis vaporization.

Transcript:

00:00 Eric Schneider
This is the Roots to Risk Podcast hosted by Eric Schneider, alongside Isaac Bach. Roots To Risk brings you insights, the latest stories, and long form discussions about the cannabis industry. You’ll hear interviews with industry leaders and their perspective on current and future trends, how they’ve built success and what challenges they have faced. Our goal is to facilitate candid conversations and provide informative content for the cannabis community at large. Let’s go. What’s going on, Isaac? How are we doing today?

00:31 Eric Schneider
Got another roots to risk on Deck Fired up. Great guest. Great guest on deck.

00:36 Isaac Bock
I’m excited this, this will be a good one. Definitely excited to get this one going and hear, hear what they have to say.

00:43 Eric Schneider
Absolutely. We got Michael Brokar is the president of Active, formerly a VD Advanced Vapor Devices. They’re globally diversified manufacturing distributor of cannabis vaporizer technology as president. He leads the company with a focus on operational efficiency, strategic growth, and fostering a culture that enhances both team performance and an incredible customer experience. Really excited for this one just to hear about their expertise in the vape category specifically, which obviously is a, is a product that continues to gain more and more market share each year.

01:25 Eric Schneider
You know, as the industry matures, obviously it’s a, it’s an easier, more convenient way of using the plant and just excited to hear how they grew a VD and now transferring to active. So we’ll get that story. And then also what’s in store for 2024.

01:44 Isaac Bock
Yeah, no, I’m excited. Always good to hear other people’s experience with the Rebrands since we’ve, we’ve been through it ourselves, so I’m excited to hear on that part. And we’ve always obviously had a good amount of experience in the vape category and space, so excited to hear more about their operation and how they view things.

02:04 Eric Schneider
Absolutely. Well, let’s bring ’em in. Hey Michael, how we doing today? Thanks for joining the Rooster Risk podcast.

02:11 Michael Brosgart
Ah, I’m doing great. Great to see you guys, Eric and Isaac, and delighted to be, to be here with you guys today. You’ve put out a bunch of incredible, incredible conversations with some real notable players in the industry. So I’m just, you know, I’m honored to, to have been invited to be on your guys’ podcast.

02:28 Eric Schneider
Absolutely. We got, we got another, we got another great guest on here, so really appreciate you jumping on with us and, and I know been some big shifts from a VD to active and, you know, going through a rebrand, we did that once ourselves and, and it was really the catalyst for our business and our organization. So, <affirmative>, I’m sure you guys are all super excited and we’d love to just learn more about what, what you all do at Active and the product offering that you have into the space and, and also just how you got into the cannabis industry as well.

03:01 Michael Brosgart
Yeah, totally. I guess I’ll take the, the brand evolution question first, and yes, it was, it’s been a ton of work <laugh> in the last four or five, six months. You know, we’ve just been working tirelessly on the new brand and how we’re gonna communicate that to the industry and everything that, that goes along with the rebrand. But, you know, very excited with how it all rolled out. And we’ve just received such incredible, just I think, feedback from the industry, from our clients, from from partners.

03:34 Michael Brosgart
I think everyone really resonates with the name, with our message and what we were trying to accomplish with the rebrand. But let me take you back just a little bit because I think it’s important to understand kind of why we, you know, why we rebranded and what we’re excited about with that. And you know, I think when it comes down to it, we, you know, we really built the a VD brand from Zero to something incredible.

03:57 Michael Brosgart
And, and you know, it was a, it was a, it was a great six year, seven years as as, as a VD, but you know, like anything in life, there’s evolution, right? Change is inevitable. And we really just felt like the name active resonated more with who we are as a company and everything that we’re trying to accomplish. You know, the word active is, is an incredible verb, right? It signifies growth, progression, movement, being proactive, being there for our clients, but also most importantly, it also really signifies like our roots and I, you know, alpha root, root to risk.

04:36 Michael Brosgart
You know, our, our company is really born from, from, from, you know, the plant. And that’s a really, really important element of everything that we do. It really informs our r and d, it informs the products we bring to the market. And most importantly, it really kind of informs, because we’ve been operators in this space, it informs how we help our clients, how we talk to them, how we understand like the differences of their oil and how it’s gonna engage with our hardware.

05:03 Michael Brosgart
So at the end of the day, you know, I think, I think the word active is just, it’s very emotive. It makes you feel something. And that’s not only for our clients, but also internally at our company. So, you know, the name Active, it signifies, it signifies everything that we’re about, about being real, offering incredible service to our clients. Again, being proactive and just paying homage to our, our, our past. And that is, you know, focusing on the active compounds in the cannabis plant.

05:33 Michael Brosgart
And essentially like when you think about it, right? Like, you know, our clients, what are they doing? They’re taking our hardware, the vessel, and they’re putting their active ingredients into our vessel, right? So it really just, it really just works for the space that we’re in.

05:46 Isaac Bock
No, that’s amazing. I guess, you know, what led you guys to decide to start a a, a hardware company? Giving your background, you know, what was kind of the catalyst for that?

05:58 Michael Brosgart
Yeah, that’s a, that’s a great, a great question. You know, I think, look, I think a lot of great businesses are ultimately started from like a need, right? It’s, you know, it’s like, you know, it’s like you, we didn’t wake up one day and we’re like, oh, we wanna manufacture vape hardware. You know, it’s like when, you know, when my, you know, when my second grade teacher asked me, what do you wanna be when you grow up? You know, it wasn’t, it wasn’t a vape hardware manufacturer. So, you know, when I look back, it’s, it’s, you know, when I look back way back to our roots, you know, and this is, you know, my partner and our CEO and founder Alex Kwan, you know, they were doing a lot of land development in Humboldt in the early two thousands, right?

06:40 Michael Brosgart
So they, you know, and really I consider that really kind of the birthplace of the modern cannabis movement.

06:46 Michael Brosgart
You know, like back in the day, in the early two thousands, that’s where a lot of, like the incredible genetics were coming out of, most of the cannabis grown at scale was happening up there. And, you know, servicing all of California and the rest of the country. So like the Emerald Triangle is really where it all kind of like happens and still happens. You have incredible people that that, that are from that area that had been working in cannabis for generations that really understand the plant. You have so much know-how operational expertise, and, and, and that’s where, that’s where active really started over time.

07:25 Michael Brosgart
You know, you know, you know, graduating from, you know, developing land, growing cannabis and ultimately started to target different cultivars that were, you know, high in resin good for extraction. And that, you know, once we started doing that and, and after we, you know, we got our hands on the first cartridge ever back in probably in like, you know, 2013, 2014, immediately we were like, oh, this is it.

07:49 Michael Brosgart
Like, it’s convenient, it works. You can kind of do it discreetly, you know, vaping, we really felt like was a medium that was going to like an in a delivery vehicle that was going to take off. You know? And in hindsight that, you know, that was, that was accurate, right? You know, vape is now, I think, you know, anywhere depending on the market, 20 to 30% of, of, of the cannabis industry. So when we started to get involved in that, we started cultivating for basically juicing the plant, right? Like, literally think about it, like you grow, you flash freeze it, you know, and then you juice it and, and and, and you get this incredible extract and there’s so many different ways to do that and different strategies, but it was that, you know, experimentation and playing with the plant and like, you know, doing crazy things at the start that led us to like where we are now.

08:42 Michael Brosgart
But back, you know, you know, go back to the time of, you know, 20 16, 20 17, the hardware on the market was really just like e-cigarette technology that had been, you know, kind of said, oh hey, cannabis companies, you know, use this, right? But it was horrible. And that’s why Vape had such a bad name for a long time. ’cause products were, you know, they weren’t reliable. They would leak, they would spit oil into your mouth. And as a brand, you know, we intimately understood that like, you can’t sell a product that doesn’t work, <laugh>, you know, it’s like that is the death of your brand.

09:15 Michael Brosgart
So from like an operator perspective, we were like, this is great. People love it. Huge growing segment of the market, but like our brand, our reputation is taking a hit. ’cause we’re putting a product in packaging, we’re selling the dispensary, and now it’s not working after a hit or two or not working at all, or you’re getting hot oil in your mouth, which is just a horrible, a horrible experience.

09:36 Michael Brosgart
And that was kind of when we like, you know, sat down and told ourselves, we’re like, well, we kind of need to solve, solve this problem. And that’s really where kind of like our journey into becoming a vape manufacturer began was just a simple thing of saying, Hey, we have this, you know, we have this, you know, premonition that vape is gonna be big. It’s gonna be a huge segment of the market. We love experimenting with the plant. We love extraction. It’s so convenient, but the vessels that are available to us are not good. So how do we go out and solve that?

10:08 Michael Brosgart
And it’s been a long, a long process, but a lot of sweat and tears and a lot of experimentation, r and d, different partnerships, you name it. But it’s been incredibly successful and I think our story and our products have really resonated with the industry. And we’re very, we’re very proud of that. And we, you know, active, we’re just gonna continue building on that.

10:31 Eric Schneider
Yeah. And I think one of the, one the most interesting things you kind of mentioned, right? Like a lot of, you know, prior nicotine, let’s say vessels being cross utilized for the cannabis industry, whereas you guys solely focus on the cannabis space, right? And build a device that is dedicated to the plant, which I, you know, which I think is, has allowed you guys to have a tremendous amount of success, right? Yeah. And that’s, it’s very important. And, and even with what we do, right?

11:02 Eric Schneider
Like we focus exclusively in the cannabis space, you know, and I find that, that the ancillary providers or hardware providers that have the most success have that kind of company ethos behind it.

11:16 Michael Brosgart
100%. And I think, you know, it’s funny you bring that up. ’cause I’ve talking to a million, you know, insurance providers in this space, right? Obviously we’re in a very litigious industry, so insurance for us is vitally important, right? We do not take in, we take insurance very seriously, you know, we really understand our policies, but it’s also hard for a cannabis vape company to get insured. And and I really love what you said there because you know, immediately when you’re talking to a service provider that doesn’t know the space, they don’t know the field they’re playing on and they don’t know who the players are, right?

11:53 Michael Brosgart
And I think I see a lot of similarities kind of between like what you guys do at Alpha Root and what we do at active in the sense that like, you guys understand the space, right? So when you get on with someone, you’re like, Hey, I know what it’s, I know what it’s like to, you know, to grow cannabis, or I know what it’s like to do this.

12:07 Michael Brosgart
I know where the risks are. And immediately, you know, you’re put out more ease, right? You’re like, okay, these are my people, this is my tribe I under, they understand me and I understand them. And it’s, it’s that simple kind of like, I don’t say it’s simple ’cause it’s years and years and years of, you know, your ip, your experience that goes into that. But, you know, it’s a very, it’s a very powerful thing. And I think, you know, you’ve seen a lot of like, what’s a good word? Like let’s say charlatans who’ve come into the, come into the space, right? Who, who are trying to make a quick dollar, or again, like an e-cigarette factory or something that’s like, oh yeah, I know how to do e-cigs.

12:44 Michael Brosgart
But the reality is that it’s so different. I mean, e-cig juice is like basically like water, right?

12:50 Michael Brosgart
And cannabis oil, you could literally, you know, turn something upside down and it’s not gonna move as an example, hold on a second. So like, you know, I have a jar jar right here in the fridge, turn this thing upside down, you, it ain’t moving, right? So like how you, how, how you, how you make a device that works with something that is so resonance and, and, and also so different E-juice is consistent. It’s the same formulation every time. The same viscosity, cannabis extracts are different every pull, right?

13:21 Michael Brosgart
Every time, let’s say you’re doing rosin every time you wash, you know, it’s gonna be different. Every harvest is gonna be slightly different. So like understanding those like, you know, kind of quirky and nuances of cannabis has been really important. And that’s, and that’s where we shine, right? It’s, it’s, you know, it’s ultimately not about us.

13:38 Michael Brosgart
It’s about how can we help our customers get the winning edge? Like what is it that we can do? So we do a lot of, you know, we go to our partners facilities, we help them, we understand the oil they’re working with. We try to know everything about their operation and go the extra mile to kind of really add value. And that’s, and like, you know, that that concept of adding value is so important because I think a lot of people forget this in business is like, why are you even doing this if you’re not adding value to the other party? Right? And it’s like, you know, and we do that in many ways.

14:09 Michael Brosgart
We do that through hyper reliable devices that don’t break through, you know, really understanding what our clients are doing, what they’re extracting, and providing some, you know, consultation there and being able to develop products that are just like, have great flavor and work well with, with cannabis. So being from the space, knowing the field, knowing the players is hyper important. And we, you know, I think we do a really good job at that and help, you know, help our clients get the winning edge. No, for

14:36 Isaac Bock
Sure. And that makes a ton of sense. I guess when you go on site and you visit with clients, and this kind of leads into how you guys conduct your RD, what are some of the things that most brands or specific brands that you guys work with are looking for from the device itself? Because I think for a lot of people, they just assume similar to what got us into the vape crisis, that it’s a pretty easy plug and play situation, but as you just laid out, it’s very unique. Yeah,

15:01 Michael Brosgart
Yeah, yeah. And I, and that’s, that’s a good question. And, and you know, it’s definitely not plug and play. And I think an outside observer would probably say, looking at how the market’s constricting, and they would say it’s all priced. People want price. That’s just not the reality, right? Yes. People always are, you know, companies are always concerned about their margins and, you know, engineering better pricing. But at the end of the day, what, you know, we think, and you know what, we, we talk to our customers all the time and kind of what they want is a de-risked supply chain, right?

15:35 Michael Brosgart
Like when you’re dealing now with some of these companies, and we have companies across the, the gamut of size, right? We, you know, we made our name dealing with these craft small, you know, extractors, and we love them. They are our bread and butter.

15:50 Michael Brosgart
We pay our respect, our homage to them. And, and they’re incredible. And they’re the, they’re the trendsetters, right? We also deal with the largest companies in the space that are in 20 different states that have 150 doors that are doing hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. So it’s a little different what each company wants, but ultimately companies want a reliable service provider that is going to do what they say, get them products on time, and really most importantly, have products that are reliable.

16:21 Michael Brosgart
And that’s one of our calling cards, right, is I think because we have, you know, we’re a little different, right? Most, it’s kind of three types of companies. This is where I think we are, we’re pretty unique. You have, you have your Chinese e-cigarette companies that use, you know, stateside distributors who are just kind of buying products and distributing them and marketing them.

16:43 Michael Brosgart
And then you have a company like us that’s really vertically integrated all the way, right from, from investments all the way upstream into our raw material providers, into our factories that are in China and Southeast Asia, down to the distribution of the products. We do everything and we control everything. So we’re able to, you know, really focus on quality control and quality assurance knowing that that is such an important thing that our clients need. So all of the products coming off our lines are, you know, not tested at the end.

17:15 Michael Brosgart
They’re tested, they’re raw materials tested, they’re tested halfway between, they’re tested at the end. So the products that was coming off our lines are just, are very reliable. And then, and then, so that’s like probably the larger, you know, the larger companies, they’re really focused on like that kind of de-risk supply chain.

17:29 Michael Brosgart
And then when we go back to the craft side, the smaller operators, it’s about flavor. It’s about like, hey, help help my rosin shine, right? And, and because of, because of our position, because of our knowledge of the plant, our proximity to oil and the industry, we just are able to do a lot of different testing and, and actually engineer products that are made for cannabis. So, you know, I think it’s, you know, I think it’s reliability, it’s the flavor, the performance of the products.

18:01 Michael Brosgart
Obviously price is important. You know, we’re obviously trying, and obviously always working towards cost engineering to help our clients out to, we understand what’s happening in the market. On the flip side, you have inflation and increased fulfillment costs and all this stuff happening. So it’s a, it’s a dance that we have to play. But, you know, we try to put all of those together and really understand kind of what our, you know, what our clients are telling us and, and read between the lines there.

18:26 Eric Schneider
Lines there. Yeah. And, and one of the, you know, the main, I wouldn’t say distinctions in the vape category, <affirmative>, but you have the re reusable products and, and non reusable, I guess, like what are your thoughts on, you know, both of those types of products? Do you guys make non reusable or they only re reusable carts? Yeah, just wanna get like your thoughts on that because I think obviously there’s, there’s definitely consumer preference <affirmative> in how you guys approach that.

18:53 Michael Brosgart
Yeah, it’s, it’s really interesting actually, like how the market has developed. So you first had like cartridges that are, I mean, cartridges basically, they’re not reusable, right? You’re they’re one time thing. Yeah. But the reusable thing is the battery, right? So you buy a battery, you buy a cartridge, you spin it on, you guys throw the cartridge away when it’s done. ’cause the cores aren’t meant to perform over multiple uses, but you still have the battery, right? And then so went from cartridge, then we kind of went to pods, right? And pods are very similar.

19:24 Michael Brosgart
You still have a one-time used pod that goes into a battery, but it’s not, it’s not your universal five 10 connection. So that’s great. And then, you know, what happened was you saw this huge boon in flavored disposables in the e-cigarettes space. And, and, and what that led to was a demand for those types of devices in the cannabis space.

19:47 Michael Brosgart
Because you’re seeing this like really interesting convergence of three industries, like coming together and butting their heads, right? You have cannabis, you have the hemp industry, and you have the nicotine industry. And it’s this really kind of interesting, you know, thing that’s forming in the US where like these three things are starting to butt heads. They’re starting to be sold in the same places, but the trends are starting to seep into one another. So, you know, once, once kind of the whole jewel fiasco happens and, and then they pass all these laws, well, there was a loophole that allowed for, for disposable nicotine devices, flavored disposable nicotine devices to be in the, in the market.

20:27 Michael Brosgart
And those just proliferated, right? So now you have people that have that and they’re very comfortable with that user experience, with that form factor. And, and, and just the ease of it, right?

20:37 Michael Brosgart
Like from a consumer perspective, it makes sense, right? Like, Hey, I’m gonna buy a product and it’s just, it’s gonna work. I don’t need to faff around with a battery. I don’t need this thing. It’s just I’m gonna take out the thing and it’s gonna work. So, you know, consumers in the history of time, you know, tend to go towards convenience. And I think on the other side, when you look at manufacturing and the supply chain in, in China and Southeast Asia, what you’re also seeing is that the supply chain for these vape products are also maturing and developing, right? So whereas like a battery cell and the PC board used to cost a lot more, those prices have come down.

21:13 Michael Brosgart
So you see this kind of like, you know, thing what’s happening that that that, that the cost of manufacturing these disposables is kind of getting lower towards what a cartridge is.

21:23 Michael Brosgart
So there’s not as much difference. Whereas in the past it was a lot more expensive to manufacture an all-in-one. So all of those dynamics, I think have led to all-in-one just cannabis, all-in-one just exploding, right? Yeah. And, and, and it started to happen last year, you know, we saw it very early. All of our clients were saying, Hey, we need more, we need more all-in-one options. We need more all in one options. So it’s, it’s nice from the perspective of the consumer, right? You’re giving them a product that’s easy to use and performs well, and you can really dial in all in one, right? You know, you can make it the perfect, the perfect ohm, the perfect voltage.

21:57 Michael Brosgart
So it really, you can dial it into work with the right extracts. Whereas cartridges is a little more complex because you don’t know what type of battery they’re gonna put it on, right?

22:06 Michael Brosgart
They could put it on a battery that’s burning at four volts and just destroy, destroy the cartridge. So all those factors have led to this huge increase. I think they’re now like 20 to 30% of the cannabis vaporizer market. But ultimately we love our earth and we’re passionate about, you know, being eco-friendly, and we’re trying to really focus on developing products that are recyclable. We have a really incredible product. We were actually, I think the first one in, in the industry to come out with a product that features a, a type of, a type of plastic that, that is called hemp enzyme.

22:42 Michael Brosgart
And that is, it’s, it uses, it uses hemp from growing hemp, discarded hemp stock. So we’re not like growing just to make it, we’re taking the discard, we’re creating value from waste, creating, taking the discard, using, putting some enzymes in there and creating a, a plastic that, that plastic that is much gentler on the environment.

22:59 Michael Brosgart
Now it’s not, we’re not saving the world by doing this, right? But we’re trying anything we can to, to cut down on the waste. And, and the cannabis industry is plagued by that. So, so, you know, we have, we came out with a, a couple years ago the STEM all in one, which is made of hemp zyme, this like kind of eco-friendly hemp, hemp plastic. And, and some people love that. It’s a, it’s a really cool device. And, and, and the fact that you can do that is really cool. But what we’re hoping for, and we, what we think is gonna happen is ultimately there’s gonna be a shift back to pods. And, and, and we’re really working on innovative ways to, to cut down on the, you know, the lithium ion waste from having a lot of batteries.

23:34 Michael Brosgart
And also little things like just packaging, right? Like some people send out carts in, you know, white boxes with colorful prints on it, you know, we’re doing craft, you know, craft craft boxes that are recyclable. So trying to also cut down on how much waste is in our packaging, right? So we’re looking at all the different pieces, but we’re a hundred percent committed to, to, to, to releasing products that are better for the environment and, and working with our clients to do that because they’re, they’re concerned about that as well. Yeah,

24:01 Isaac Bock
I guess the environmental concern and the, the allin ones are kind of the two major trends you guys had said you’re focused on right now and kind of saw it come up in 2023 and the start of this year. Is there anything you guys are starting to notice or pick up on so far in the first, you know, quarter plus of 2024 that you guys are starting to innovate now? Or are you kind of more focused on those items you just talked about?

24:26 Michael Brosgart
Yeah, two, two answers to that question. One is, we have a lot of really cool stuff coming out. I can’t go into that specifically right now ’cause it hasn’t been, it hasn’t been released yet. But we have a couple really interesting platforms that we’re working on that I think are really gonna like leave a mark on, on, on, you know, in the industry. But what we’ve seen and what, like what we’re starting to, to, you know, this happened a while ago, but really accelerating is, you know, I think a lot of brands right now have products that are just very, like, it’s a sea of uniformity, right?

24:57 Michael Brosgart
It’s like everything looks the same, everything performs the same. It’s really hard for consumers to differentiate products. And as you know, as you know, the capabilities have grown and the supply chains have developed. We’re able now to, to create products for our clients that are very unique and different and innovative, whether it’s a form factor or performance, whatever it may be, something maybe larger capacity, volume, some, you know, whatever it is.

25:28 Michael Brosgart
But we’re working with a lot of, you know, the largest players in the space. And one of the projects that I think really, really encapsulates this was a project that we did with CAF and the select brand, obviously, which, which, which they own. And that was the launch of the brick. And the brick was I think probably the first two ml device to hit the D nine, like the regulated cannabis space. And it has been a smashing success. I even think their, their CEO even tweeted a couple months ago that the brick was like the fastest product to ever hit a million dollars in retail sales for them.

26:06 Michael Brosgart
And it was just a really great project that we did together, right? We, we did everything from the start. So we got together, they gave us what they needed, right? We need X, Y, and Z, we got to work, we start creating prototypes, designs, and we work with them, right?

26:22 Michael Brosgart
You like this, you like that. So it’s a very collaborative process that we do with the brands, and the end result is something that is highly unique to them and that nobody else has. And, and, and the brick, this product has been so successful that has really kind of become the, the identity of the relaunch, select branding. And we’re very proud of that. I know they are as well. And it was just a, it was a really good, a good team effort and it didn’t just, it didn’t just, you know, it didn’t just start and stop at the product, right?

26:52 Michael Brosgart
It went much beyond that. So it was working with their oil formulation, understanding how it worked in the product. It was working on marketing with them, it was working on operations, demand planning, you name it. Like we, you know, we work very closely together.

27:07 Michael Brosgart
And that’s really what it takes when you’re, when you’re dealing with companies at that scale that have that much penetration, you really have to be in lock and step on, on, you know, all aspects of a product launch. And yeah, it just went really well. So we have a lot of incredible projects in the work right now. We just helped a California up and coming California brand launch, a really cool product, you know, kind of combinable devices and you’ll see a lot more about that coming out. We’re really excited about that.

27:38 Michael Brosgart
You know, featuring magnets to connect to different devices, multi-platform, multi extract. It’s really kind of like really cool and unique.

27:46 Eric Schneider
That’s awesome. Do you, do you see any other, like, future trends in the vape category? Do you think it’s gonna continue to grab market share? You know what, I guess what are your thoughts based on just the, the data that you guys are collecting?

28:02 Michael Brosgart
Yeah, I think absolutely. Look, I think, I think it’s, it’s, you know, at this stage and kind of the arc of the development of vape, I think you, you see the role it plays, right? And it plays a very important role. Like I, I like personally, I like flour, right? But I can’t always consume flour wherever I’m at. So it has, you know, it’s, it’s very discreet, it’s very convenient and it’s a great, it’s a great entry point for people to consume cannabis vape. You can really meter and control how high you get, whereas like, edibles probably even less scary than vaping for a new user.

28:38 Michael Brosgart
But like, you just never know, right? Everyone’s body reacts differently with edibles, you might not even know the recommended milligram. You might go to the store and think you’re a first time user, but you might be buying a 25 milligram, you know, edible. Next thing you know, you’re crawling on the floor, you know, you’re on the phone with nine one one and asking for someone to come help you. Everyone has that story, right? Like, like we’ve all been there,

29:00 Eric Schneider
Everyone does have that story. <laugh>,

29:02 Michael Brosgart
We’ve all been there before. But like with a vape, it’s like you take a couple puffs, you feel it immediately, and then you really know how to use it. And so I think, I think it, you know, the convenience, the, the metering, you know, element of it, the flavor aspect of it is also huge. Like, you know, we credible live resins, resins, but even like, even the distillates with some of the incredible botanical, you know, you know, TURPs that, you know, some of the companies are providing now are so good, right? So it’s like, it just, it tastes good, it’s convenient.

29:34 Michael Brosgart
So it’s here to stay. And, you know, we really feel incumbent on us to kind of take a leadership role in the vape sector of our industry and really advocate for, you know, a sensible framework, a sensible place for, for us to have a, a, a highly functioning industry.

29:54 Michael Brosgart
So, you know, we, we’ve helped launch a, a, a advocacy group called Vape Safer that we have, you know, a lot of the leading hardware manufacturers, terpene providers, part of that, you know, it’s been an incredible process just getting those people together, aligning on things and, and, you know, identifying what did our priorities. But the reality is that like, if we don’t have a seat at the table and we’re not, you know, advocating for sensible laws and sensible policy and sensible standards, someone else is gonna do it.

30:26 Michael Brosgart
Who doesn’t know our space. And when that happens, you get these wonky rules and wonky laws and loopholes like, you know, you saw on the hemp bill, right? Where it’s like, all right, yeah, you can grow hemp, but you can do whatever you want with it. And it’s basically just cannabis, right? So, you know, so, so we take that very seriously.

30:43 Michael Brosgart
And, and, and, you know, consumer safety is huge. So where I think a lot of our peers don’t really care about that. We spend a lot of resource on really understanding, you know, what do extracts do when you heat it up? How do they perform in a vape device? What are you inhaling? What’s coming out of that vape cartridge that all in one? So we’re putting a lot of resource into partnerships, into testing, because we also see it coming like, look no further than nicotine, you know, you’re gonna have PMTA like regulations.

31:14 Michael Brosgart
And what that is, is pre-market tobacco authorization. It’s an incredibly burdensome and complex process that you have to go through to get your products approved by the US to sell. Now, I don’t think that’s gonna happen in cannabis, but we are gonna have stuff like that that comes down the line and, and we feel like it’s our responsibility to, to lead that charge and to, you know, be an active player and be do responsible business.

31:38 Eric Schneider
Yeah. No, and it’s no different than like the really legitimate, you know, cultivators and manufacturers having like GMP certified, you know, facilities, right? Because totally that’s coming down the pipeline. And so totally,

31:50 Michael Brosgart
I would imagine, I would imagine in your guys’ world too, like, like that’s helpful, right? Like yeah. When it comes to risk and insurance and all of that, like crossing your, you know, crossing your t’s, dotting your i’s manufacturing, CGMP compliant facilities, ISO certified facilities, medical devices, all of that, it’s important, right? And I think, like, I think it reduces the risk in the industry that we’re dealing with, and you know, that’s ultimately that what, that’s what we’re trying to do for our clients, right? And, and, and making sure that they have a sustainable business, business model and, and vertical moving forward.

32:27 Eric Schneider
Absolutely. No, this has been, this has been tremendous and, and we really appreciate all the insight, Michael, and, and as a market leader, it’s always just great to kind of hear how you think about things, how you think about the category, what do you see in the future. So we really appreciate the insight. Before we wrap things up, just a few fun questions for you. Yeah, that’s good. This related, but if you’re going to get excited for a big meeting or big workout, or if you were about to hit a home run, what’s your, what’s your walkout song?

33:02 Eric Schneider
What’s your, you know, go-to artist that’s getting you fired up?

33:06 Michael Brosgart
Oh man, I, you know, I got, I got two young kids, so I’m <laugh> you know, my, my, my dial is tuned to some funny music these days, but, you know, I’ve always kind of gravitated to Tom Petty for some of that fire up music, you know, I think he, you know, he has got some great, great songs that just fire you up and, and, and, and obviously he’s, you know, loves cannabis and, and whatnot. But, you know, I’m also, you know, also throw on some, you know, some bangers too. And right now my kids are listening to Beautiful Things, which is a really cool song that I’m, that I’m into.

33:43 Michael Brosgart
And yeah, you know, I, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m open to all music as long as it’s got good rhythm and, and, and, and fires you up. It’s a good question though.

33:52 Eric Schneider
Awesome. Love Tom Petty, big Tom Petty fan. Yeah. Love that. Gotta

33:56 Michael Brosgart
Love Tom Petty.

34:00 Eric Schneider
One book that you kind of turn back to or would recommend for, for anybody to read that’s, you know, left a, a mark on how you think about business life or, yeah,

34:11 Michael Brosgart
I think, look, we have a culture of kind of like continuously learning and our, you know, our co Alex is kind of very, very into that and developing people and, you know, being very aware of, of, of, of, you know, just that kind of urge to constantly learn and get better, right? One business book that I recently read that I, and kind of related back to what we’re talking about is barbarians at the Gate, which is about kind of like the nicotine industry. And for me personally, in the world that I’m in now, it’s been a very informative book.

34:43 Michael Brosgart
And I think it’s just, you know, it’s very, it’s interesting to read and you kind of just see how big business is played and what happens. And it’s part of us also knowing like, hey, we know, we know the field we’re playing on in cannabis and we know who the players are, but as we get bigger and we’re becoming a much bigger company and we’re operating that scale and doing cross border business, you know, we’re playing now in a different, on a different field, right? In that world, right? So understanding kind of like how that developed in the nicotine space and some of the things that we need to be aware of or concerned about or from a strategic purpose is a great book.

35:21 Michael Brosgart
I highly recommend. It’s a really interesting read and a great read. So highly recommend it to everyone.

35:27 Eric Schneider
That’s great. No, we’ll have to definitely mark that on the list. And again, really appreciate your time, Michael, and everything that you provided as a, as a leader in the vape category, and just really excited for what you guys got in the rest of 20, 24 and beyond.

35:42 Michael Brosgart
Appreciate you guys. Thanks for having me on. You know, I, I obviously like, you know, you guys do this because you have a passion to do it, you don’t need to do it, right? So support grassroots media support people like you guys like putting stuff on like this and, and giving people like us a voice to tell our story, and that’s important, right? So kudos to you guys as well and appreciate everything you guys do for the industry. Yeah,

36:04 Eric Schneider
I appreciate

36:05 Isaac Bock
Michael, appreciate you.

36:08 Eric Schneider
Another great one in the books. You know, I know I say that after every single one, but, but we do, we are very lucky with the guests that we have on and just the interesting expertise of the folks I bring on. And Michael just has a profound knowledge for the vape category and, and it was great to hear what they’ve built now at Active and, and what they have in the future. And really just the, the client first and client experience focus that they have, I think has allowed them to really be a market leader because, you know, obviously they have the expertise and the technology and the development of their device, but they really work hand in hand with their clients to create the best customer experience possible.

36:50 Eric Schneider
And I think that’s one of the things that really sets me apart. No,

36:54 Isaac Bock
Absolutely. I mean, I think one of the cool things that he talked on, and I don’t think a lot of people, you know, even maybe in the industry if they’re not dealing with vapes all the time, is just the nuances and intricacies of dealing with the different types of oils that are providing Canvas products. So I thought that Insight was great and their, the way they approach it with their clients seems very client and even product specific with your school.

37:22 Eric Schneider
Yeah. And it’s all about supply chain, right? Even for them as a, as an ancillary provider, right? We obviously hear how important supply chain is for plant touching operators, but for them it’s just as important to making sure that they have, you know, trusted providers that are gonna provide safe products for their clients, which obviously then trickles down

37:42 Isaac Bock
Customers percent. It’s,

37:43 Eric Schneider
It, you know, it it’s great that they really,

37:46 Isaac Bock
Yeah, it, it’s just, it’s always interesting, especially when you’re dealing with products manufactured overseas like that relationship and he touched on it, how they, you know, more operate in a fully integrated manner can really dictate what that unit price cost is. It has to get passed on to their customers. So the way they do it is pretty cool. <silence>

38:10 Eric Schneider
Absolutely. Well, until next time, Isaac, another great one and appreciate You is over. Yeah,

38:14 Isaac Bock
Me too. Thanks man.

 

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