Latest Viola News
Sep 21, 2021
Next Generation Cannabis Packaging Platform Launches With Mohave Cannabis Company Collaboration The first-of-its-kind platform offers pre-designed and customized packaging. San Juan Capistrano, Calif., Sept. 21, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Packwolves , an on-demand cannabis packaging platform, announced its public launch, unveiling a collaboration with Mohave Cannabis Co. , an Arizona and California-based cannabis brand with quality cultivation and premium indoor flower products. In addition to designing and manufacturing custom packaging and products, Packwolves also allows manufacturers to purchase pre-designed, child-resistant packaging for faster deployment of their cannabis products. The company’s collaboration with Mohave Cannabis Co. came through a jointly designed custom-produced glass jar inspired by the design and feel of fine spirit bottles. The rounded square jar features embossed letters and convex inner glass which magnifies the jar's contents, providing a deeper look at the nuances of the product. The jar also features a dark, oak-pattern, child-resistant lid with an air-and-water-tight “twist and seal” feature that keeps cannabis more potent, longer than other products in the industry. View photos of the collaboration and Packwolves' work here . “There is frankly nothing else like this on the market,” said Curtis Devine, owner and founder of Mohave Cannabis Co. “Our collaboration with Packwolves delivers an experience that’s as curated, nuanced and sophisticated as the product itself.” Packwolves was founded by Tom Vickers, who left product design in the advertising world to pursue his passion of helping cannabis companies grow and market themselves. The company brings a design-forward approach to the cannabis industry, helping both newcomers and established companies quickly create high-quality packaging, swag and other products. “With more and more states legalizing the use of cannabis, too many entrepreneurs must resort to a piecemeal approach to deploying their branded products, such as buying packaging, boxes and product stickers from various vendors on Amazon,” Vickers said. “We are confident that our distinctive, one-stop solution will be a welcome resource for many manufacturers.” In addition to custom packaging solutions, Packwolves offers pre-designed pouches for quick deployment of products. The company also offers packaging programs for products, such as: Jar & Box, Jar & Paper Tube, Pouch & PET Insert, and Pouch & PET Insert for Pre-Rolls, among other options. They also have an expert internal design team that can aid customers in launching a brand. In addition to pre-designed products, Packwolves offers customizable pouches, jars, folding boxes, magnetic boxes, paper tubes and shipper boxes as well as swag items such as customizable rolling trays, ashtrays and carabiners. “Design can elevate the image of cannabis,” Vickers said. “We’re building a design-forward platform that can positively influence and educate the public about the often-stigmatized cannabis plant.” Tucson, Ariz.-based cannabis dispensaries utilize self-service kiosks to educate customers and cut down on wait times. GRAFTON, WI – PRESS RELEASE – Tucson, Ariz., marijuana dispensaries The Downtown Dispensary and D2 Dispensary recently installed in-store self-ordering kiosks to benefit their medical and recreational customers. The cannabis retailers are sister locations. Working with kiosk designer and manufacturer Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. , the dispensaries installed both wall-mounted kiosks and freestanding pedestal units at their sites. Customers can browse real-time inventory, read product descriptions, and place orders through the kiosks. “When many Tucson medical dispensaries first started serving recreational customers, there were long lines and hourlong wait times,” says Moe Asnani, Director of Downtown and D2 Dispensaries. “We waited to convert to recreational and added more stations and ordering kiosks in the meantime. Our goal has always been to educate our customers while reducing transaction time, and we have seen that be an effective strategy.” “Providing an incredible customer experience is key for any business sector, and the dispensary industry is no exception,” Mike Mayer, President of Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. adds. “We’re thrilled The Downtown Dispensary and D2 Dispensary find the kiosks to be an important component in streamlining operations and offering efficiencies to their customers.” For more information about cannabis dispensary kiosks, visit www.frankmayer.com/industries/cannabis-dispensary/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org . Al Harrington's cannabis brand, Viola, has launched its own education platform called the Harrington Institute, in partnership with the Cleveland School of Cannabis. Photo courtesy of the Harrington Institute Viola’s Harrington Institute Provides Education to Bring ‘New Wave of Talent’ to Cannabis Industry The educational platform, which is powered by the Cleveland School of Cannabis, aims to create economic opportunities for individuals, especially those in Black communities, who are looking to enter the market. Black-owned cannabis brand Viola has launched its own education platform to bring a “new wave of talent” to the cannabis industry, according to CEO Al Harrington. The Harrington Institute , powered by the Cleveland School of Cannabis , another Black-owned business in the space, aims to remove a common barrier to entry for Black individuals looking to enter the cannabis industry: education. “We just don’t have the fundamental education to understand the industry,” Harrington tells Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “We see how negatively it impacted our communities for so long, [and] people just can’t really wrap their head around [the fact] that [they] can actually do this legally and make a career out of it.” The Harrington Institute’s curriculum aims to help students learn both the technical aspects of growing, processing and selling cannabis, as well as the business side of the industry, so they can ultimately decide how they can best participate in the growing marketplace. “I just felt like this was something that was really needed, and the fact that I could work with people who look like me was something I was really, really excited about,” Harrington says. “When I think about the opportunity to really usher in the next wave of talent in the cannabis industry, I really feel like we haven’t been tapped into it yet.” Finding Synergy In its five years of operation, the Cleveland School of Cannabis has had more than 650 graduates and has maintained a 65% job placement rate, says Kevin Greene, the institution’s vice president. “We’re constantly evolving that curriculum,” he says. “We have to think about equity in multiple different angles. … We designed the program and educational tracks, but we’re also allowing individuals to take al-a-carte classes so they can look at a specific class and say, ‘Hey, I just need to fill some gaps in my education here.’” Cleveland School of Cannabis President Tyrone Russell says he knew he wanted to partner with the Harrington Institute because of what Viola represents in the industry. “This is an organization that always talks about how it represents the larger culture,” Russell says. “Following Viola and the work that Al and his team were doing, it spoke to exactly what we represented in terms of making … the opportunity for people in the industry that [have] been locked out of for so long. … It’s bigger than them, and it’s something that they’re putting in the effort to change the culture and the industry, and we wanted to be a part of it in any way that we could.” Russell and his team were also excited by the prospect of combining their existing cannabis education curriculum with Harrington’s 10 years of real-world experience in the industry. “We’re going to be able to create insight and deliver experiences and education that touch on the technical side that are going to inspire people and really give them some nuanced details on how to navigate this space and really open up this opportunity,” Greene says. Viola has created a separate curriculum under the Harrington Institute platform that will be offered virtually through the Cleveland School of Cannabis. The curriculum includes three educational tracks: horticulture, manufacturing and dispensary operation. Photo courtesy of the Harrington Institute One of Viola's flower rooms The education is module-based, and classes are taught live through an online platform. The virtual classes were originally aimed at reaching students on a global scale, Harrington says, but quickly became a way to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well. “It’s been a two-year ramp-up, but we’re really excited to launch this and give back to the community, change people’s minds and give people the education that … will bring in a new wave of talent into the industry,” Harrington says. To achieve that goal, Greene says the partnership between the Cleveland School of Cannabis and the Harrington Institute must create opportunities for those who have historically lost out on traditional higher education due to financial barriers. The team plans to create sponsorships to address this issue. “One thing that we’ve seen in higher education … is that there’s still a large gap with individuals, Black and Brown, who can’t get the access to capital to attain the education that can change their lives,” Greene says. “What has not completely happened in our current financial aid system with traditional higher education is thinking about the long-term effects of long-term debt. Everything that we’ve set up, from the classes we provide to how you can take the classes to the financial support that we’re providing … is all through the lens of equity. We’re making sure that the education is accessible and that we’ve also created a culture to get people to be successful. That is one of the major steps in creating equity in the cannabis industry.” Registration Coming This Fall The Cleveland School of Cannabis is hosting the first of several information sessions about the Harrington Institute on Sept. 29, with registration opening on Oct. 6. Classes will officially begin Nov. 8. Greene says more and more RSVPs for the information sessions are trickling in, with 250 planning to attend the first session later this month. “The response has been great across the board,” he says. “Truthfully, I think what it says is that there is a large demand of a population that is … looking to find access and support.” Opportunities in the industry are endless, Greene adds, but the Harrington Institute aims to prepare potential business owners to take advantage of them. And as these opportunities continue to change as the cannabis industry evolves, both the Harrington Institute and the Cleveland School of Cannabis will also evolve to provide the most relevant education possible. “This education is going to create economic opportunities for individuals, especially in Black and Brown communities,” Greene says. “We’re glad to be a part of the journey. The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) adopted its first set of rules for the state’s adult-use cannabis industry last month and had 30 days to begin accepting and processing business license applications—a deadline that came and went Sept. 18 without the agency taking action. The CRC approved a new licensing platform to help regulators process applications from potential cultivators, manufacturers and retailers at a Sept. 14 meeting, according to an NJ.com report , but the statutory deadline for the agency to actually launch the application process passed Saturday without the agency releasing the applications to entrepreneurs. A CRC source told NJ.com that although officials did not meet the deadline—and will not open the application process in the coming days—the commission plans to publish a notice in the New Jersey Register with the start date for application filing and the necessary materials that an applicant needs to submit to comply with a process outlined in the CRC’s adult-use regulations. New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis law requires the CRC to set a date within 180 days of adopting its final regulations for the first sales to launch, and according to NJ.com, the delay in the start of the state’s business licensing process exacerbates doubts already in place that newly-licensed adult-use operators could open their doors—let alone get plants in the ground—by early next year as planned.