K.I.N.D. Concentrates has been a staple of the Arizona cannabis industry pretty much since it began. You can now find their products in just about every dispensary in the state — 96 of them, according to their website.
The secret, said Mike Colburn, founder of K.I.N.D. and LevelUp Dispensaries in Scottsdale and Tempe, is his background in engineering. Colburn relates his experience producing microchips for Motorola to what K.I.N.D. now does with marijuana.
“You bring that expertise into it and get the consistency and quality,” he said. “Patients can count on, every time they open the package, it’s going to be the exact same thing every time.”
That consistency was key in the early days of medical cannabis in Arizona, when dispensaries were still experimenting and refining techniques.
While K.I.N.D. also sells its concentrates wholesale, they have plenty of original products, some of which were the first of their kind in Arizona. The company started with the basics like shatter and wax, but they differentiated themselves when they were the first to develop a distillate process.
“A lot of folks, I believe, have followed us through our different waves of technology,” Colburn said. “Our competitors seem to be one step behind us each wave we go through.”
The technology was out there before K.I.N.D. started using it, Colburn said — for example, lavender distillation for lavender oil. But Colburn’s background made the application to cannabis an easy call.
But many of K.I.N.D.’s concentrates focus on the entourage effect.
Products like their Oil Stix, a vape cartridge made with carbon dioxide extraction in low heat and pressure, provide the entire cannabinoid profile, “even the ones that no one’s ever studied,” Colburn said.
Their Live Resin, which comes in vape cartridges and syringes for dabbing, provides much the same effect. It’s made by freezing the flower before it’s dried, then using a method similar to butane hash-oil extraction. Freezing early makes the product fresher, tastier, and more potent, he said.
K.I.N.D.’s distillate, Nectar, boasts the status of one of Arizona’s “more potent THC concentrate products” in Arizona, regularly testing more than 80 percent THC (sometimes as high as 90 percent).
What makes Nectar unique, according to Colburn, is that K.I.N.D. adds cannabinoids from the flower back into the distillate. It’s an expensive process, but worth it, he said.
While K.I.N.D. is beginning to branch out into other states, much of their focus remains on the medical market.
One of their newest products, K.I.N.D. Kaps, is a capsule that comes in a variety of THC-only and CBD-only doses, so patients can medicate more precisely.
As a concentrate company, you might think K.I.N.D. would be worried about the recent Arizona Court of Appeals State v. Jones case ruling that made concentrates illegal under the medical marijuana law, but Colburn is confident in their defense.
A statement on their website maintains that they do not sell “hashish,” and all their product are “medical marijuana and mixtures or preparations thereof.” But Colburn also identified two cases that conflict with Jones: State v. Kemmish in the Court of Appeals and Dobson v. McClennen in the Arizona Supreme Court.
In Dobson, the court refers to “marijuana” and “cannabis” synonymously. In Kemmish, the state dropped a narcotic possession charge against a card-holding California cannabis patient with concentrates.
“It’s just bad law,” Colburn said.
He said the officials he’s talked to have said they’re going to wait until the case goes to the state Supreme Court before taking significant action on enforcement.
But the initial concern among patients led to a slight drop in sales in the first few days following the ruling. As the cannabis community rallied and communicated, those concerns dissipated and sales returned to normal pretty quickly.
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Still, Colburn thinks it’s a wakeup call for the industry. Marijuana still isn’t legal, and many people may take it for granted.
“We still got work to do,” he said.
But Colburn intends to be on the front lines for a 2020 legalization effort.
“It should have happened in 2016,” he said.