Posted on December 1st, 2023 to Products
At a glance, 210 prerolls might not seem like anything special to the average cannabis user. Despite lingering flaws in the system, Washington state has a very healthy cannabis economy, and us Washingtonians are spoiled by our ability to easily purchase quality cannabis products for far less than people in other states with legal weed. Even after standard markup— which includes the state’s 37% excise tax, in addition to local sales taxes— many budget conscious smokers have become accustomed to seeing $3 prerolls as the most affordable option. Considering the quality of aforementioned prerolls, some folks might be quick to assume that our $2.10 prerolls are just old, cheap weed with a 210 Cannabis Co logo on the packaging, but that assumption would be incorrect.
What is White Labeling?
White labeling, also known as private labeling, is a business practice in which one company (like a cannabis producer or processor) manufactures products for another company (like a cannabis dispensary) that’s branded to look like it was made by that second company. The white labeling of products benefits the businesses and consumers in a number of ways, but the reason you don’t see I-502 licensed retailers selling their own brand of cannabis products is because that’s illegal in Washington.
For additional context, Washington is pretty much the only state that bans vertical integration for cannabis businesses, meaning growers can’t sell their weed directly to consumers, and dispensaries can’t grow cannabis plants.
It may not make much sense, especially after Washington’s cannabis industry has been active for a decade, but the current regulatory framework for cannabis took a lot of ques from alcohol laws that banned [vertical integration and] white labeling in order to prevent “undue influence” as well as to minimize “the risk of exploitation of the consumer.”
That last point is in reference to alcohol regulations which prevent liquor manufacturers from opening bars and theoretically offering free food with drink purchases, which could have incentivized the consumption of liquor. “There’s a difference in the current cannabis industry in that we don’t see on-site consumption in social clubs for example, or in bars,” said Alison Holcomb, lead author of initiative 502, “and so the analogy is imperfect.”
All this is to say that Cousin Mike’s Pot Stop can’t legally sell Cousin Mike’s branded prerolls, but tribal owned cannabis dispensaries are not subject to this rule, so from a legal standpoint we’re a lot more fun.
Research & Development
210 prerolls were already on the menu the day 210 Cannabis Co first opened its doors in December 2022. The idea came about when Purchasing Director Sean Corboy was brainstorming product concepts along with his colleague who was the Head of Sales at a nearby cannabis processing facility. Our dispensary needed a way to stand out and offer something unique, so Sean thought the idea of selling prerolls for $2.10 was, “pretty freaking cool.”
The first batch of 210 prerolls ever produced was… kinda nasty, to be honest. Considering the fact that these were going to be selling for $2.10 including taxes and markup, the test batch was made with the cheapest material available, and needless to say those joints weren’t up to snuff. Grimacing as he coughed, Sean and his processing partner acknowledged that they had used, “some REALLY crappy material” that was unfit for the shop’s grand opening celebration, so they threw out their first run of 210 prerolls. Sean strived to establish 210 Cannabis Co as the go-to dispensary in Arlington with a curated selection of cannabis products, and he immediately recognized that he needed to improve our flagship prerolls so as not to diminish the 210 Cannabis Co brand.
Being in the lucky position of working with a processor who is well connected with some of the best growers in the state, Sean and his mysterious (possibly imaginary) colleague set out to source higher quality material for the 210 prerolls. The next iteration of joints was better, but the mid-level flower was still mediocre, so they opted to push forward and sacrifice some of the profit margin for high quality material. “We need something much better than your average $5 joint,” he said, so they developed a more thorough criteria for vetting the cannabis that goes into 210 prerolls.
Standards of Quality for 210 Joints
When vendors contact our processing partner about having material for 210 prerolls, Sean and his alleged colleague vet the weed on the following criteria:
1. The Certificates of Analysis (COAs) must demonstrate that the material is clean and safe (pesticide tested),
2. The cannabis must be indoor or greenhouse grown only– not outdoor,
3. The harvest must not have had any issues (like powdery mildew or spider mites),
4. The weed can’t be old (typically we like to keep the harvest date within 6 months), and
5. The flower must have a good nose (scent & flavor).
The results speak for themselves: 210 prerolls are a hit, and we’ve sold as many as 12,000 units in a single month, which is well over 420 ounces of 1 gram joints! We take pride in saying that they’re the best $2.10 you’ll ever spend, and they’re worth the drive to Arlington. If you can’t believe a $2.10 joint can burn with a resin ring, let us make you into a believer.
The Future of 210 Products
Considering the success and popularity of our 210 prerolls, it’s common for our customers and patients to ask if we have plans to put out any more 210 branded products in the future. We can’t say too much at this point, but the answer is yes! Among other projects, Sean has been collaborating with one of our favorite farms to curate some very unique genetics that are new to Washington’s cannabis market, so be on the lookout and sign up for our newsletter & loyalty program to be notified as soon as they’re available.
About the Author
Ramsey Doudar has continuously worked in Washington’s cannabis industry for over 10 years, holding various positions that ranged from marketing strategist to inventory manager. He serves as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator for 210 Cannabis Co, and is also the founding member of a cannabis consumer advocacy group.