Maikoh Holistics
La Kush Cake, Miracle Alien Cookies, Runtz, Snickerz
Mana Cannabis
Sueno, White 99, White Runtz
Mana Supply Company
Sueno, White 99
Medicine Man
Apple Fritter, Biker Oz, Cherry Diesel, Cherry Punch, Gary Payton, Gas Tanker, Gg 4, Infinity, La Kush Cake, Larry, Lava Breath, Meow, Orange Zkittlez, Peach Kush, Peking Duck, Pruno, Slap N Tickle, Strawberry Shortcake, Sueno, Tart Pops, White Runtz
Mile High Dispensary
Sueno
Native Roots
Apple Fritter, Apples And Bananas, Banana Kush, Bananaghani, Big Bubba Diesel, Biker Oz, Blood Orange, Bubba Berry, Cake Pop, Cereal Milk, Cherry Diesel, Durban Kush, Galleta, Garlic Breath, Gary Payton, Gas Tanker, Gelato, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Headband Kush, Ice Cream Cake, Ice Milk, Island, Item 9, Koko Puffs, La Kush Cake, Layer Cake, Melonz, Milky Weigh, Miracle Alien Cookies, Muffinz, Papaya Cake, Peach Kush, Peking Duck, Pineapple Blast, Pruno, Pudding Pop, Purple Marmalade, Rain Dance, Ritas Cherry, Runtz, Sage N Sour, Sherb Crasher, Slap N Tickle, Snickerz, Sour Melon, Sour Orange Zkittles, Strawberry Flame, Strawberry Shortcake, Sueno, Sunset Drive, Super Sour Lemon, Tart Pop, The Sauce, Triangle Og, Unicorn Poop, Yuk Mouth, Zookies
Native Roots Vail
Big Bubba Diesel, Cake Pop, Cherry Diesel, Cookies N Cream, Gg 4, Melonz, Muffinz, Ritas Cherry, Sherb Crasher, Slap N Tickle, Sour Orange Zkittles, Sueno, The Sauce
Natural Alternatives for Health
Apple Fritter, Biker Oz, Durban Kush, Koko Puffs, Peach Kush, Ritas Cherry, Sage N Sour, Sherb Crasher, Strawberry Shortcake
Nature's Herbs & Wellness
Bananaghani, Biker Oz, Cake Pop, Cookies N Cream, Dosi, Forza Sans Souci, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Ice Cream Cake, Lava Breath, Layer Cake, Melonz, Meow, Muffinz, Papaya Cake, Peking Duck, Pruno, Purple Marmalade, Wedding Crasher
Natures Herbs & Wellness Center
Apple Fritter, Durban Kush, Granola Funk, Ice Milk, Lava Breath, Milky Weigh, Muffinz, Papaya Cake, Sherb Crasher, Sundae Float, Yuk Mouth
Natures Kiss
Muffinz, Project 4510, Snowman
Natures Medicine
Apple Fritter, Bananas, Cherry Punch, Colorado Cool Aid, Fubar, Garlic Cookies, Georgia Pie, Item 9, Milky Weigh, Muffinz, Peach Crescendo, Slap N Tickle, Super Sour Lemon, White 99
Oasis Cannabis Superstore
Apple Fritter, Cherry Hills, Collins Ave, Gg 4, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Ice Milk, Medellin, Milky Weigh, Papaya Cake, Peach Crescendo, Peking Duck, Pineapple Blast, Purple Marmalade, Ritas Cherry, Sour Rado, Sueno, Triangle Og, White Runtz, Wookie Fruit
Peak MJ
Cake Pop, Purple Papaya Punch, Sherb Crasher, Sundae Float, Wookie Fruit
Rocky Mountain Blaze
Bubba Berry, Forza Sans Souci, Headband Kush, Island, Layer Cake, Milky Weigh, Orange Zkittlez, Raspberry, Slap N Tickle, Strawberry Shortcake, Tart Pops, The Sauce, White 99
Rocky Mountain Cannabis
Biker Oz, Blood Orange, Cherry Hills, Forza Sans Souci, Galleta, Garlic Breath, Gelato 41, Grape Oz, Ice Milk, Melonz, Milky Weigh, Peach Kush, Raspberry, Sage N Sour, Sherb Crasher, Snickerz, Sunset Drive, Triangle Og, Yuk Mouth
Rocky Road
Bananaghani, Cereal Milk, Cherry Hills, Cherry Punch, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Ice Cream Cake, Item 9, Lava Breath, Melonz, Midnight, Orange Zkittlez, Papaya Cake, Peach Crescendo, Peach Kush, Ritas Cherry, Sage N Sour, Sherb Crasher, Slap N Tickle, Slurricane, Sour Orange Zkittles, Strawberry Shortcake, Sueno, Tart Pops, The Sauce, Triangle Og
Roots RX
Blood Orange, Ice Cream Cake, Orange Zkittlez, Yuk Mouth
Roots Rx
Apple Fritter, Berries N Cream, Blood Orange, Cherry Hills, Durban Kush, Granola Funk, Island, Koko Puffs, Meow, Orange Zkittlez, Peach Kush, Purple Papaya Punch, Slap N Tickle, Slurricane, Strawberry Shortcake, Sueno, Sunset Drive, Super Sour Lemon, The Sauce, Wookie Fruit, Yuk Mouth
Simply Pure
Blood Orange, Gary Payton, Georgia Pie, Item 9, Lava Breath, Muffinz, Orange Zkittlez, Papaya Cake, Peach Crescendo, Slap N Tickle, Sour Melon, Triangle Og, Yuk Mouth
Smokin Gun Apothecary
Ooh La La, Yuk Mouth
Solace Meds
Apple Fritter, Biker Oz, Blood Orange, Bubba Berry, Cereal Milk, Cherry Diesel, Cherry Hills, Cherry Punch, Forza Sans Souci, Garlic Breath, Gary Payton, Gas Tanker, Gelato 41, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Headband Kush, Island, Item 9, Koko Puffs, Lava Breath, Layer Cake, Melonz, Meow, Midnight, Milky Weigh, Miracle Alien Cookies, Muffinz, Noon, Orange Zkittlez, Peach Crescendo, Pineapple Blast, Raspberry, Slap N Tickle, Snickerz, Sour Melon, Strawberry Milk, Sueno, Tart Pops, The Sauce, Triangle Og, Unicorn Poop, Wookie Fruit, Yuk Mouth, Zookies
Spark
Peach Kush, Sundae Float
Star Buds
Apple Fritter, Forza Sans Souci, Galleta, Garanimals, Gelato 41, Georgia Pie, Infinity, Layer Cake, Meow, Peking Duck, Strawberry Shortcake, Sueno, Sunset Drive, Triangle Og, Unicorn Poop, White 99, Yuk Mouth
Star buds
Meow, Sueno, Sunset Drive, Triangle Og
Steel City Meds
Banana Kush, Blue Sherbert, Cake Pop, Cherry Hills, Cookies N Cream, Flow, Forza Sans Souci, Garlic Breath, Item 9, Papaya Cake, Peach Pie, Sage And Sour, Slurricane, Sour Diesel, Strawberries N Cream, Sunset Drive, The Sauce
The 404 Dispensary
Meow, Peach Crescendo, Super Sour Lemon, White Runtz
The 64 Store
Cake Pop, Forza Sans Souci, Gas Tanker, Koko Puffs, Layer Cake, Super Sour Lemon, Unicorn Poop
The Dispo
Ice Milk, Island, Peach Crescendo, Pineapple Blast, Runtz, Skywalker, Slap N Tickle
The Green Solution
Apple Fritter, Banana Kush, Biker Oz, Blood Orange, Blue Sherbert, Bubba Berry, Cereal Milk, Durban Kush, Garlic Breath, Gary Payton, Grape Oz, Item 9, Lava Breath, Meow, Muffinz, Peach Crescendo, Peach Kush, Peking Duck, Purple Papaya Punch, Raspberry, Sage N Sour, Sherb Crasher, Snozzberry, Sour Rado, Sueno, Sunset Drive, Super Sour Lemon, Triangle Og, Wedding Crasher, White 99
The Happy Camper Cannabis Company
Big Bubba Diesel, Biker Oz, Cherry Diesel, Durban Kush, Electric Lemonade, Forza Sans Souci, Galleta, Gary Payton, Grape Oz, Ice Milk, Island, Lucky Charms, Melonz, Orange Zkittlez, Peach Kush, Peking Duck, Purple Papaya Punch, Rain Dance, Ritas Cherry, Sage N Sour, Sherb Crasher, Slap N Tickle, Snickerz, Sour Melon, Strawberry Milk, Strawberry Shortcake, Sunset Drive, Tart Pops, The Sauce, White Runtz, Yuck Mouth, Zookies
The Joint Denver
Gary Payton, Granola Funk, Island, Sour Melon
The Kind Castle
Gelato 41, Peach Kush, Sueno
The Spot
Banana Kush, Cherry Hills, Granola Funk, Sueno
The Spot 420
Bananaghani
The Underground Station
Frosted Jack, Galleta, Slap N Tickle, Sueno, The Sauce
Third Day Apothecary
Cherry Diesel, Garlic Breath, Grape Oz
Tumbleweed
Apple Fritter, Banana Kush, Bananaghani, Big Bubba Diesel, Biker Oz, Blood Orange, Cake Pop, Cereal Milk, Cherry Hills, Cookies N Cream, Garlic Breath, Georgia Pie, Gg 4, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Grenadine, Headband Kush, Ice Cream Cake, Ice Milk, Infinity, Item 9, Koko Puffs, Lava Breath, Lemon Pepper, London Pound Cake, Medellin, Melonz, Milky Weigh, Miracle Alien Cookies, Ooh La La, Orange Zkittlez, Papaya Cake, Peach Crescendo, Pruno, Purple Papaya Punch, Raspberry, Sherb Crasher, Slap N Tickle, Snickerz, Soda, Strawberry Shortcake, Sueno, Sundae Float, Tart Pops, White Runtz
Twin Peaks Dispensary
Item 9, Miracle Alien Cookies, Peach Crescendo, Peach Pie, Slap N Tickle, Sueno, Sundae Float, The Sauce, Unicorn Poop, Yuk Mouth
Unity Rd
Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Hills, Forza Sans Souci, Frosted Jack, Gary Payton, Gg 4, Melonz, Papaya Cake, Peach Crescendo, Peking Duck, Slap N Tickle, Sour Diesel, Sour Melon, Strawberries N Cream, Sueno, Super Sour Lemon, Tart Pops, Unicorn Poop
Verts Neighborhood Dispensary
Cherry Punch, Durban Kush, Sueno, Triangle Og
Zengold's
Bubba Berry
1136 Yuma
Cherry Punch, Koko Puffs, Lava Breath, Miracle Alien Cookies, Peach Pie, Raspberry, Yuk Mouth
A Cut Above
Biker Oz, Blood Orange, Bubba Berry, Cherry Diesel, Durban Kush, Forza Sans Souci, Gas Tanker, Island, Koko Puffs, Lava Breath, Melonz, Milky Weigh, Orange Zkittlez, Peach Crescendo, Peach Pie, Peking Duck, Pruno, Sage N Sour, Slurricane, Sour Diesel, Sour Rado, Sunset Drive, The Sauce
Backcountry Cannabis Co.
Apple Fritter, Bananas, Cherry Hills, Durban Kush, Fubar, Sour Melon, Yuk Mouth
Berkeley Disensary
Granola Funk, La Kush Cake, Lava Breath, Peach Kush, Strawberry Milk, Tart Pops
Big Medicine Cannabissary
Garlic Breath
Boulder Wellness Center
Medellin
Breckenridge Organic Therapy
Apple Fritter, Big Bubba Diesel, Triangle Og
Buddy Boy
Gas Tanker, Gg 4, Koko Puffs, La Kush Cake, Lucky Charms, Strawberries N Cream, Sueno, Triangle Og, Wedding Crasher, White 99
Canna Cabinet
Apple Fritter, Apples And Bananas, Banana Kush, Bananaghani, Big Bubba Diesel, Biker Oz, Blood Orange, Bubba Berry, Cereal Milk, Colorado Cool Aid, Cookies N Cream, Durban Kush, Electric Lemonade, Forza Sans Souci, Fubar, Garlic Breath, Gas Tanker, Gelato 41, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Headband Kush, Ice Cream Cake, Ice Milk, Infinity, Island, Koko Puffs, La Kush Cake, Lava Breath, Layer Cake, Medellin, Melonz, Meow, Milky Weigh, Muffinz, Orange Zkittlez, Papaya Cake, Peach Crescendo, Peach Kush, Peach Pie, Peking Duck, Pineapple Blast, Pruno, Purple Marmalade, Purple Papaya Punch, Rain Dance, Raspberry, Ritas Cherry, Runtz, Sage N Sour, Sherb Crasher, Slap And Tickle, Slurricane, Snickerz, Sour Melon, Sour Rado, Strawberry Flame, Strawberry Milk, Strawberry Shortcake, Sueno, Sundae Float, Sunset Drive, Tart Pop, Tart Pops, Thai, The Sauce, Triangle Og, Unicorn Poop, Wedding Crasher, White Runtz, Wookie Fruit, Yuck Mouth, Yuk Mouth, Zookies
Cherry Peak Dispensary
Apple Fritter, Banana Kush, Blood Orange, Cereal Milk, Chemmy Jones, Durban Kush, Granola Funk, Headband Kush, Koko Puffs, La Kush Cake, Layer Cake, Meow, Miracle Alien Cookies, Orange Zkittlez, Peach Crescendo, Peach Pie, Runtz, Slurricane, Sour Rado, Sueno, Tart Pops, White Runtz
Chronic Therapy
Strawberries N Cream
Colorado Harvest Company
Biker Oz, Flow, Granola Funk, Headband Kush, Lava Breath, Milky Weigh, Papaya Cake, Peach Kush, Peking Duck, Pruno, Sour Melon, Sour Orange Zkittles, Sundae Float, Tart Pops
Cookies
Forza Sans Souci, Miracle Alien Cookies, Ooh La La
Denvers Kush Club
Apple Fritter, Midnight, Muffinz, Noon, Peach Kush
Doctors Orders
Item 9, Peach Crescendo, Ritas Cherry, Runtz, Snickerz, Sour Melon
Drift
Gelato 41, Infinity, White 99
Eclipse Cannabis
Ice Cream Cake, Mac
Elevated
Cherry Hills, Durban Kush, Melonz, Strawberry Shortcake
EmJ's
Bubba Berry, Cherry Diesel, Cherry Hills, Colorado Cool Aid, Forza Sans Souci, Grape Oz, Layer Cake, Melonz, Milky Weigh, Orange Zkittlez, Peach Crescendo, Strawberry Milk, Sueno, Sunset Drive, The Sauce, Unicorn Poop
Emerald Fields
Cherry Punch, Durban Kush, Forza Sans Souci, Gary Payton, Ice Milk, Melonz, Midnight, Milky Weigh, Muffinz, Noon, Orange Zkittlez, Peach Kush, Peking Duck, Strawberry Milk, Sueno, Triangle Og, Yuk Mouth
Euflora
Cake Pop, Cherry Diesel, Forza Sans Souci, Garlic Breath, Gg 4, Layer Cake, Peking Duck, Snickerz, Super Sour Lemon
Fountain Organics
Pineapple Blast, The Sauce
Golden Meds
Apple Fritter, Ice Cream Cake, Ice Milk, Koko Puffs, Melonz, Muffinz, Sherb Crasher, Sunset Drive, Yuk Mouth
Golden Meds
Cake Pop, Cherry Hills, Dosi, Gg 4, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Headband Kush, Ice Milk, Layer Cake, Papaya Cake, Sage N Sour, Strawberry Milk, Sueno
Green Dragon
Forza Sans Souci, Gas Tanker, Orange Zkittlez, Peach Crescendo
Green Pharm 2
Banana Kush, Bubba Berry, Cherry Hills, Colorado Cool Aid, Grape Oz, Ice Milk, Item 9, Koko Puffs, Miracle Alien Cookies, Orange Zkittlez, Sour Diesel, Strawberry Milk, Super Sour Lemon
Greenfields
Cake Pop, Cherry Diesel, Layer Cake, Papaya Cake, Slap N Tickle, Strawberries N Cream, Sueno
Herbal Healing
Bubba Berry, Cake Pop, Cherry Diesel, Cherry Punch, Forza Sans Souci, Gas Tanker, Grape Oz, Headband Kush, Item 9, Koko Puffs, Lava Breath, Melonz, Pineapple Blast, Ritas Cherry, Sage N Sour, Sour Orange Zkittles, Strawberry Milk, Sueno, Super Sour Lemon, Tart Pops, The Sauce, Unicorn Poop
Herbs 4 You
Gas Tanker, Peach Crescendo, Purple Marmalade, Sour Diesel, Super Sour Lemon, Yuk Mouth
High Octane Dispensary
Biker Oz, Gary Payton, Triangle Og
High Plains Strains
Bananaghani, Biker Oz, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Layer Cake, Papaya Cake, Sundae Float, Triangle Og
High Plainz Strains
Durban Kush, Forza Sans Souci, Galleta, Ice Cream Cake, Ice Milk, Koko Puffs, La Kush Cake, Lava Breath, Layer Cake, Melonz, Meow, Muffinz, Pruno, Purple Marmalade, Snickerz, Strawberries N Cream, Sueno, Super Sour Lemon, Triangle Og, White 99, White Runtz, Yuk Mouth
Higher Grade
Bubba Berry, Cherry Diesel
Kanopya Springs
Item 9, Sueno, Tart Pops
Karmaceuticals
Chemmy Jones, Peking Duck, Sage N Sour, White 99, White Runtz
Kind Care Of Colorado
Ice Cream Cake, Island, Lava Breath, Peach Crescendo, Purple Marmalade, Slurricane
Kinfolk Farms
Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Hills, Fubar, Gas Tanker, Larry, Layer Cake, Muffinz, Orange Zkittlez, Papaya Cake, Peking Duck, Slap N Tickle, Sueno, Super Sour Lemon, Wookie Fruit, Yuk Mouth
LOVA co
Apple Fritter, Durban Kush, Ice Milk, Medellin, Sage N Sour
LaConte's Denver
Cherry Diesel, Durban Kush
Lakeshore Cannabis
Apple Fritter, Big Bubba Diesel, Blood Orange, Bubba Berry, Cookies Cream, Galleta, Gary Payton, Granola Funk, Island, Item 9, Melonz, Peking Duck, Ritas Cherry, Slurricane, Strawberry Flame, Strawberry Milk, Strawberry Shortcake, Tart Pops, The Sauce, Triangle Og, Wedding Crasher, Wookie Fruit
Lightshade
Apple Fritter, Cereal Milk, Chem 4, Cherry Diesel, Flow, Forza Sans Souci, Gelato 41, Ice Cream Cake, Item 9, Koko Puffs, Lava Breath, Layer Cake, Lucky Charms, Midnight, Miracle Alien Cookies, Peach Crescendo, Peach Kush, Rain Dance, Ritas Cherry, Runtz, Slap N Tickle, Sour Flower, Sour Melon, Strawberry Milk, Sueno, Sundae Float, Sunset Drive, Super Sour Lemon, Tart Pops, The Sauce, Unicorn Poop, White Runtz, Yuk Mouth
Living Rose Wellness
Gas Tanker, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Item 9, Layer Cake, Melons, Milky Weigh
Lova co
Apple Fritter, Bananaghani, Cake Pop, Cherry Punch, Cookies N Cream, Durban Kush, Gary Payton, Granola Funk, Grape Oz, Ice Cream Cake, Ice Milk, Layer Cake, Lemon P, Milky Weigh, Muffinz, Purple Marmalade, Sage N Sour, Slap N Tickle, Strawberry Milk, Sueno, Sunset Drive, Super Sour Lemon
Magnolia Rd.
Cherry Hills, Headband Kush, Koko Puffs, Muffinz, Papaya Cake, Peach Kush, Sage N Sour, Strawberry Shortcake, The Sauce
Magnolia Road Cannabis Co
Bananas, Forza Sans Souci, Fubar, Gas Tanker, La Kush Cake, Layer Cake, Orange Zkittlez, Peach Crescendo, Peach Pie, Sueno, Yuk Mouth
Magnolia Road Cannabis Co.
Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Diesel, Grape Oz, Super Sour Lemon

January 10, 2017

10 Questions With Mike Leibowitz & Toby Ripsom

Written by:  Kyle Brown

Photos: Brian Kraft

Before they built their brand, both Mike Leibowitz (pictured, right) and Toby Ripsom (left) had already been involved in the Colorado cannabis market for several years. Leibowitz, co-lead master grower for Veritas Fine Cannabis, had signed his first lease for a commercial cultivation facility in 2009.

Ripsom, corporate partner for Veritas, started investing in the cannabis market in memory of his father, who he lost to colon cancer shortly after 2012. Ripsom says he saw “a beautiful side” to how cannabis eased his father’s final year, drawing him in to the legal cannabis market and funding his first investment with life insurance monies.

Leibowitz and Ripsom became friends, and when Colorado legalized adult-use marijuana in 2012, they sensed an opportunity to team up on a new project. They developed the idea for an independent cultivation facility, not tied to a specific dispensary, nor white-labeling their product.

With their license, secured in 2014, they created the Veritas Fine Cannabis brand, now available throughout the state. Cannabis Business Times’ Managing Editor Kyle Brown talked with Leibowitz and Ripsom about building the brand and getting their product in front of consumers.

Kyle Brown: Tell me about your grow.

Mike Leibowitz: We have a 24,000- square-foot facility. Most larger facilities, the way they’ll design their rooms will be much larger. In a 24,000-square-foot facility, they might only have two flowering rooms. We believe we can ascertain the best quality by … having much smaller rooms. We wanted to emulate [the small home grow] in a larger facility. We built 16 rooms. ... [They’re] all very small rooms that we can harvest, thoroughly clean at the same time and be able to replicate the best quality every single harvest by bringing the small-batch theory of growing into a larger facility.

[The rooms are] roughly 600 to 700 square feet each. We put anywhere from 20 to 30 flowering lights in each room. You’re looking at about 100 plants in each room. Nothing too crazy. We believe we can get more from less.

Toby Ripsom (left) and Mike Leibowitz (right) each bring their own expertise to the Veritas brand: Ripsom covers the business side, and Leibowitz handles growing. Giving consumers the chance to get to know the grower was important for the team, so Leibowitz hosts regular meet-and-greet events at local dispensaries.

Brown: How does your team work together to handle the entire operation, from cultivation through business?

Toby Ripsom: As you can imagine, it’s a multi-pronged operation. I oversee the finance and the corporate machinations. Mike and Conor [Scanlon] oversee the product and the cultivation side. And we team up together in the middle there.

Leibowitz: I think we all know what we’re good at, and that’s a big thing in a successful partnership. Just trust people and let them do what they do best.

Me and Conor don’t have a lot of interest, necessarily, in some of the financial and administrative ends of the business, and likewise, Toby and his team — it’s not that they don’t have interest, but they really trust us, because the end result is speaking for itself in the success we’ve had. We have our geeks on one end and our geeks on the other. We all meet once a week and go over everything, and we’re all on the same page.

Brown: How did you know Veritas was ready to start building a brand?

Ripsom: We knew, through the evolution of other industries, that we had something special on our hands. With a proprietary growing process, we could become the industry standard of branding that high-quality cannabis that nobody was going near yet. [Business-owners] were branding their storefronts, and they were moving [white-label] product alongside ours that we felt was different.

And we knew that we had customers that were loyal to storefronts because of our product, and we knew we could separate the two and bring a consistency across the state to the many other places that didn’t have our product.

Leibowitz: We really want to put the power of choice in the customer’s hand. That, to us, is the most distinguishing thing about branding. As you’re aware, you could buy Sour Diesel from 100 different dispensers. But it’s not always going to be the same experience from a consumer standpoint.

The way we grow Sour Diesel, and our specific genetics of it, you’re going to get that consistency within our product. It’s going to smell the same, taste the same, look the same, every single time. We realized that if we could put a brand and a name behind it, the customer would know that that’s reliable. They’re going to get what they experienced before and liked, and hopefully … keep wanting to buy more.

We replicate our product to look the same every time, or we’ll toss it into the trim pile. It’ll go to concentrate if we’re not satisfied with it.

I told you we were geeks before. [We have] a lot of passion and a lot of love for the plant. We’ve spent so many hours understanding it, watching every hour of a 65-day plant cycle to perfect the changes ... from its vegetative state, to its flowering state, to its trimming and curing state.

We strive for our own selves to always grow the best, to ... get better yields and to get better quality by making micro changes. ... And for us, because we’re so passionate about it, because we’re constantly challenging ourselves, we consistently are able to produce a top-of-the-line product.

Brown: Why was branding important for you as a company?

Ripsom: We’re able to link the customer to the product, because that’s the relationship that matters at the end of the day. The end user is paramount to everything else.

Leibowitz: The first people to market with brands were not as concerned, I would say, honestly, with just the quality of the product. … We stood behind the quality of what we were doing and came up with a Latin name that means “truth” to sell our product because … the product speaks for itself.

RIPSOM: It’s that differentiation point that makes you not a commodity, and delivering that consistent [product]. That you’re really something different, something special, and that is what you stick to.

Brown: How does this change the market for you?

Ripsom: We operate in the entire state of Colorado, and we are working on expansion into four other states right now, and open to partnering in future markets. Our world is getting larger.

We see that as the market evolves, taste and tolerance are really hockey-sticking upwards for the customer. … There’s knowledge that’s getting attached to the industry, and greater usage is helping the normalization of the business and increasing it, the same way the craft beer industry changed the alcohol world in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Leibowitz: In Colorado, we’ve had a market now for seven years. The client is becoming more discerning. They are caring more about quality. In the beginning, people were just so enamored with buying pot it didn’t really matter what it was.

That’s changed. People are recognizing even now that they can get an eighth of Veritas, and that will last longer and fulfill … the highness, the taste, everything they want from it. As that becomes more prevalent and people understand and know what better quality looks like, it’s really starting to shape the entire market.

Brown: Part of your team described Veritas to me as “the Sam Adams of the marijuana market.” What does that mean to you?

Ripsom: We’re very proud to be a small-batch, but mainstream producer with a really keen eye on luxury. It’s a luxury product to the typical executive or upper-middle-class customer, but it’s also a trade-up product to somebody who wants a special experience on a weekend. It’s maybe not their go-to, everyday offering.

Leibowitz: The market itself has a variety of needs. We’re well-positioned to satisfy the discriminating taste of the customer who cares, almost like Whole Foods vs. Walmart or Budweiser vs. Sam Adams. We shop at them both and drink them both, but they each have their own time and place, right?

Once they had chosen the name, the Veritas team looked to other vice industries such as the alcohol and casino markets to find a more “cosmopolitan” look that evoked “a sophisticated, everyday luxury product,” according to Toby Ripsom, corporate partner for Veritas.

Brown: What were your first steps to creating your brand?

Ripsom: You need product identity and consistency. We put the right team in place to handle the marketing, branding and packaging, and integrated it with how we felt about the image of the business: What we wanted to portray to the outer world, and what we thought served the plant best to our customers.

We went outside the industry for the message because we do think this is a mainstream, normalized product now. We wanted to be a little different. We wanted to be more cosmopolitan … for lack of a better term.

We leaned on almost every aspect of the vice markets, whether it be night clubs, alcohol, casinos, that sort of product. We [looked at] the evolution of industries that were once illegal that rose up into mainstream America and have been profitable and world-class ever since, and a valid, major part of American society.

Brown: When you were going through names and logos, when did you know you had the right one?

Ripsom: When we got to 300 names?

Leibowitz: Yeah. [laughs] We wanted it to look sharp, to look like what we were going for: high-end, luxury.

Ripsom: It’s a sophisticated, everyday luxury product that we thought of like a Mercedes or and Audi.

Brown: How did you choose which strains you were focusing on?

Leibowitz: That comes with the experience of certain strains, continuing to challenge our grow staff with a “new hotness” … or just what comes around.

We’ve got a lot of smart people on our staff that do some in-house breeding. We’ve mixed some different flavors over the years. But really, … the hard part isn’t trying to find the strains. It’s trying to reduce them to a manageable number.

As a brand, you don’t want to have too many products. … Our genetic library is probably over 50 proprietary strains. These guys tell me to focus on 10. I like all 50. So, it’s really hard for me to make those choices. We want to have a consistent offering of our top sellers, as well as flavor profiles that are new to the market.

Take Girl Scout Cookies, for example. That was very popular a few years ago, and really had a big intro to the market. Since then, we have worked on about three different strains in our portfolio that are a cross of Girl Scout Cookies that add a certain hype. When they get introduced, ... [the strains] just have a beautiful look, smell and a taste everybody craves.

We have certain strains, like our Sueño or our Headband Kush that are kind of our staple strains that we’ve been growing for such a long time. They’re such popular strains, and we’ll never stop, at least in the short term, growing them.

But like I said, this is a business where we are really challenging ourselves. So, like a craft beer might produce a fall lager, we’ll always keep it fresh and probably have anywhere from three to four new strain offerings a year that we … deem admissible to the market.

Veritas Fine Cannabis has more than 50 proprietary strains, but Mike Leibowitz, co-lead master grower, focuses on about 10 at a time, he says. Some strains, like the top-selling Sueño, will always be in their grow.

Brown: How have you gotten dispensaries to work with you on such a large scale?

Ripsom: We have a wonderful sales staff, and a great product that sells itself, most of the time. However, it’s the dispensary’s job to open the door and put us on the shelf, and it’s our job to get the customers in there buying our product and everyone else’s.

We’ve brought a bit of the vice industry management route. We looked at liquor sales strategies that have worked time and again in almost every market. In the beginning, we did make a lot of sales just from word-of-mouth. But it’s kind of hand-to-hand combat … going into other dispensaries, giving them all kinds of sales support. [They’re doing] everything in their power to move our product faster. The effort on our end is to make it as easy for them as possible. As we like to say, the most expensive pound you’re going to buy is the one that doesn’t move. So it doesn’t matter what it costs. As long as it doesn’t sit on that shelf, everyone’s happy.

We do some meet-and-greet events, where we have Mike and Conor and some of our extended team go to dispensaries. We’ve had quite the turnout. It helps build social media presence, too.

Leibowitz: We hang out at a busy time at the dispensary, on a Friday afternoon or something ... when there will be a lot of people coming in. The reaction we get is often incredible. People come in and say, “Wow, you’re Veritas. We love your Sueño. I drive all the way from over here to come buy it, and it’s phenomenal. How do you do that?”

People pick our brain, we get to meet them, and it’s cool. It’s neat to get a little appreciation for our work sometimes, because a lot of us have been in the shadows — or actually, the artificial light — of a grow room for a long time.

Ripsom: We loved the aspect of putting a face to the brand, and kind of a story. It makes it more a social experience. ... It’s a culture and a lifestyle, and we’re very interactive with our people. We go all out socially and love to keep in touch with all the customers and grow the market.

Leibowitz: When you build a brand, you have to connect with your customers. The best way to interact with them is to know what they like.

How are we really going to know what they love, what makes them say, “Grow more of that. That one is good.” We feel it’s just the best way to continue to improve ourselves. As great as we are, obviously, everyone can always get better. And that interaction allows us to do that.

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