This month, we checked in with Dr. Juli Crockett of W Vapes, a vaporizer and extraction brand that originally launched in California, and is a Sustaining level member of NCIA. W Vapes was named one of the “Best Vape Cartridges” of 2016 at the California Chalice Cup. Juli also sits as a Co-Chair on NCIA’s recently launched Policy Council.
NCIA Member Member Since:
Tell me a bit about your background and why you launched W Vapes?
The first W Vapes products were officially launched in California in August of 2015. A short two years later, and we are about to transition to being a national brand with locations in Oregon, Nevada, and beyond. W Vapes is becoming W The Brand.
How it all began? A family history of multiple types of cancer, as well as other ailments, led our co-founders to the research and development of our extracts. A defining moment that confirmed their faith in this amazing medicine was after providing cannabis oil to a family member with Tourette’s syndrome who experienced more than 100 ticks per day. After a single dose of cannabis oil his ticks subsided completely. They then knew their mission was to bring high quality cannabis to the people. After working for years in every aspect of the cannabis industry, from growing to dispensaries to manufacturing, their small, home-grown pen company (RELM) was sought out by visionary investors that recognized the massive potential of their high quality oil. From that union, W Vapes was born. I suppose you could call me the midwife? I was recruited in early 2015 to help with the launching of the W brand in California. While my official title is Chief Compliance Officer, we all have worn a whole mess of hats in the past two years, which goes along well with my diverse background in the arts (playwright, theater director, singer, bandleader), PhD in Philosophy, experience as a Marketing Director in the adult toy industry, and undefeated professional boxer. It sounds like a unique resume, however, the cannabis industry has no shortage of dreamers, daredevils, and polymaths. I’m in excellent company.
What unique value does W Vapes offer to the cannabis industry?
W Vapes is a unique hybrid that combines incredible quality standards and a deep commitment to patient safety with sophisticated, sleek branding and marketing savvy. A big differentiator is that our extractions are single-origin, strain-specific, and always pesticide-free. The oil in our cartridges and dabs comes from a single strain of a single batch of cannabis flower. There are no additives, flavorings, store bought terpenes, mixing of strains, synthetics, or cutting agents. One source, one strain, nothing else. We work with farmers that employee pesticide-free practices to produce high quality cannabis flowers, which we transform via small batch CO2 supercritical extractions into the liquid soul of the plant.
We are purists, plain and simple. We believe that the mission of the extraction process is to preserve and amplify the authentic soul of each cannabis strain. The vaping experience should be the inhalation of the concentrated soul of a plant, with no additives, synthetics, flavorings, or adulterants in the mix. That is why we do small-batch, single-origin, strain-specific extractions of certified and lab-tested, pesticide-free, potency-proven cannabis flowers. Our motto is “Gold In/Gold Out.”
Cannabis companies have a unique responsibility to shape this growing industry to be responsible and treated equally as any other industry. How does W Vapes help work toward that goal for the greater good of the cannabis industry?
Our goal and mission is to make the highest quality extracts accessible to all. Everyone deserves excellent, pure medicine. We have already distinguished ourselves by bringing more healthy delivery systems (such as glass and stainless steel cartridges, rather than plastic) to the masses, which is quickly becoming the industry standard. We hope to continue to innovate and influence the cannabis space in positive ways by always demanding the best for ourselves, patients and all people.
Our mission is to bring pure, pesticide-free, clean medicine of the highest quality to patients that may not even know or care about quality, pesticides, and clean medicine. We are a high-end product that is still affordable, as we believe that good, clean medicine should be the rule and not the exception.
What kind of challenges do you face in the industry and what solutions would you like to see?
Staying on top of the ever-changing and ever-developing regulatory landscape is a big challenge. It can be difficult for a company to make future plans when the future is still somewhat unknown. As an industry we face the paradoxical challenges of lack of regulation in some areas and over regulation in others on the horizon. Overall, the solutions we seek are being treated like any other industry, held to those standards, and given the same incentives and opportunities. Access to banking, sensible taxation, functional regulations, all with a focus on patient safety and the healthy growth of the cannabis industry — allowing for maximum participation by the people who created the cannabis industry over the past decades.
Why did you join NCIA? What’s the best part about being a member?
Being engaged in the political process, locally and at the state level, is of the utmost importance during this time of transition, when so many laws and regulations are being created and implemented. This is why it was important for us to not only join NCIA, and our local state affiliate CCIA (California Cannabis Industry Association), but to become deeply involved with both organizations. I currently sit on the Board of Directors for CCIA, several of its committees, and serve as a Co-Chair on NCIA’s newly formed Policy Council. This is an unprecedented moment in which the pioneers of the cannabis industry have the opportunity to come together and speak with a collective and powerful voice. The future of the industry is being defined and decided every day, in every moment. We do not have time to waste. This is our moment.
Note: NCIA member profiles highlight members and stories within our cannabis industry community. They do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of specific products or services by NCIA.